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Regulation of CD19 CAR-T cell activation based on an engineered downstream transcription factor

Lainšček et al., 2023.

CAR-T cells present a highly effective therapeutic option for several malignant diseases, based on their ability to recognize the selected tumor surface marker in an MHC-independent manner. This triggers cell activation and cytokine production, resulting in the killing of the cancerous cell presenting markers recognized by the chimeric antigen receptor. CAR-T cells are highly potent serial killers that may cause serious side effects, so their activity needs to be carefully controlled. Here we designed a system to control the proliferation and activation state of CARs based on downstream NFAT transcription factors, whose activity can be regulated via chemically induced heterodimerization systems. Chemical regulators were used to either transiently trigger engineered T cell proliferation or suppress CAR-mediated activation when desired or to enhance activation of CAR-T cells upon engagement of cancer cells, shown also in vivo. Additionally, an efficient sensor to monitor activated CD19 CAR-T cells in vivo was introduced. This implementation in CAR-T cell regulation offers an efficient way for on-demand external control of CAR-T cell activity to improve their safety.

LAINŠČEK, Duško, GOLOB URBANC, Anja, MIKOLIČ, Veronika, PANTOVIĆ, Jelica, MALENŠEK, Špela, JERALA, Roman. Regulation of CD19 CAR-T cell activation based on an engineered downstream transcription factor. Molecular therapy oncolytics. Jun. 15, 2023, 29, 77-90, ISSN 2372-7705. DOI: 10.1016/j.omto.2023.04.005. [COBISS.SI-ID 154300419]

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