Posts Tagged ‘arthritis’

The Delicate Connection:  IDO (Indolamine 2, 3 dehydrogenase) and Cancer Immunology

Author and Curator: Demet Sag, PhD, CRA, GCP      

Table of Contents:

  1. Abstract
  2. Dual role for IDO
  3. Immune System and IDO
  4. Autoimmune disorders and IDO
  5. Cancer and Ido
  6. Clinical Interventions
  7. Clinical Trials
  8. Future Actions for Molecular Dx and Targeted Therapies:
  9. Conclusion
  10. References

TABLE 1- IDO Clinical Trials

TABLE 2- Kyn induced Genes

TABLE 3 Possible biomarkers and molecular diagnostics targets

TABLE 4: Current Interventions ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Overall purpose is to find a method to manipulate IDO for clinical applications, mainly the focus of this review is is cancer prevention and treatment.  The first study proving the connection between IDO and immune response came from, a very natural event, a protection of pregnancy in human. This led to discover that high IDO expression is a common factor in cancer tumors. Thus, attention promoted investigations on IDO’s role in various disease states, immune disorders, transplantation, inflammation, women health, mood disorders.
Many approaches, vaccines and adjuvants are underway to find new immunotherapies by combining the power of DCs in immune response regulation and specific direction of siRNA.  As a result, with this unique qualities of IDO, DCs and siRNA, we orchestrated a novel intervention for immunomodulation of IDO by inhibiting with small interference RNA, called siRNA-IDO-DCvax.  Proven that our DCvax created a delay and regression of tumor growth without changing the natural structure and characterization of DCs in melanoma and breast cancers in vivo. (** The shRNA IDO- DCvax is developed by Regen BioPhrama, San Diego, CA ,  Thomas Ichim, Ph.D, CSO. and David Koos, CEO)


Double-Edged Sword of IDO: The Good and The Bad for Clinical intervention and Developments

IDO almost has a dual role. There is a positive side of high expression of IDO during pregnancy (29; 28; 114), transplants (115; 116; 117; 118; 119), infectious diseases (96) and but this tolerance is negative during autoimmune-disorders (120; 121; 122), tumors of cancer (123; 124; 117; 121; 125; 126; 127) (127), and mood disorders (46). The increased IDO expression has a double-edged sword in human physiology provides a positive role during protection of fetus and grafts after transplantations but becomes a negative factor during autoimmune disorders, cancer, sepsis and mood disorders.

Prevention of allogeneic fetal rejection is possible by tryptophan metabolism (26) rejecting with lack of IDO but allocating if IDO present (29; 28; 114). These studies lead to find “the natural regulation mechanism” for protecting the transplants from graft versus host disease GVHD (128) and getting rid of tumors.

The plasticity of  mammary and uterus during reproduction may hold some more answers to prevent GVHD and tumors of cancer with good understanding of IDO and tryptophan mechanism (129; 130). After allogeneic bone marrow transplants the risk of solid tumor development increased about 80% among 19,229 patients even with a greater risk among patients under 18 years old (117).  The adaptation of tolerance against host mechanism is connected to the IDO expression (131). During implantation and early pregnancy IDO has a role by making CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) and expressing in DCs and  MQs  (114; 132; 133).

Clonal deletion mechanism prevents mother to react with paternal products since female mice accepted the paternal MHC antigen-expressing tumor graft during pregnancy and rejected three weeks after delivery (134). CTLA-4Ig gene therapy alleviates abortion through regulation of apoptosis and inhibition of spleen lymphocytes (135).  

 Immune System and IDO DCs are the orchestrator of the immune response (56; 57; 58) with list of functions in uptake, processing, and presentation of antigens; activation of effector cells, such as T-cells and NK-cells; and secretion of cytokines and other immune-modulating molecules to direct the immune response. The differential regulation of IDO in distinct DC subsets is widely studied to delineate and correct immune homeostasis during autoimmunity, infection and cancer and the associated immunological outcomes. Genesis of antigen presenting cells (APCs), eventually the immune system, require migration of monocytes (MOs), which is originated in bone marrow. Then, these MOs move from bloodstream to other tissues to become macrophages and DCs (59; 60).

Initiation of immune response requires APCs to link resting helper T-cell with the matching antigen to protect body. DCs are superior to MQs and MOs in their immune action model. When DCs are first described (61) and classified, their role is determined as a highly potent antigen-presenting cell (APC) subset with 100 to 1000-times more effective than macrophages and B-cells in priming T-cells. Both MQs and monocytes phagocytize the pathogen, and their cell structure contains very large nucleus and many internal vesicles. However, there is a nuance between MQ and DCs, since DCs has a wider capacity of stimulation, because MQs activates only memory T cells, yet DCs can activate both naïve and memory T cells.

DCs are potent activators of T cells and they also have well controlled regulatory roles. DC properties determine the regulation regardless of their origin or the subset of the DCs. DCs reacts after identification of the signals or influencers for their inhibitory, stimulatory or regulatory roles, before they express a complex repertoire of positive and negative cytokines, transmembrane proteins and other molecules. Thus, “two signal theory” gains support with a defined rule.  The combination of two signals, their interaction with types of cells and time are critical.

In short, specificity and time are matter for a proper response. When IDO mRNA expression is activated with CTL40 ligand and IFNgamma, IDO results inhibition of T cell production (4).  However, if DCs are inhibited by 1MT, an inhibitor of IDO, the response stop but IgG has no affect (10).  In addition, if the stimulation is started by a tryptophan metabolite, which is downstream of IDO, such as 3-hydroxyantranilic or quinolinic acids, it only inhibits Th1 but not Th2 subset of T cells (62).

Furthermore, inclusion of signal molecules, such as Fas Ligand, cytochrome c, and pathways also differ in the T cell differentiation mechanisms due to combination, time and specificity of two-signals.  The co-culture experiments are great tool to identify specific stimuli in disease specific microenvironment (63; 12; 64) for discovering the mechanism and interactions between molecules in gene regulation, biochemical mechanism and physiological function during cell differentiation.

As a result, the simplest differential cell development from the early development of DCs impact the outcome of the data. For example, collection of MOs from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with IL4 and GM-CSF leads to immature DCs (iDCs). On next step, treatment of iDCs with tumor necrosis factor (TNF) or other plausible cytokines (TGFb1, IFNgamma, IFNalpha,  IFNbeta, IL6 etc.) based on the desired outcome differentiate iDCs  into mature DCs (mDCs). DCs live only up to a week but MOs and generated MQs can live up to a month in the given tissue. B cells inhibit T cell dependent immune responses in tumors (65).

AutoImmune Disorders:

The Circadian Clock Circuitry and the AHR

The balance of IDO expression becomes necessary to prevent overactive immune response self-destruction, so modulation in tryptophan and NDA metabolisms maybe essential.  When splenic IDO-expressing CD11b (+) DCs from tolerized animals applied, they suppressed the development of arthritis, increased the Treg/Th17 cell ratio, and decreased the production of inflammatory cytokines in the spleen (136).

The role of Nicotinamide prevention on type 1 diabetes and ameliorates multiple sclerosis in animal model presented with activities of  NDAs stimulating GPCR109a to produce prostaglandins to induce IDO expression, then these PGEs and PGDs converted to the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin, 15d-PGJ(2) (137; 138; 139).  Thus, these events promotes endogenous signaling mechanisms involving the GPCRs EP2, EP4, and DP1 along with PPARgamma. (137).

Modulating the immune response at non-canonical at canonocal pathway while keeping the non-canonical Nf-KB intact may help to mend immune disorders. As a result, the targeted blocking in canonical at associated kinase IKKβ and leaving non-canonocal Nf-kB pathway intact, DCs tips the balance towards immune supression. Hence, noncanonical NF-κB pathway for regulatory functions in DCs required effective IDO induction, directly or indirectly by endogenous ligand Kyn and negative regulation of proinflammatory cytokine production. As a result, this may help to treat autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, and multiple sclerosis, or allergy or transplant rejection.

While the opposite action needs to be taken during prevention of tumors, that is inhibition of non-canonical pathway.  Inflammation induces not only relaxation of veins and lowering blood pressure but also stimulate coagulopathies that worsen the microenvironment and decrease survival rate of patients after radio or chemotherapies.Cancer Generating tumor vaccines and using adjuvants underway (140).

Clinical correlation and genetic responses also compared in several studies to diagnose and target the system for cancer therapies (127; 141; 131).  The recent surveys on IDO expression and human cancers showed that IDO targeting is a candidate for cancer therapy since IDO expression recruiting Tregs, downregulates MHC class I and creating negative immune microenvironment for protection of development of tumors (125; 27; 142).  Inhibition of IDO expression can make advances in immunotherapy and chemotherapy fields (143; 125; 131; 144).

IDO has a great importance on prevention of cancer development (126). There are many approaches to create the homeostasis of immune response by Immunotherapy.  However, given the complexity of immune regulations, immunomodulation is a better approach to correct and relieve the system from the disease.  Some of the current IDO targeted immunotherapy or immmunomodulations with RNA technology for cancer prevention (145; 146; 147; 148; 149; 150) or applied on human or animals  (75; 151; 12; 115; 152; 9; 125) or chemical, (153; 154) or  radiological (155).  The targeted cell type in immune system generally DCs, monocytes (94)T cells (110; 156)and neutrophils (146; 157). On this paper, we will concentrate on DCvax on cancer treatments.

 T-reg, regulatory T cells; Th, T helper; CTLA-4, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4; TCR, T cell receptor; IDO, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. (refernece:

T-reg, regulatory T cells; Th, T helper; CTLA-4, cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4; TCR, T cell receptor; IDO, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase. (refernece:

IDO and the downstream enzymes in tryptophan pathway produce a series of immunosuppressive tryptophan metabolites that may lead into Tregs proliferation or increase in T cell apoptosis (62; 16; 27; 158), and some can affect NK cell function (159).

The interesting part of the mechanism is even without presence of IDO itself, downstream enzymes of IDO in the kynurenine tryptophan degradation still show immunosuppressive outcome (160; 73) due to not only Kyn but also TGFbeta stimulated long term responses. DC vaccination with IDO plausible (161) due to its power in immune response changes and longevity in the bloodstream for reversing the system for Th17 production (162).

Clinical Interventions are taking advantage of the DC’s central role and combining with enhancing molecules for induction of immunity may overcome tolerogenic DCs in tumors of cancers (163; 164).

The first successful application of DC vaccine used against advanced melanoma after loading DCs with tumor peptides or autologous cell lysate in presence of adjuvants keyhole limpet hematocyanin (KLH) (165).  Previous animal and clinical studies show use of DCs against tumors created success (165; 166; 167) as well as some problems due to heterogeneity of DC populations in one study supporting tumor growth rather than diminishing (168).

DC vaccination applied onto over four thousand clinical trial but none of them used siRNA-IDO DC vaccination method. Clinical trials evaluating DCs loaded ex vivo with purified TAAs as an anticancer immunotherapeutic interventions also did not include IDO (Table from (169). This table presented the data from 30 clinical trials, 3 of which discontinued, evaluating DCs loaded ex vivo with TAAs as an anticancer immunotherapy for 12 types of cancer [(AML(1), Breast cancer (4), glioblastoma (1), glioma (2), hepatocellular carcinoma (1), hematological malignancies (1), melanoma (6), neuroblastoma sarcoma (2), NSCLC (1), ovarian cancer (3), pancreatic cancer (3), prostate cancer (10)] at phase I, II or I/II.

Tipping the balance between Treg and Th17 ratio has a therapeutic advantage for restoring the health that is also shown in ovarian cancer by DC vaccination with adjuvants (161).  This rebalancing of the immune system towards immunogenicity may restore Treg/Th17 ratio (162; 170) but it is complicated. The stimulation of IL10 and IL12 induce Treg produce less Th17 and inhibiting CTL activation and its function (76; 171; 172) while animals treated with anti-TGFb before vaccination increase the plasma levels of IL-15 for tumor specific T cell survival in vivo (173; 174) ovarian cancer studies after human papilloma virus infection present an increase of IL12 (175).

Opposing signal mechanism downregulates the TGFb to activate CTL and Th1 population with IL12 and IL15 expression (162; 173).  The effects of IL17 on antitumor properties observed by unique subset of CD4+ T cells (176) called also CD8+ T cells secrete even more IL17 (177).

Using cytokines as adjuvants during vaccination may improve the efficacy of vaccination since cancer vaccines unlike infections vaccines applied after the infection or disease started against the established adoptive immune response.  Adjuvants are used to improve the responses of the given therapies commonly in immunotherapy applications as a combination therapy (178).

Enhancing cancer vaccine efficacy via modulation of the microenvironment is a plausible solution if only know who are the players.  Several molecules can be used to initiate and lengthen the activity of intervention to stimulate IDO expression without compromising the mechanism (179).  The system is complicated so generally induction is completed ex-vivo stimulation of DCs in cell lysates, whole tumor lysates, to create the microenvironment and natural stimulatory agents. Introduction of molecules as an adjuvants on genetic regulation on modulation of DCs are critical, because order and time of the signals, specific location/ tissue, and heterogeneity of personal needs (174; 138; 180). These studies demonstrated that IL15 with low TGFb stimulates CTL and Th1, whereas elevated TGFb with IL10 increases Th17 and Tregs in cancer microenvironments.

IDO and signaling gene regulation

For example Ret-peptide antitumor vaccine contains an extracellular fragment of Ret protein and Th1 polarized immunoregulator CpG oligonucleotide (1826), with 1MT, a potent inhibitor of IDO, brought a powerful as well as specific cellular and humoral immune responses in mice (152).

The main idea of choosing Ret to produce vaccine in ret related carcinomas fall in two criterion, first choosing patients self-antigens for cancer therapy with a non-mutated gene, second, there is no evidence of genetic mutations in Ret amino acids 64-269. Demonstration of proliferating hemangiomas, benign endothelial tumors and often referred as hemangiomas of infancy appearing at head or neck, express IDO and slowly regressed as a result of immune mediated process.

After large scale of genomic analysis show insulin like growth factor 2 as the key regulator of hematoma growth (Ritter et al. 2003). We set out to develop new technology with our previous expertise in immunotherapy and immunomodulation (181; 182; 183; 184), correcting Th17/Th1 ratio (185), and siRNA technology (186; 187).  We developed siRNA-IDO-DCvax. Patented two technologies “Immunomodulation using Altered DCs (Patent No: US2006/0165665 A1) and Method of Cancer Treatments using siRNA Silencing (Patent No: US2009/0220582 A1).

In melanoma cancer DCs were preconditioned with whole tumor lysate but in breast cancer model pretreatment completed with tumor cell lysate before siRNA-IDO-DCvax applied. Both of these studies was a success without modifying the autanticity of DCs but decreasing the IDO expression to restore immunegenity by delaying tumor growth in breast cancer (147) and in melanoma (188).  Thus, our DCvax specifically interfere with Ido without disturbing natural structure and content of the DCs in vivo showed that it is possible to carry on this technology to clinical applications.

Furthermore, our method of intervention is more sophisticated since it has a direct interaction mechanism with ex-vivo DC modulation without creating long term metabolism imbalance in Trp/Kyn metabolite mechanisms since the action is corrective and non-invasive.

There were several reasons.

First, prevention of tumor development studies targeting non-enzymatic pathway initiated by pDCs conditioned with TGFbeta is specific to IDO1 (189).

Second, IDO upregulation in antigen presenting cells allowing metastasis show that most human tumors express IDO at high levels (123; 124).

Third, tolerogenic DCs secretes several molecules some of them are transforming growth factor beta (TGFb), interleukin IL10), human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G), and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), and non-secreted program cell death ligand 1 (PD-1 L) and IDO, indolamine 2.3-dioxygenase, which promote tumor tolerance. Thus, we took advantage of DCs properties and Ido specificity to prevent the tolerogenicity with siRNA-IDO DC vaccine in both melanoma and breast cancer.

Fourth, IDO expression in DCs make them even more potent against tumor antigens and create more T cells against tumors. IDOs are expressed at different levels by both in broad range of tumor cells and many subtypes of DCs including monocyte-derived DCs (10), plasmacytoid DCs (142), CD8a+ DCs (190), IDO compotent DCs (17), IFNgamma-activated DCs used in DC vaccination.  These DCs suppress immune responses through several mechanisms for induction of apoptosis towards activated T cells (156) to mediate antigen-specific T cell anergy in vivo (142) and for enhancement of Treg cells production at sites of vaccination with IDO-positive DCs+ in human patients (142; 191; 192; 168; 193; 194). If DCs are preconditioned with tumor lysate with 1MT vaccination they increase DCvax effectiveness unlike DCs originated from “normal”, healthy lysate with 1MT in pancreatic cancer (195).  As a result, we concluded that the immunesupressive effect of IDO can be reversed by siRNA because Treg cells enhances DC vaccine-mediated anti-tumor-immunity in cancer patients.

Gene silencing is a promising technology regardless of advantages simplicity for finding gene interaction mechanisms in vitro and disadvantages of the technology is utilizing the system with specificity in vivo (186; 196).  siRNA technology is one of the newest solution for the treatment of diseases as human genomics is only producing about 25,000 genes by representing 1% of its genome. Thus, utilizing the RNA open the doors for more comprehensive and less invasive effects on interventions. Thus this technology is still improving and using adjuvants. Silencing of K-Ras inhibit the growth of tumors in human pancreatic cancers (197), silencing of beta-catenin in colon cancers causes tumor regression in mouse models (198), silencing of vascular endothelial growth factor (VGEF) decreased angiogenesis and inhibit tumor growth (199).

Combining siRNA IDO and DCvax from adult stem cell is a novel technology for regression of tumors in melanoma and breast cancers in vivo. Our data showed that IDO-siRNA reduced tumor derived T cell apoptosis and tumor derived inhibition of T cell proliferation.  In addition, silencing IDO made DCs more potent against tumors since treated or pretreated animals showed a delay or decreased the tumor growth (188; 147)


Clinical Trials:

First FDA approved DC-based cancer therapies for treatment of hormone-refractory prostate cancer as autologous cellular immunotherapy (163; 164).  However, there are many probabilities to iron out for a predictive outcome in patients.

Table 2 demonstrates the current summary of clinical trials report.  This table shows 38 total studies specifically Ido related function on cancer (16), eye (3), surgery (2), women health (4), obesity (1), Cardiovascular (2), brain (1), kidney (1), bladder (1), sepsis shock (1), transplant (1),  nervous system and behavioral studies (4), HIV (1) (Table 4).  Among these only 22 of which active, recruiting or not yet started to recruit, and 17 completed and one terminated.

Most of these studies concentrated on cancer by the industry, Teva GTC ( Phase I traumatic brain injury) Astra Zeneca (Phase IV on efficacy of CRESTOR 5mg for cardiovascular health concern), Incyte corporation (Phase II ovarian cancer) NewLink Genetics Corporation Phase I breast/lung/melanoma/pancreatic solid tumors that is terminated; Phase II malignant melanoma recruiting, Phase II active, not recruiting metastatic breast cancer, Phase I/II metastatic melanoma, Phase I advanced malignancies) , HIV (Phase IV enrolling by invitation supported by Salix Corp-UC, San Francisco and HIV/AIDS Research Programs).

Many studies based on chemotherapy but there are few that use biological methods completed study with  IDO vaccine peptide vaccination for Stage III-IV non-small-cell lung cancer patients (NCT01219348), observational study on effect of biological therapy on biomarkers in patients with untreated hepatitis C, metastasis melanoma, or Crohn disease by IFNalpha and chemical (ribavirin, ticilimumab (NCT00897312), polymorphisms of patients after 1MT drug application in treating patients with metastatic or unmovable refractory solid tumors by surgery (NCT00758537), IDO expression analysis on MSCs (NCT01668576), and not yet recruiting intervention with adenovirus-p53 transduced dendric cell vaccine , 1MT , radiation, Carbon C 11 aplha-methyltryptophan- (NCT01302821).

Among the registered clinical trials some of them are not interventional but  observational and evaluation studies on Trp/Kyn ratio (NCT01042847), Kyn/Trp ratio (NCT01219348), Kyn levels (NCT00897312, NCT00573300),  RT-PCR analysis for Kyn metabolism (NCT00573300, NCT00684736, NCT00758537), and intrinsic IDO expression of mesenchymal stem cells in lung transplant with percent inhibition of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell proliferation toward donor cells (NCT01668576), determining polymorphisms (NCT00426894). These clinical trials/studies are immensely valuable to understand the mechanism and route of intervention development with the data collected from human populations   

Future Actions for Molecular Dx and Targeted Therapies:

Viable tumor environment. Tumor survival is dependent upon an exquisite interplay between the critical functions of stromal development and angiogenesis, local immune suppression and tumor tolerance, and paradoxical inflammation. TEMs: TIE-2 expressing monocytes; “M2” TAMs: tolerogenic tumor-associated macrophages; MDSCs: myeloid-derived suppressor cells; pDCs: plasmacytoid dendritic cells; co-stim.: co-stimulation; IDO: indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; VEGF: vascular endothelial growth factor; EGF: epidermal growth factor; MMP: matrix metaloprotease; IL: interleukin; TGF-β: transforming growth factor-beta; TLRs: toll-like receptors.  (reference:

Viable tumor environment. Tumor survival is dependent upon an exquisite interplay between the critical functions of stromal development and angiogenesis, local immune suppression and tumor tolerance, and paradoxical inflammation. TEMs: TIE-2 expressing monocytes; “M2” TAMs: tolerogenic tumor-associated macrophages; MDSCs: myeloid-derived suppressor cells; pDCs: plasmacytoid dendritic cells; co-stim.: co-stimulation; IDO: indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase; VEGF: vascular endothelial growth factor; EGF: epidermal growth factor; MMP: matrix metaloprotease; IL: interleukin; TGF-β: transforming growth factor-beta; TLRs: toll-like receptors. (reference:

Current survival or response rate is around 40 to 50 % range.  By using specific cell type, selected inhibition/activation sequence based on patient’s genomic profile may improve the efficacy of clinical interventions on cancer treatments. Targeted therapies for specific gene regulation through signal transduction is necessary but there are few studies with genomics based approach.

On the other hand, there are surveys, observational or evaluations (listed in clinical trials section) registered with that will provide a valuable short-list of molecules.  Preventing stimulation of Ido1 as well as Tgfb-1gene expression by modulating receptor mediated phosphorylation between TGFb/SMAD either at Mad-Homology 1 (MH1) or Mad-Homology 1 (MH2) domains maybe possible (79; 82; 80). Within Smads are the conserved Mad-Homology 1 (MH1) domain, which is a DNA binding module contains tightly bound Zinc atom.

Smad MH2 domain is well conserved and one the most diverse protein-signal interacting molecule during signal transduction due to two important Serine residues located extreme distal C-termini at Ser-Val-Ser in Smad 2 or at pSer-X-PSer in RSmads (80). Kyn activated orphan G protein–coupled receptor, GPR35 with unknown function with a distinct expression pattern that collides with IDO sites since its expression at high levels of the immune system and the gut (63) (200; 63).  

The first study to connect IDO with cancer shows that group (75).  The directly targeting to regulate IDO expression is another method through modulating ISREs in its promoter with RNA-peptide combination technology. Indirectly, IDO can be regulated through Bin1 gene expression control over IDO since Bin1 is a negative regulator of IDO and prevents IDO expression.  IDO is under negative genetic control of Bin1, BAR adapter–encoding gene Bin1 (also known as Amphiphysin2). Bin1 functions in cancer suppression since attenuation of Bin1 observed in many human malignancies (141; 201; 202; 203; 204; 205; 206) .  Null Bin-/- mice showed that when there is lack of Bin1, upregulation of IDO through STAT1- and NF-kB-dependent expression of IDO makes tumor cells to escape from T cell–dependent antitumor immunity.

This pathway lies in non-enzymatic signal transducer function of IDO after stimulation of DCs by TGFb1.  The detail study on Bin1 gene by alternative spicing also provided that Bin1 is a tumor suppressor.  Its activities also depends on these spliced outcome, such as  Exon 10, in muscle, in turn Exon 13 in mice has importance in role for regulating growth when Bin1 is deleted or mutated C2C12 myoblasts interrupted due to its missing Myc, cyclinD1, or growth factor inhibiting genes like p21WAF1 (207; 208).

On the other hand alternative spliced Exon12A contributing brain cell differentiation (209; 210). Myc as a target at the junction between IDO gene interaction and Trp metabolism.  Bin1 interacts with Myc either early-dependent on Myc or late-independent on Myc, when Myc is not present. This gene regulation also interfered by the long term signaling mechanism related to Kynurenine (Kyn) acting as an endogenous ligand to AHR in Trp metabolite and TGFb1 and/or IFNalpha and IFNbeta up regulation of DCs to induce IDO in noncanonical pathway for NF-kB and myc gene activations (73; 74).  Hence, Trp/Kyn, Kyn/Trp, Th1/Th17 ratios are important to be observed in patients peripheral blood. These direct and indirect gene interactions place Bin1 to function in cell differentiation (211; 212; 205).

Regulatory T-cel generation via reverse and non-canonical signaliing to pDCs

Table 3 contains the microarray analysis for Kyn affect showed that there are 25 genes affected by Kyn, two of which are upregulated and 23 of them downregulated (100). This list of genes and additional knowledge based on studies creating the diagnostics panel with these genes as a biomarker may help to analyze the outcomes of given interventions and therapies. Some of these molecules are great candidate to seek as an adjuvant or co-stimulation agents.  These are myc, NfKB at IKKA, C2CD2, CREB3L2, GPR115, IL2, IL8, IL6, and IL1B, mir-376 RNA, NFKB3, TGFb, RelA, and SH3RF1. In addition, Lip, Fox3P, CTLA-4, Bin1, and IMPACT should be monitored.

In addition, Table 4 presents the other possible mechanisms. The highlights of possible target/biomarkers are specific TLRs, conserved sequences of IDO across its homologous structures, CCR6, CCR5, RORgammat, ISREs of IDO, Jak, STAT, IRFs, MH1 and MH2 domains of Smads. Endothelial cell coagulation activation mechanism and pDC maturation or immigration from lymph nodes to bloodstream should marry to control not only IDO expression but also genesis of preferred DC subsets. Stromal mesenchymal cells are also activated by these modulation at vascular system and interferes with metastasis of cancer. First, thrombin (human factor II) is a well regulated protein in coagulation hemostasis has a role in cell differentiation and angiogenesis.

Protein kinase activated receptors (PARs), type of GPCRs, moderate the actions. Second, during hematopoietic response endothelial cells produce hematopoietic growth factors (213; 214). Third, components of bone marrow stroma cells include monocytes, adipocytes, and mesenchymal stem cells (215). As a result, addressing this issue will prevent occurrence of coagulapathologies, namely DIC, bleeding, thrombosis, so that patients may also improve response rate towards therapies. Personal genomic profiles are powerful tool to improve efficacy in immunotherapies since there is an influence of age (young vs. adult), state of immune system (innate vs. adopted or acquired immunity). Table 5 includes some of the current studies directly with IDO and indirectly effecting its mechanisms via gene therapy, DNA vaccine, gene silencing and adjuvant applications as an intervention method to prevent various cancer types.


IDO has a confined function in immune system through complex interactions to maintain hemostasis of immune responses. The genesis of IDO stem from duplication of bacterial IDO-like genes.  Inhibition of microbial infection and invasion by depleting tryptophan limits and kills the invader but during starvation of trp the host may pass the twilight zone since trp required by host’s T cells.  Thus, the host cells in these small pockets adopt to new microenvironment with depleted trp and oxygen poor conditions. Hence, the cell metabolism differentiate to generate new cellular structure like nodules and tumors under the protection of constitutively expressed IDO in tumors, DCs and inhibited T cell proliferation.

On the other hand, having a dichotomy in IDO function can be a potential limiting factor that means is that IDOs impact on biological system could be variable based on several issues such as target cells, IDO’s capacity, pathologic state of the disease and conditions of the microenvironment. Thus, close monitoring is necessary to analyze the outcome to prevent conspiracies since previous studies generated paradoxical results.

Current therapies through chemotherapies, radiotherapies are costly and effectiveness shown that the clinical interventions require immunotherapies as well as coagulation and vascular biology manipulations for a higher efficacy and survival rate in cancer patients. Our siRNA and DC technologies based on stem cell modulation will provide at least prevention of cancer development and hopefully prevention in cancer.

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Risk

Reporter: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

Liu Y, Aryee MJ, Padyukov L, et al.
Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Jan 20;31(2):142-7. Epub 2013 Jan 20.
The concordance rate for identical twins is only 12%-15%, which tells us that
  • other influences are even more important.
  • the “dark matter” of disease risk might be found in epigenetics,
  • defined as heritable changes in the genome without changes in DNA sequences.

Epigenome-wide association data implicate DNA methylation.

Genetics of Rheumatic Disease – Medscape: Medical News, Full …Common variants at CD40 and other loci confer risk of rheumatoid arthritis. …
EF, Lee AT, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L, Coblyn J, et al.: … MM, Klei L, Daly MJ …  
High impact publications – Ongoing research – Karolinska …
Epigenome-wide association data implicate DNA methylation as an intermediary of genetic risk in rheumatoid arthritis
Liu Y, Aryee MJ, Padyukov L, Fallin MD …
Arthritis Research & Therapy
… Seldin MF, Remmers EF, Lee AT, Padyukov L, Alfredsson L, Coblyn J, et al.: … other loci confer risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Nat …
Liu Y, Helms C , Liao W, Zaba LC …
CHEST Journal
TRAF1-C5 as a risk locus for rheumatoid arthritis—a genomewide ... Liu G; et al . Whole-genome …
Padyukov L; et al. MHC2TA is associated with http://www.
Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:R116 Published: 16 June 2010
The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:
JE Hollis-Moffatt, M Chen-Xu, R Topless, N Dalbeth, … and TR Merriman

Only one independent genetic association with rheumatoid arthritis within the KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 locus in Caucasian sample sets:

Genetic associations implicate aberrant activation and regulation of autoreactive T-cells as central to RA. In addition to the established human leukocyte antigen locus DRB1, other genes more recently confirmed (either through wide replication or combined analysis at a genome-wide level of significance, P ≤ 10-8) as playing a role in the development of RA are the protein

Aside from HLA-DRB1 and PTPN22, the effects are weak (odds ratio (OR) < 1.3). Most of these loci are also implicated as risk factors in other autoimmune phenotypes [12].
There is extensive linkage disequilibrium across the region,

  • hampering fine-mapping efforts [13],
  • there are two independent autoimmune associated regions within the KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 gene cluster.
We aimed to consolidate all available data on two SNPs independently associated with autoimmunity within the KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 gene cluster:
  • rs6822844 (minor allele protective) and rs17388568 (minor allele susceptible),
each into a single meta-analysis of association with RA that included previously published data, new genotype data from Australasia, and
publicly-available data from the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC).
 The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs6822844 within the KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 gene cluster
  • has been associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Other variants within this cluster, including

  • rs17388568 that is not in linkage disequilibrium (LD) with rs6822844, and
  • rs907715 that is in moderate LD with rs6822844 and rs17388568, have been associated with a number of autoimmune phenotypes,
    • including type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Here we aimed to:

  1. confirm at a genome-wide level of significance association of rs6822844 with RA
  2. evaluate whether or not there were effects independent of rs6822844 on RA at the KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 locus.

confirmation of association of rs6822844 with rheumatoid arthritis at a genome-wide level of significance

A total of 842 Australasian RA patients and 1,115 controls of European Caucasian ancestry were

  • genotyped for rs6822844, rs17388568 and rs907715.

Meta-analysis of these data with published and publicly-available data was conducted using STATA.
Imputed RA and control genotypes were obtained for

  • rs6822844, rs17388568 and rs907715 from 100% of the WTCCC dataset (1,856 cases, 2,933 controls) using the publicly available WTCCC data
    • using the program IMPUTE [25] and HapMap (NCBI Build 36 (db126b)) CEU data as reference haplotype set.

Of the Australasian case sample set, 99.1% of subjects for rs6822844, 99.1% of subjects for rs17388568 and 98.9% of subjects for rs9077015 were successfully genotyped and, for the 505 member control sample set, 97.4% of subjects for rs6822844, 99.4% of subjects for rs17388568 and 99.4% of subjects for rs9077015 were successfully genotyped. The remaining New Zealand control genotypes (n = 610) were obtained from the genome-wide data, with 100% successfully genotyped for rs17388568 and 99.6% imputed for rs6822844 and rs907715.
Testing for departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, for the significance of any difference in minor allele frequencies between patients and controls, calculating odds ratios and conditional association testing was done using the PLINK software package. Logistic regression analysis was applied to the Australasian case-control sample set to stratify data according to gender, RF, CCP and SE status using the STATA 8.0 data analysis and statistics software package (StataCorp, College Station, Texas, USA). Meta-analysis was done using the STATA 8.0 metan software package and cumulative P- values reported. The Mantel-Haenszel test was used to estimate the average conditional common odds ratio between these two independent cohorts and to test for heterogeneity between the groups. P- values from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) study, which could not be combined using meta-analysis owing to unavailability of allele counts, were combined using Fisher’s method.

No statistically significant evidence for association was observed in the Australasian sample set for rs6822844 (odds ratio (OR) = 0.95 (0.80 to 1.12), P = 0.54), or rs17388568 (OR = 1.03 (0.90 to 1.19), P = 0.65) or rs907715 (OR = 0.98 (0.86 to 1.12), P = 0.69). When combined in a meta-analysis using data from a total of 9,772 cases and 10,909 controls

  • there was a genome-wide level of significance supporting association of rs6822844 with RA (OR = 0.86 (0.82 to 0.91), P = 8.8 × 10-8, P = 2.1 × 10-8 including NARAC data).

Meta-analysis of rs17388568, using a total of 6,585 cases and 7,528 controls, revealed

  • no significant association with RA (OR = 1.03, (0.98 to 1.09); P = 0.22) and
  • meta-analysis of rs907715 using a total of 2,689 cases and 4,045 controls revealed a
  • trend towards association (OR = 0.93 (0.87 to 1.00), P = 0.07).
    • this trend wasnot independent of the association at   rs6822844.

Zhernakova et al. [21] and Coenen et al. [28] both reported association of the KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 region with RA in overlapping Dutch case-control cohorts. We used data from the former study, as it was the only one to type rs6822844. The meta-analysis provided very strong (genome-wide) support

  • for rs6822844 playing a role in the development of RA (OR = 0.86 (0.82 to 0.91), P = 8.8 × 10-8).

The NARAC GWAS data (OR rs6822844 = 0.84 (0.74-0.96), P = 0.011) [7] were combined with the meta-analysis result, yielding P = 2.1 × 10-8.

The KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 gene cluster, that encodes aninterleukin (IL-21)that plays an important role in Th17 cell biology, is the

  • 20th locus for which there is a genome-wide (P ≤ 5 ×10-8) level of support for association with RA.

As for most other autoimmune diseases, with the notable exception of T1D, rs6822844 is the dominant association in the locus. The KIAA1109-TENR-IL2-IL21 locus also

    • confers susceptibility to other autoimmune phenotypes with a heterogeneous pattern of association.


Genetic “Tags” Linked with RA Risk
Chemical “tags” that attach to DNA and regulate the activity of genes

  • appear to play a role in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
    1. These results were published in Nature Biotechnology.
Genes play an important role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and many other common chronic diseases, but often do not tell the entire story. Factors that regulate the activity of genes are also thought to be important.

    • These factors include chemical tags that bind to DNA.
If the tagging of certain genes is found to contribute to a disease, it could point to news ways to treat the disease. One of the challenges in studying these tags, however, is

  • determining the sequence of events;
  • some tags may occur prior to disease and influence disease development,
  • while other tags may occur as a result of the disease.
To explore genes and their chemical tags in relation to RA,

  • researchers conducted a study among a group of people with RA and a comparison group of people without RA.
  • The researchers were able to identify DNA sites that were tagged differently in people with RA and that appeared to affect the risk of RA.
  • Most of these sites were in an area of the genome that has been linked with autoimmune disease.
In a prepared statement, the senior author of the study summarized the importance of these findings for patients: “Since RA is a disease in which the body’s immune system turns on itself,

    • current treatments often involve suppressing the entire immune system, which can have serious side effects.

The results of this study may allow clinicians to instead directly target the culpable genes and/or their tags.”

Reference: Liu Y, Aryee MJ, Padyukov L et al. Epigenome-wide association data implicate DNA methylation as an intermediary of genetic risk in rheumatoid arthritis. Nature Biotechnology. Early online publication January 20, 2013;
New Risk Gene for Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus Opens Door to More Effective Treatments
gene variant on STAT4 on chromosome 2
Study identifies genetic risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis, lupus Sept 6, 2007
A genetic variation has been identified that increases the risk of two chronic, autoimmune inflammatory diseases: rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus).
These research findings result from a long-time collaboration between the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases and other organizations.
These results appear in the Sept. 6 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
“Although both diseases are believed to have a strong genetic component, identifying the relevant genes has been extremely difficult,” says study coauthor Elaine Remmers, Ph.D.  Dr. Remmers and her colleagues
  • tested variants within 13 candidate genes located in a region of chromosome 2,
  • which they had previously linked with RA,
  • for association with disease in large collections of RA and lupus patients and controls.

Among the variants were several disease-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) —

  • small differences in DNA sequence that represent the most common genetic variations between individuals —
  • in a large segment of the STAT4 gene.

The STAT4 gene encodes a protein that plays an important role in the regulation and activation of certain cells of the immune system.

“It may be too early to predict the impact of identifying the STAT4 gene as a susceptibility locus for rheumatoid arthritis — whether the presence of the variant and others will serve as

  • a predictor of disease,
  • disease outcome or
  • response to therapy,”
says coauthor and NARAC principal investigator Peter K. Gregersen, M.D., of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research,  in Manhasset, N.Y.

  • “It also remains to be found whether the STAT4 pathway plays such a crucial role in RA and lupus that
  • new therapies targeting this pathway would be effective in these and perhaps other autoimmune diseases.”

One variant form of the gene was present at a significantly higher frequency in RA patient samples from the North American Rheumatoid Arthritis Consortium (NARAC) as compared with controls.
The scientists replicated that result in two independent collections of RA cases and controls. The researchers also found that the same variant of the STAT4 gene was

  • even more strongly linked with lupus in three independent collections of patients and controls.

Frequency data on the genetic profiles of the patients and controls suggest that individuals who carry two copies of the disease-risk variant form of the STAT4 gene have a 60 percent increased risk for RA and more than double the risk for lupus compared with people who carry no copies of the variant form. The research also suggests

  • a shared disease pathway for RA and lupus.

“For this complex disease, rheumatoid arthritis, this is the first instance of a genetic linkage study

  1. leading to a chromosomal location, which then,
  2. in a genetic association study, identified a disease susceptibility gene,” says Dr. Gregersen.

The study’s success, according to NIAMS Director Stephen I. Katz, M.D., Ph.D., can be attributed in part to the uncommon and longstanding collaboration between NIAMS intramural researchers and other scientists the Institute supports around the country. “This work required the collection and genotyping of thousands of RA and lupus cases and controls, a task that would have been difficult to accomplish without the strong partnerships we forged,” he says. NARAC was established 10 years ago by Dr. Gregersen, NIAMS Clinical Director and Genetics and Genomics Branch Chief Daniel Kastner, M.D., Ph.D., and investigators at several academic health centers to facilitate the collection and analysis of RA genetic samples. Adds Dr. Remmers,

“Although we do not yet know precisely how the disease-associated variant of the STAT4 gene increases the risk for developing RA or lupus,
  • it is very exciting to know that this gene plays a fundamental role in these important autoimmune diseases.
” Source: National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases
English: A hand affected by rheumatoid arthritis

English: A hand affected by rheumatoid arthritis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rheumatoid arthritis (1)

Rheumatoid arthritis (1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Typisches Röntgenbild einer Rheumatoiden Arthr...

Typisches Röntgenbild einer Rheumatoiden Arthritis. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Related articles

1. Monoclonal IgG antibodies generated from joint-derived B cells of RA patients have a strong bias toward citrullinated autoantigen recognition.
Amara K, Steen J, Murray F, Morbach H, Fernandez-Rodriguez BM, Joshua V, Engström M, Snir O, Israelsson L, Catrina AI, Wardemann H, Corti D, Meffre E, Klareskog L, Malmström V.
J Exp Med. 2013 Feb 25. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 23440041 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

2. Ambient air pollution exposures and risk of rheumatoid arthritis in the Nurses’ Health Study.
Hart JE, Källberg H, Laden F, Costenbader KH, Yanosky JD, Klareskog L, Alfredsson L, Karlson EW.
Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2013 Feb 11.   http://dx. [Epub ahead of print]     PMID: 23401426 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

3. Epigenome-wide association data implicate DNA methylation as an intermediary of genetic risk in rheumatoid arthritis.
Liu Y, Aryee MJ, Padyukov L, Fallin MD, Hesselberg E, Runarsson A, Reinius L, Acevedo N, Taub M, Ronninger M, Shchetynsky K, Scheynius A, Kere J, Alfredsson L, Klareskog L, Ekström TJ, Feinberg AP.
Nat Biotechnol. 2013 Jan 20;31(2):142-7.   Epub 2013 Jan 20.   PMID: 23334450 [PubMed – in process]

4. Multiplex analyses of antibodies against citrullinated peptides in individuals prior to development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Brink M, Hansson M, Mathsson L, Jakobsson PJ, Holmdahl R, Hallmans G, Stenlund H, Rönnelid J, Klareskog L, Dahlqvist SR.
Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Jan 10.    http://dx. [Epub ahead of print]    PMID: 23310951 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

5. Rare, low-frequency, and common variants in the protein-coding sequence of biological candidate genes from GWASs contribute to risk of rheumatoid arthritis.
Diogo D, Kurreeman F, Stahl EA, Liao KP, Gupta N, Greenberg JD, Rivas MA, …Alfredsson L; CRRNA; RACI, Sunyaev S, Martin J,…, Klareskog L, Padyukov L, Raychaudhuri S, Plenge RM.
Am J Hum Genet. 2013 Jan 10;92(1):15-27.    Epub 2012 Dec 20.  PMID: 23261300 [PubMed – in process]

6. Genetic variation in the serotonin receptor gene affects immune responses in rheumatoid arthritis.
Snir O, Hesselberg E, Amoudruz P, Klareskog L, … Padyukov L, Malmström V, Seddighzadeh M.
Genes Immun. 2012 Dec 20.    http://dx.doiorg/10.1038/gene.2012.56. [Epub ahead of print]  PMID: 23254357 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

7. Polymorphisms in peptidylarginine deiminase associate with rheumatoid arthritis in diverse Asian populations: evidence from MyEIRA study and meta-analysis.
Too CL, Murad S, …, Alfredsson L, Klareskog L, Padyukov L.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2012 Nov 19;14(6):R250. [Epub ahead of print]   PMID: 23164236

8. High-density genetic mapping identifies new susceptibility loci for rheumatoid arthritis.
Eyre S, Bowes J, Diogo D, Lee A, Barton A, Martin P,…; BRAGGSS; Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium, … Klareskog L, Gregersen PK, Worthington J.
Nat Genet. 2012 Dec;44(12):1336-40. Epub 2012 Nov 11.  PMID: 23143596 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

9. The Swedish twin registry: establishment of a biobank and other recent developments.
Magnusson PK, Almqvist C, Rahman I, Ganna A, …Ingelsson E, Klareskog L, de Faire U, Pedersen NL, Lichtenstein P.
Twin Res Hum Genet. 2013 Feb;16(1):317-29. Epub 2012 Nov 9.         PMID: 23137839 [PubMed – in process]

10. Validation of a multiplex chip-based assay for the detection of autoantibodies against citrullinated peptides.
Hansson M, Mathsson L, Schlederer T, …, Klareskog L, Rönnelid J.
Arthritis Res Ther. 2012 Oct 1;14(5):R201. [Epub ahead of print]    PMID: 23025688 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher] Free PMC Article


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Approach to Controlling Pathogenic Inflammation in Arthritis

Curator: Larry H Bernstein, MD, FCAP

A network approach to controlling pathogenic inflammation: Sequence sharing pattern peptides downregulate experimental arthritis

a new approach to network regulation of inflammation based on

Chai Ezerzer, Raanan Margalit and Irun R. Cohen

Aberrant inflammation probably results from aberrant regulation of the molecules that mediate inflammation; the actual molecules mediating inflammation –

  • chemokines,
  • cytokines, and
  • growth factors and their receptors –
    • would appear to be normal in their chemical structure.

If faulty regulation is indeed the problem,

  • a reasonable approach to alleviating inflammatory diseases might be to influence the interactions
  • within the network of connectivity of the disease-associated proteins (DAPs).
Aberrant inflammation appears to be a pathogenic factor in autoimmune diseases and other noxious inflammatory
conditions in which the inflammatory process
  1. is misapplied,
  2. exaggerated,
  3. recurrent or chronic.
The protein molecules involved in pathogenic inflammation—
disease-associated proteins (DAP )
  1. chemokines,
  2. cytokines, and
  3. growth factors and their receptors,
  • appear normal; their networks of interaction are at fault.

These researchers asked the question – 

  • whether shared amino acid sequence motifs among DAPs
  • might identify novel peptide treatments for regulating inflammation.

We aligned the sequences of 37 DAPs previously discovered to be associated with arthritis

  • to uncover shared sequence motifs.

We focused on chemokine receptor molecules because

  • chemokines and chemokine receptors play important roles in directing the migration of inflammatory cells into sites of tissue inflammation.
  •  different chemokine receptors shared amino acid sequence motifs in their extra-cellular loop domains (ECL2);
  • the ECL2 loop is outside of the known ligand binding site.

These shared sequence motifs established what we term a sequence-sharing network (SSN). SSN motifs exhibited very low E-values,

  • indicating their preservation during evolution.
This study demonstrates a new
  • approach to network regulation of inflammation based on peptide sequence motifs
  • shared by the second extra-cellular loop (EC L2) of different chemokine receptors;
  • previously known chemokine receptor binding sites have not involved the EC L2 loop.
These motifs of 9 amino acids, which were detected by sequence alignment, manifest very low E-values
  • compared with slightly modified sequence variations,
  • indicating that they were not likely to have evolved by chance.
To test whether this shared sequence network (SSN) might serve a regulatory function,
  • theysynthesized 9-amino acid SSN peptides from the EC L2 loops of three different chemokine receptors.
Theye administered these peptides to rats during the
Two of the peptides significantly downregulated the arthritis; one of the peptides
  • synergized with non-specific anti-inflammatory treatment with dexamethasone.
These findings suggest that
  • the SSN peptide motif reported here is likely to have adaptive value in controlling inflammation.
  • detection of SSN motif peptides could provide a network-based approach to immune modulation.
administering a highly connected chemokine receptor peptide motif , as done here, induced
  • the downregulation of inflammation in a rat model of arthritis.
Thus, study of the SSN provides a new network approach toward modulating inflammation
English: Typical chemokine receptor structure ...

English: Typical chemokine receptor structure showing seven transmembrane domains and a chanracteristic “DRY” motif in the second intracelluar domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Structure of Chemokines

Structure of Chemokines (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chemokine receptor

Chemokine receptor (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Curator/Reporter: Aviral Vatsa PhD MBBS

This post is in the second part of the reviews that focuses on the current status of drug delivery to bone and the issues facing this field. The first part can be accessed here

Annual treatment costs for musculoskeletal diseases in the US are roughly 7.7% (~ $849 billion) of total gross domestic product. Such disorders are the main cause of physical disability in US. Almost half of all chronic conditions in people can be attributed to bone and joint disorders. In addition there is increasing ageing population and associated increases in osteoporosis and other diseases, rising incidences of degenerative intervertebral disk diseases and numbers of revision orthopedic arthroplasty surgeries, and increases in spinal fusions. All these factors contribute towards the increasing requirement of bone regeneration and reconstruction methods and products. Delivery of therapeutic grade products to bone has various challenges. Parenteral administration limits the efficient delivery of drugs to the required site of injury and local delivery methods are often expensive and invasive. The theme issue of Advance Drug Delivery reviews focuses on the current status of drug delivery to bone and the issues facing this field. Here is the second part of these reviews and research articles.

1. Targeting polymer therapeutics to bone [1]


An aging population in the developing world has led to an increase in musculoskeletal diseases such as osteoporosis and bone metastases. Left untreated many bone diseases cause debilitating pain and in the case of cancer, death. Many potential drugs are effective in treating diseases but result in side effects preventing their efficacy in the clinic. Bone, however, provides a unique environment of inorganic solids, which can be exploited in order to effectively target drugs to diseased tissue. By integration of bone targeting moieties to drug-carrying water-soluble polymers, the payload to diseased area can be increased while side effects decreased. The realization of clinically relevant bone targeted polymer therapeutics depends on (1) understanding bone targeting moiety interactions, (2) development of controlled drug delivery systems, as well as (3) understanding drug interactions. The latter makes it possible to develop bone targeted synergistic drug delivery systems.

2. Development of macromolecular prodrug for rheumatoid arthritis [2]


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is considered to be one of the major public health problems worldwide. The development of therapies that target tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and co-stimulatory pathways that regulate the immune system have revolutionized the care of patients with RA. Despite these advances, many patients continue to experience symptomatic and functional impairment. To address this issue, more recent therapies that have been developed are designed to target intracellular signaling pathways involved in immunoregulation. Though this approach has been encouraging, there have been major challenges with respect to off-target organ side effects and systemic toxicities related to the widespread distribution of these signaling pathways in multiple cell types and tissues. These limitations have led to an increasing interest in the development of strategies for the macromolecularization of anti-rheumatic drugs, which could target them to the inflamed joints. This approach enhances the efficacy of the therapeutic agent with respect to synovial inflammation, while markedly reducing non-target organ adverse side effects. In this manuscript, we provide a comprehensive overview of the rational design and optimization of macromolecular prodrugs for treatment of RA. The superior and the sustained efficacy of the prodrug may be partially attributed to their Extravasation through Leaky Vasculature and subsequent Inflammatory cell-mediated Sequestration (ELVIS) in the arthritic joints. This biologic process provides a plausible mechanism, by which macromolecular prodrugs preferentially target arthritic joints and illustrates the potential benefits of applying this therapeutic strategy to the treatment of other inflammatory diseases.


3. Peptide-based delivery to bone [3]


Peptides are attractive as novel therapeutic reagents, since they are flexible in adopting and mimicking the local structural features of proteins. Versatile capabilities to perform organic synthetic manipulations are another unique feature of peptides compared to protein-based medicines, such as antibodies. On the other hand, a disadvantage of using a peptide for a therapeutic purpose is its low stability and/or high level of aggregation. During the past two decades, numerous peptides were developed for the treatment of bone diseases, and some peptides have already been used for local applications to repair bone defects in the clinic. However, very few peptides have the ability to form bone themselves. We herein summarize the effects of the therapeutic peptides on bone loss and/or local bone defects, including the results from basic studies. We also herein describe some possible methods for overcoming the obstacles associated with using therapeutic peptide candidates.

4. Growth factor delivery: How surface interactions modulate release in vitro and in vivo [4]


Biomaterial scaffolds have been extensively used to deliver growth factors to induce new bone formation. The pharmacokinetics of growth factor delivery has been a critical regulator of their clinical success. This review will focus on the surface interactions that control the non-covalent incorporation of growth factors into scaffolds and the mechanisms that control growth factor release from clinically relevant biomaterials. We will focus on the delivery of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 from materials currently used in the clinical practice, but also suggest how general mechanisms that control growth factor incorporation and release delineated with this growth factor could extend to other systems. A better understanding of the changing mechanisms that control growth factor release during the different stages of preclinical development could instruct the development of future scaffolds for currently untreatable injuries and diseases.

5. Biomaterial delivery of morphogens to mimic the natural healing cascade in bone[5]


Complications in treatment of large bone defects using bone grafting still remain. Our understanding of the endogenous bone regeneration cascade has inspired the exploration of a wide variety of growth factors (GFs) in an effort to mimic the natural signaling that controls bone healing. Biomaterial-based delivery of single exogenous GFs has shown therapeutic efficacy, and this likely relates to its ability to recruit and promote replication of cells involved in tissue development and the healing process. However, as the natural bone healing cascade involves the action of multiple factors, each acting in a specific spatiotemporal pattern, strategies aiming to mimic the critical aspects of this process will likely benefit from the usage of multiple therapeutic agents. This article reviews the current status of approaches to deliver single GFs, as well as ongoing efforts to develop sophisticated delivery platforms to deliver multiple lineage-directing morphogens (multiple GFs) during bone healing.

6. Studies of bone morphogenetic protein-based surgical repair[6]


Over the past several decades, recombinant human bone morphogenetic proteins (rhBMPs) have been the most extensively studied and widely used osteoinductive agents for clinical bone repair. Since rhBMP-2 and rhBMP-7 were cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for certain clinical uses, millions of patients worldwide have been treated with rhBMPs for various musculoskeletal disorders. Current clinical applications include treatment of long bone fracture non-unions, spinal surgeries, and oral maxillofacial surgeries. Considering the growing number of recent publications related to clincal research of rhBMPs, there exists enormous promise for these proteins to be used in bone regenerative medicine. The authors take this opportunity to review the rhBMP literature paying specific attention to the current applications of rhBMPs in bone repair and spine surgery. The prospective future of rhBMPs delivered in combination with tissue engineered scaffolds is also reviewed.

7. Strategies for controlled delivery of growth factors and cells for bone regeneration[7]


The controlled delivery of growth factors and cells within biomaterial carriers can enhance and accelerate functional bone formation. The carrier system can be designed with pre-programmed release kinetics to deliver bioactive molecules in a localized, spatiotemporal manner most similar to the natural wound healing process. The carrier can also act as an extracellular matrix-mimicking substrate for promoting osteoprogenitor cellular infiltration and proliferation for integrative tissue repair. This review discusses the role of various regenerative factors involved in bone healing and their appropriate combinations with different delivery systems for augmenting bone regeneration. The general requirements of protein, cell and gene therapy are described, with elaboration on how the selection of materials, configurations and processing affects growth factor and cell delivery and regenerative efficacy in both in vitro and in vivo applications for bone tissue engineering.

8. Bone repair cells for craniofacial regeneration[8]


Reconstruction of complex craniofacial deformities is a clinical challenge in situations of injury, congenital defects or disease. The use of cell-based therapies represents one of the most advanced methods for enhancing the regenerative response for craniofacial wound healing. Both somatic and stem cells have been adopted in the treatment of complex osseous defects and advances have been made in finding the most adequate scaffold for the delivery of cell therapies in human regenerative medicine. As an example of such approaches for clinical application for craniofacial regeneration, Ixmyelocel-T or bone repair cells are a source of bone marrow derived stem and progenitor cells. They are produced through the use of single pass perfusion bioreactors for CD90+ mesenchymal stem cells and CD14+ monocyte/macrophage progenitor cells. The application of ixmyelocel-T has shown potential in the regeneration of muscular, vascular, nervous and osseous tissue. The purpose of this manuscript is to highlight cell therapies used to repair bony and soft tissue defects in the oral and craniofacial complex. The field at this point remains at an early stage, however this review will provide insights into the progress being made using cell therapies for eventual development into clinical practice.

9. Gene therapy approaches to regenerating bone[9]


Bone formation and regeneration therapies continue to require optimization and improvement because many skeletal disorders remain undertreated. Clinical solutions to nonunion fractures and osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures, for example, remain suboptimal and better therapeutic approaches must be created. The widespread use of recombinant human bone morphogenetic proteins (rhBMPs) for spine fusion was recently questioned by a series of reports in a special issue of The Spine Journal, which elucidated the side effects and complications of direct rhBMP treatments. Gene therapy – both direct (in vivo) and cell-mediated (ex vivo) – has long been studied extensively to provide much needed improvements in bone regeneration. In this article, we review recent advances in gene therapy research whose aims are in vivo or ex vivo bone regeneration or formation. We examine appropriate vectors, safety issues, and rates of bone formation. The use of animal models and their relevance for translation of research results to the clinical setting are also discussed in order to provide the reader with a critical view. Finally, we elucidate the main challenges and hurdles faced by gene therapy aimed at bone regeneration as well as expected future trends in this field.

10. Gene delivery to bone[10]


Gene delivery to bone is useful both as an experimental tool and as a potential therapeutic strategy. Among its advantages over protein delivery are the potential for directed, sustained and regulated expression of authentically processed, nascent proteins. Although no clinical trials have been initiated, there is a substantial pre-clinical literature documenting the successful transfer of genes to bone, and their intraosseous expression. Recombinant vectors derived from adenovirus, retrovirus and lentivirus, as well as non-viral vectors, have been used for this purpose. Both ex vivo and in vivo strategies, including gene-activated matrices, have been explored. Ex vivo delivery has often employed mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), partly because of their ability to differentiate into osteoblasts. MSCs also have the potential to home to bone after systemic administration, which could serve as a useful way to deliver transgenes in a disseminated fashion for the treatment of diseases affecting the whole skeleton, such as osteoporosis orosteogenesis imperfecta. Local delivery of osteogenic transgenes, particularly those encoding bone morphogenetic proteins, has shown great promise in a number of applications where it is necessary to regenerate bone. These include healing large segmental defects in long bones and the cranium, as well as spinal fusion and treating avascular necrosis.

11. RNA therapeutics targeting osteoclast-mediated excessive bone resorption[11]


RNA interference (RNAi) is a sequence-specific post-transcriptional gene silencing technique developed with dramatically increasing utility for both scientific and therapeutic purposes. Short interfering RNA (siRNA) is currently exploited to regulate protein expression relevant to many therapeutic applications, and commonly used as a tool for elucidating disease-associated genes. Osteoporosis and their associated osteoporotic fragility fractures in both men and women are rapidly becoming a global healthcare crisis as average life expectancy increases worldwide. New therapeutics are needed for this increasing patient population. This review describes the diversity of molecular targets suitable for RNAi-based gene knock down in osteoclasts to control osteoclast-mediated excessive bone resorption. We identify strategies for developing targeted siRNA delivery and efficient gene silencing, and describe opportunities and challenges of introducing siRNA as a therapeutic approach to hard and connective tissue disorders.


[1] S. A. Low and J. Kopeček, “Targeting polymer therapeutics to bone,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1189–1204, Sep. 2012.

[2] F. Yuan, L. Quan, L. Cui, S. R. Goldring, and D. Wang, “Development of macromolecular prodrug for rheumatoid arthritis,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1205–1219, Sep. 2012.

[3] K. Aoki, N. Alles, N. Soysa, and K. Ohya, “Peptide-based delivery to bone,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1220–1238, Sep. 2012.

[4] W. J. King and P. H. Krebsbach, “Growth factor delivery: How surface interactions modulate release in vitro and in vivo,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1239–1256, Sep. 2012.

[5] M. Mehta, K. Schmidt-Bleek, G. N. Duda, and D. J. Mooney, “Biomaterial delivery of morphogens to mimic the natural healing cascade in bone,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1257–1276, Sep. 2012.

[6] K. W.-H. Lo, B. D. Ulery, K. M. Ashe, and C. T. Laurencin, “Studies of bone morphogenetic protein-based surgical repair,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1277–1291, Sep. 2012.

[7] T. N. Vo, F. K. Kasper, and A. G. Mikos, “Strategies for controlled delivery of growth factors and cells for bone regeneration,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1292–1309, Sep. 2012.

[8] G. Pagni, D. Kaigler, G. Rasperini, G. Avila-Ortiz, R. Bartel, and W. V. Giannobile, “Bone repair cells for craniofacial regeneration,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1310–1319, Sep. 2012.

[9] N. Kimelman Bleich, I. Kallai, J. R. Lieberman, E. M. Schwarz, G. Pelled, and D. Gazit, “Gene therapy approaches to regenerating bone,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1320–1330, Sep. 2012.

[10] C. H. Evans, “Gene delivery to bone,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1331–1340, Sep. 2012.

[11] Y. Wang and D. W. Grainger, “RNA therapeutics targeting osteoclast-mediated excessive bone resorption,” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 1341–1357, Sep. 2012.

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