IKZF3 deficiency potentiates chimeric antigen receptor T cells targeting solid tumors

Cancer Lett. 2022 Jan 1;524:121-130. doi: 10.1016/j.canlet.2021.10.016. Epub 2021 Oct 20.


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapy has been successful in treating hematological malignancy, but solid tumors remain refractory. Here, we demonstrated that knocking out transcription factor IKZF3 in HER2-specific CAR T cells targeting breast cancer cells did not affect CAR expression or CAR T cell differentiation, but markedly enhanced killing of the cancer cells in vitro and in a xenograft model, which was associated with increased T cell activation and proliferation. Furthermore, IKZF3 KO had similar effects on the CD133-specific CAR T cells targeting glioblastoma cells. AlphaLISA and RNA-seq analyses indicate that IKZF3 KO increased the expression of genes involved in cytokine signaling, chemotaxis and cytotoxicity. Our results suggest a general strategy for enhancing CAR T efficacy on solid tumors.

Keywords: Breast cancer; CAR T cell therapy; CRISPR; Glioblastoma; IKZF3.