Cancer Biology


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 4447 Views Feb 5, 2021
Activating the STING (stimulator of interferon genes) signaling pathway via administration of STING agonist cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) has shown great promise in cancer immunotherapy. While state-of-the-art approaches have predominantly focused on the encapsulation of cGAMP into liposomes or polymersomes for cellular delivery, we discovered that the recombinant STING protein lacking the transmembrane domain (STINGΔTM) could be used as a functional carrier for cGAMP delivery and elicit type I IFN expression in STING-deficient cell lines. Using this approach, we generated anti-tumoral immunity in mouse melanoma and colon cancer models, providing a potential translatable platform for STING agonist-based immunotherapy. Here, we report the detailed in vitro STING activation protocols with cGAMP-STINGΔTM complex to assist researchers in further development of this approach. This protocol can also be easily expanded to other applications related to STING activation, such as control of various types of infections.
0 Q&A 9717 Views Apr 20, 2018
Ovarian cancer is fairly unique in that ovarian carcinoma cells can detach and spread directly through peritoneal cavity. It has been unclear, however, how detached cancer cells survive in the peritoneum and form spheroid structure. We have recently reported that there is a strong correlation between Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs)-associated spheroid and clinical pathology of ovarian cancer, and that TAMs promote spheroid formation and tumor growth at early stages of transcoelomic metastasis in orthotopic mouse models. We have established an in vitro spheroid formation assay using a 3D co-culture system in which mouse GFP+F4/80+CD206+ TAMs isolated from spheroids of ovarian cancer-bearing donor tomatolysM-cre mice were mixed with ID8 cells (TAM:ID8 at a ratio of 1:10) in medium containing 2% Matrigel and seeded onto the 24-well plate precoated with Matrigel. As transcoelomic metastasis is also associated with many other cancers such as pancreatic and colon cancers, TAM-mediated spheroid formation assay would provide a useful approach to define the molecular mechanism and therapeutic targets for ovarian cancer and other transcoelomic metastasis cancers.
0 Q&A 10421 Views Sep 20, 2016
MHC class I molecules present peptides to cytotoxic T cells allowing the immune system to scan for intracellular pathogens and mutated proteins. The generation of antigenic peptides is a multistep process that ends in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Only peptides with the right length and sequence will bind nascent MHC class I molecules in the ER. This protocol allows for detachment of the endogenous peptides bound to MHC class I molecules by preserving them for the binding of high affinity synthetic peptides. The complete dissociation of endogenous peptides by mild acid treatment as well as the binding of synthetic peptides to MHC class I molecules will be evaluated measuring HLA class I molecules express on the cell surface by flow cytometry. The mouse antibody W6/32 which recognizes β2m associated HLA-A, -B, -C, -E and -G heavy chains is suitable for this propose. Any tumor cell line that expresses surface HLA class I molecules is suitable for the assay. Another important aspect is to know the HLA class I typing of tumor cell line to allow selection of the known high affinity peptides.
0 Q&A 6937 Views Sep 20, 2016
Natural killer (NK) cells play key roles in innate and adaptive immune responses against virus and tumor cells. Their function relies on the dynamic balance between activating and inhibiting signals through receptors that bind ligands expressed on target cells. The absence of inhibitory receptor engagement with their ligands and the presence of activating signals transmitted by activating receptors interacting with specific ligands, leads to NK cell activation (Lanier, 2005; Raulet et al., 2001). Thus, the balance of the ligands expressed for inhibitory and activating receptors determines whether NK cells will become activated to kill the target cells. This protocol allows to assign a precise ligand specificity to any given receptor on NK cells. Thus, if a tumor cell expresses the ligand, this protocol will allow to evaluate its interaction with the specific receptor. In particular, killer cell immunoglobulin (Ig)-like receptors (KIR) recognize their ligands (HLA class I molecules) through the direct contact with HLA class I heavy chain residues and amino acid residues of the bound peptide. This protocol will allow to test the effect of amino acid substitutions or other mutations on the binding of KIR to HLA class I. We used this protocol to depict the role of ERAP1, a key component of the MHC class I antigen processing, in regulating NK cell function by controlling the engagement of inhibitory receptors (Cifaldi et al., 2015).
3 Q&A 46705 Views Nov 5, 2015
Understanding how immune cells such as macrophages interact with cancer cells is of increasing interest, as cancer treatments move towards combing both targeted- and immuno-therapies in new treatment regimes. This protocol is using THP-1 cells, a human leukemia monocytic cell line that can be differentiated into macrophages. This allows studying the effects of the macrophage secretome on cancer cells (on e.g., growth, drug response or gene expression) in co-cultures without direct cell contact interactions. This is an important aspect as it removes the presence of any phagocytic aspect to changes in the cancer cell number and behaviour. The in vitro THP-1 monocyte differentiation into polarized macrophages was used to study the effects of both M1 and M2 type populations of macrophages on melanoma cells (Smith et al., 2014; Tsuchiya et al., 1980). M1 type macrophages are classically thought to be tumour suppressing as opposed to M2 type macrophages, which are thought to possess tissue repairing and tumour growth promoting activities.
1 Q&A 22541 Views Mar 20, 2014
In the past years, a subset of regulatory T cells (Tregs) expressing CD4, CD25 and the transcription factor FoxP3 has gained considerable attention as key regulators of T-cell tolerance and homeostasis (Sakaguchi, 2004). This population of T cells is specifically engaged in the maintenance of immune self-tolerance and the control of aberrant immune responses to foreign antigens. Remarkably, regulatory T cells have been implicated in tumor cell evasion of immune responses (Curiel et al., 2004; Zou, 2006) by suppressing T cell mediated antitumor immunity. The study of the signals that promote the differentiation of this suppressive population in the tumor microenvironment has become a central issue. Here we described a detailed method to in vitro differentiate Tregs using tumor cells conditioned media from mouse naïve T cells and to identify them based on their specifics markers (Dalotto-Moreno et al., 2013).

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