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. 2016 Jun;24(6):1078-1089.
doi: 10.1038/mt.2016.51. Epub 2016 Mar 5.

Stable, Nonviral Expression of Mutated Tumor Neoantigen-specific T-cell Receptors Using the Sleeping Beauty Transposon/Transposase System

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Free PMC article

Stable, Nonviral Expression of Mutated Tumor Neoantigen-specific T-cell Receptors Using the Sleeping Beauty Transposon/Transposase System

Drew C Deniger et al. Mol Ther. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Neoantigens unique to each patient's tumor can be recognized by autologous T cells through their T-cell receptor (TCR) but the low frequency and/or terminal differentiation of mutation-specific T cells in tumors can limit their utility as adoptive T-cell therapies. Transfer of TCR genes into younger T cells from peripheral blood with a high proliferative potential could obviate this problem. We generated a rapid, cost-effective strategy to genetically engineer cancer patient T cells with TCRs using the clinical Sleeping Beauty transposon/transposase system. Patient-specific TCRs reactive against HLA-A*0201-restriced neoantigens AHNAK(S2580F) or ERBB2(H473Y) or the HLA-DQB*0601-restricted neoantigen ERBB2IP(E805G) were assembled with murine constant chains and cloned into Sleeping Beauty transposons. Patient peripheral blood lymphocytes were coelectroporated with SB11 transposase and Sleeping Beauty transposon, and transposed T cells were enriched by sorting on murine TCRβ (mTCRβ) expression. Rapid expansion of mTCRβ(+) T cells with irradiated allogeneic peripheral blood lymphocytes feeders, OKT3, interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-15, and IL-21 resulted in a preponderance of effector (CD27(-)CD45RA(-)) and less-differentiated (CD27(+)CD45RA(+)) T cells. Transposed T cells specifically mounted a polyfunctional response against cognate mutated neoantigens and tumor cell lines. Thus, Sleeping Beauty transposition of mutation-specific TCRs can facilitate the use of personalized T-cell therapy targeting unique neoantigens.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Introduction, enrichment, and stable expression of mutation-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) in peripheral blood T cells using Sleeping Beauty transposition. Peripheral blood leukocytes from patients with advanced cancer were coelectroporated with SB11 transposase and pSBSO Sleeping Beauty transposons (derivative of T2 transposon) containing mutation-specific TCRs fused to murine constant α and β chains. The following day, transposed T cells were enriched by capturing mouse TCRβ+ (mTCRβ) T cells with magnetic beads, and mTCRβ+ T cells were stimulated with a rapid expansion protocol (REP) supplemented with interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-15, and IL-21. T cells electroporated without DNA/TCR (mock) were stimulated in parallel for negative control. (a) Evaluation of mTCRβ+ T cells following electroporation with (from left to right): No DNA/TCR (mock), AHNAKmut-TCR, ERBB2mut-TCR or ERBB2IPmut-TCR transposons. Day+1 pre- (top) and post- (middle) mTCRβ-enrichment and 22 days after expansion in REP (bottom) are displayed from 1 of 6 donors tested in two independent experiments. (b) Cumulative mTCRβ expression in AHNAKmut-TCR (circles), ERBB2mut-TCR (squares) and ERBB2IPmut-TCR (triangles) electroporated T cells (gated on live T cells; PInegCD3+) prior to enrichment with mTCRβ, post-mTCRβ enrichment and at the end of the REP (day+22). Each donor has a shape displayed for each TCR where means (n = 6) are displayed as lines. (c) Kinetics of mTCRβ expression during the REP of the three TCR transposon populations described in (b). Data are mean ± standard error of the mean (SEM) (n = 6) pooled from two independent experiments. (d) Kinetics of mTCRβ+ T cell expansion during the REP with the same TCR designations as in (b). mTCRβ+ T-cell counts at each time point were calculated by multiplying total cell counts by mTCRβ+CD3+ frequency. Data are mean ± SEM (n = 6) pooled from two independent experiments.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Surface phenotype of T cells expressing mutation-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs). (a) Kinetics of CD4+mTCRβ+ (open circles) and CD8+mTCRβ+ (closed circles) frequencies during the REP. (b) Frequency of CD4+ (open bars) and CD8+ (closed bars) T cells within the mTCRβ+ gate for each TCR population on day+19. (c) Surface expression of memory markers on T cells (CD3+) on peripheral blood mononuclear cells prior to electroporation (open bars) or CD3+mTCRβ+ T cells at day+1 postelectroporation (closed bars). (d) Surface expression of memory markers on T cells (CD3+) expanded in parallel to TCR transposed T cells from mock (No DNA/TCR) electroporations (open bars) or CD3+mTCRβ+ T cells (closed bars) at day+21 postelectroporation. Student's two-tailed t-test for comparisons between mock and mTCRβ groups for each marker in (c) and (d). **P < 0.01 and ***P < 0.001 (e) Frequency of CD45RA and/or CD27 expression in CD4+mTCRβ+ (top) or CD8+mTCRβ+ (bottom) T cells. Data were mean ± standard error of the mean (n = 6 for (b) and (c) closed bars and n = 18 (six donors with three TCRs) for all other graphs). Data were pooled from two independent experiments.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Specificity of mutation-specific T cells to tumor cells. At day 19 postelectroporation, transposed T cells expressing mutation-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) were cocultured for 24 hours with target cells. Coculture supernatants were analyzed for interferon-γ (IFNγ) secretion by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and cells were evaluated by flow cytometry for 41BB expression as a marker for T-cell activation. TC3713 and TC3466 tumor cell lines endogenously express AHNAKS2580F and ERBB2H473Y, respectively. TC4046 is wild type for both genes. All three tumor cell lines were derived from patients with HLA-A*0201 haplotype. ERBB2IPWT or ERBB2IPE805G peptides were pulsed on HLA-DQB*0601 B cells for assessment of ERBB2IPmut-TCR specificity. (a) 41BB expression (y-axes) in CD8+ T cells (x-axes) of AHNAKmut-TCR (top), ERBB2mut-TCR (middle) and ERBB2IP-TCR (bottom) cocultures with targets listed above. Plots shown were gated on live (PIneg) CD3+mTCRβ+ cells. Relative frequencies are displayed in flow cytometry quadrants. (b) IFNγ secretion following coculture. Media only (no targets; T cells only) and OKT3 served as negative and positive controls, respectively. Data are mean ± standard error of the mean (n = 3 technical replicates) from one representative donor of six tested in two independent experiments.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Avidity of T-cell receptor (TCR)-transposed T cells to tumor-derived mutated peptides. Wild-type (wt) or mutated (mut) peptides were pulsed in decreasing concentrations on either HLA-A*0201 T2 cells (AHNAK and ERBB2) or HLA-DQB*0601 B cells (ERBB2IP). Cocultures of TCR transposed T cells and peptide-pulsed targets were evaluated with interferon-γ (IFNγ) enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT). Limit of enumeration was 1,000 spots. Representative ELISPOT wells are shown to the right. (a) AHNAKmut-TCR, (b) ERBB2mut-TCR, and (c) ERBB2IPmut-TCR cocultures. Representative donor from six tested in two independent experiments is shown. Data are mean ± standard error of the mean (n = 3 technical replicates).
Figure 5
Figure 5
Production of multiple effector molecules by T-cell receptor (TCR)-transposed T cells in response to tumor-derived mutated peptides. Wild-type (wt) or mutated (mut) peptides were pulsed on either HLA-A*0201 T2 cells (AHNAK and ERBB2) or HLA-DQB*0601 B cells (ERBB2IP). TCR transposed T cells were cocultured with peptide-pulsed targets for 15 total hours and GolgiStop and GolgiPlug were added to cocultures after the first 4 hours of coculture to block exocytosis of effector molecules. (a) Representative expression of (from left to right): interleukin-2 (IL-2), CD107a, interferon-γ (IFNγ), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) in CD4+mTCRβ+ (top) and CD8+mTCRβ+ (bottom) T cells. The example shown is from the ERBB2IPmut-TCR. Frequencies are displayed above gates. Open histograms show wild type peptide cocultures and red shaded histograms display mutated peptide cocultures. (b) Cumulative expression of IL-2, CD107a, IFNγ, and TNFα by mTCRβ+ T cells in either CD4+ or CD8+ gates. Data are mean ± standard error of the mean (n = 18; triplicate technical replicates of six donors) pooled from two independent experiments. Student's paired; two-tailed t-tests were used for statistical analysis between wt/mut cultures for CD4 or CD8 gates. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001 (c) Boolean gating was used to determine the number of effector functions expressed by mTCRβ+ T cells in response to peptide coculture. Data are shown following gating on either CD4 or CD8. Data were pooled from two independent experiments for six donors with triplicate technical replicates for each condition.
Figure 6
Figure 6
Specific lysis of tumor cell lines by T-cell receptor (TCR)-transposed T cells. Four-hour nonradioactive lysis assays (lactate dehydrogenase assay) were performed with transposed T cells and established tumor cell lines expressing the corresponding mutated neoantigen. (a) AHNAKmut-TCR-transposed T cells or No DNA/TCR (mock) T-cell cultures were cocultured with TC3713 (HLA-A*0201; AHNAKS2580F) at an effector to target (E:T) ratio of 10:1. (b) ERBB2mut-TCR transposed T cells or No DNA/TCR (mock) T-cell cultures were cocultured with TC3466 (HLA-A*0201; ERBB2H473Y) at an E:T ratio of 10:1. Three donors were evaluated for each TCR as indicated on the x-axes. Student's paired, two-tailed t-tests were used for statistical analysis between autologous TCR transposed T cells and No DNA/TCR T cells. *P < 0.05 and **P < 0.01

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