Cancer Cell International
ITK inhibition induced in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activity through downregulating TCR signaling pathway in malignant T cell lymphoma
Cancer Cell International201919:32
© The Author(s) 2019
- Published: 14 February 2019
Angioimmunoblastic T cell lymphoma (AITL) is a distinct subtype of peripheral T cell lymphoma and associated with poor outcomes. The activation status of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling has recently become a focus of attention in terms of the therapeutic targets. However, the molecular pathogenesis mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets are largely unknown.
Antibodies specific to phosphorylated ZAP70, ITK and PLCγ1 were used to identify the activation status of intracellular proteins involved in TCR signaling in AITL patients. Malignant T cell lymphoma cells were transduced with a lentiviral construct containing ITK shRNA for cellular and functional assays. The antitumor effects of the selective ITK inhibitor BMS-509744 were determined in vitro and in vivo.
Immunohistochemistry staining showed that more than half of the AITL patients (n = 38) exhibited continuously activated intracellular TCR signaling pathway. Patients positive for phosphorylated ITK showed a lower rate of complete response (20% vs. 75%, P = 0.004) and a shorter progression-free survival (5.17 months vs. 25.1 months, P = 0.022) than patients negative for phosphorylated ITK. Genetic and pharmacological cellular ITK inhibition significantly compromised the proliferation, invasion and migration of malignant T cells. The selective ITK inhibitor BMS-509744 also induced the pro-apoptotic effects and G2/M phase cell cycle arrest in vitro and in vivo. Finally, inhibition of ITK synergistically enhanced the antitumor effect of vincristine and doxorubicin on malignant T cell lymphoma cell lines.
Our findings suggest that ITK may be a novel candidate therapeutic target for the treatment of patients with ITK-expressing malignant T-cell lymphomas.
- TCR signaling
- Therapeutic target