Volume 4.13 | Apr 5

Human Immunology News 4.13 April 5, 2016
Human Immunology News
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Study Discovers Link between Celiac Disease Risk and a Noncoding RNA
Researchers have identified a segment of RNA that, when suppressed, may contribute to the intestinal inflammation that occurs in people with celiac disease. The findings point to a possible new risk factor for celiac disease. [Press release from Columbia University Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Video | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Personalized Immunomonitoring Uncovers Molecular Networks that Stratify Lupus Patients
To assess its molecular heterogeneity, scientists longitudinally profiled the blood transcriptome of 158 pediatric patients. They detected gradual enrichment of neutrophil transcripts during progression to active nephritis and distinct signatures in response to treatment in different nephritis subclasses. [Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Human Monocytes Engage an Alternative Inflammasome Pathway
In human monocytes, lipopolysaccharide triggered an “alternative inflammasome” that relied on NLRP3-ASC-caspase-1 signaling, yet was devoid of any classical inflammasome characteristics including pyroptosome formation, pyroptosis induction, and K+ efflux dependency [Immunity]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Alloantigen-Specific Regulatory T Cells Generated with a Chimeric Antigen Receptor
The authors describe the creation of an HLA-A2–specific chimeric antigen receptor (A2-CAR) and its application in the generation of alloantigen-specific human regulatory T cells (Tregs). In mouse models, human A2-CAR–expressing Tregs were superior to Tregs expressing an irrelevant CAR at preventing xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease caused by HLA-A2+ T cells. [J Clin Invest] Full Article | Press Release

CD300c Is Uniquely Expressed on CD56bright Natural Killer Cells and Differs from CD300a upon Ligand Recognition
Researchers investigated the expression and function of CD300c on human NK cells. They demonstrated that IL-2 and IL-15 treatment significantly induce CD300c expression exclusively on CD56bright NK cells. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Th17 Responses and Natural IgM Antibodies Are Related to Gut Microbiota Composition in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients
In vitro cultures revealed that microbiota isolated from systemic lupus erythematosus patient stool samples promoted lymphocyte activation and Th17 differentiation from naïve CD4+ lymphocytes to a greater extent than healthy control-microbiota. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Immunostimulatory AdCD40L Gene Therapy Combined with Low-Dose Cyclophosphamide in Metastatic Melanoma Patients
Local AdCD40L immunostimulatory gene therapy was evaluated in patients with malignant melanoma. The patients with the best survival developed the highest levels of activated T cells and experienced a pronounced decrease of intratumoral IL8. [Br J Cancer] Abstract

CCR1 Antagonism Attenuates T Cell Trafficking to Omentum and Liver in Obesity-Associated Cancer
Scientists demonstrated that T cells actively migrate to the secreted factors from the omentum and liver of esophagogastric adenocarcinoma patients and that both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells bearing the chemokine receptor CCR5 are significantly more prevalent in these tissues compared to matched blood. [Immunol Cell Biol] Full Article

Enrichment of the Lung Microbiome with Oral Taxa Is Associated with Lung Inflammation of a Th17 Phenotype
By evaluating both upper airway and acellular bronchoalveolar lavage samples from 49 subjects from three cohorts without known pulmonary disease, scientists observed that pneumotypeSPT was associated with a distinct metabolic profile, enhanced expression of inflammatory cytokines, a pro-inflammatory phenotype characterized by elevated Th-17 lymphocytes and, conversely, a blunted alveolar macrophage TLR4 response. [Nat Microbiol] Abstract

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Modulation of Liver Tolerance by Conventional and Nonconventional Antigen-Presenting Cells and Regulatory Immune Cells
Investigators focus on the communication between classical and nonclassical antigen-presenting cells and lymphocytes in the liver in tolerance induction and discuss recent insights into the role of innate lymphocytes in this process. [Cell Mol Immunol] Full Article

Virus-Specific T-Cell Banks for ‘Off the Shelf’ Adoptive Therapy of Refractory Infections
The authors examine the reported experience with transplant donor and third party donor-derived virus-specific T cells, identifying characteristics of the viral pathogen, the T cells administered and the diseased host that contribute to treatment response or failure. [Bone Marrow Transplant] Abstract

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SELLAS Life Sciences to Present Phase II Clinical Results for WT1 Cancer Vaccine
SELLAS Life Sciences Group announced that results from a Phase II trial of the company’s WT1 cancer vaccine in patients with AML have been selected for an oral presentation. [Press release from SELLAS Life Sciences Group discussing research to be presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

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VUMC and Celgene Corporation Enter into Research Agreement to Accelerate Development of Next-Generation Therapeutics
Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) has entered into a strategic research agreement with Celgene Corporation. This collaboration will leverage BioVU, a DNA database linked to de-identified health information that includes 2.5 million clinical records and 215,000 genetic samples. [Vanderbilt University Medical Center] Press Release

NantBioScience and NantKwest Partner with the National Cancer Institute to Further Develop Recombinant NK Cells and Monoclonal Antibodies as Monotherapies and Combination Cancer Immunotherapies
NantBioScience announced that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute. Under the CRADA, NantBioScience and its affiliates, such as NantKwest, will work together to further develop their proprietary recombinant NK and monoclonal antibodies in monotherapy and in combination immunotherapies. [NantBioScience, Inc. (Business Wire)] Press Release

Embracing Vice President Biden’s Moonshot Call to Cure Cancer, Johns Hopkins Launches Immunotherapy Center with $125 Million Gift from Michael Bloomberg, Sidney Kimmel and Others
A new institute studying immunology with the potential to eventually end all forms of cancer was announced at Johns Hopkins by Vice President Joe Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg and more than a dozen additional supporters of this initiative. [Johns Hopkins] Press Release

American Cancer Society Awards New Research and Training Grants
The American Cancer Society has approved funding for 103 research and training grants totaling nearly $44 million in the first of two grant cycles for 2016. The grants will fund investigators at 74 institutions across the United States; 95 are new grants while eight are renewals of previous grants. [The American Cancer Society] Press Release

UAB Approved for $2.5 Million Research Funding Award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute
Jeffrey Curtis, M.D., professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has been approved for a $2.5 million research award by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute to study the comparative effectiveness and safety of biologic and newer therapies for a number of autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. [University of Alabama at Birmingham] Press Release

SELLAS Life Sciences Group Receives a Favorable Opinion for European Orphan Drug Designations for WT1 Cancer Vaccine (Galinpepimut-S) for the Treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia and for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
SELLAS Life Sciences Group announced that the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency has rendered a favorable opinion as regards Orphan Drug Designation for the Company’s WT1 cancer vaccine (galinpepimut-S) for the treatment of patients with acute myeloid leukemia and patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. [SELLAS Life Sciences Group] Press Release
Scientific Advisers Tapped to Guide Biden’s Cancer Moonshot
The National Cancer Institute named a blue ribbon panel of scientists and other experts to help guide Vice President Joe Biden’s ambitious $1 billion moonshot to cure cancer. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW Summit for Cancer Immunotherapy
June 26-29, 2016
Halifax, Canada

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NEW Postdoctoral Position – Human Immune System-Microbiota Crosstalk (Karolinska Institutet)

Senior Scientist – Immunology and Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Masters Student – Immunology (Trinity College Dublin)

Postdoctoral Position or Research Scientist – Mucosal Immunology (Qu Biologics)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Immunology (Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard)

Postdoctoral Researchers – Tumor Immunology and Cancer Immunotherapy (University of California, Los Angeles)

Tenure-Track Position – Immunology (Massachusetts General Hospital)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Autoimmune, Inflammatory and Demyelinating Diseases (Queen’s University Belfast)

Senior/Principal Scientist – Antibody and Small Molecule Entities in Cellular Systems (UCB Pharma Ltd.)

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