Role of tumor architecture in elicitation of effector functions of human cytotoxic T-lymphocytes recognizing melanoma associated antigens

Ghosh, Sourabh. Role of tumor architecture in elicitation of effector functions of human cytotoxic T-lymphocytes recognizing melanoma associated antigens. 2006, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_7639

Downloads: Statistics Overview


Growth in 3D architectures has been shown to promote the resistance of cancers to treatment with
drugs, cytokines, or irradiation, thereby potentially playing an important role in tumor expansion.
3D architectures might also play a role in impairing immunorecognition of cancer cells by
cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) specific for tumor-associated antigens.
Culture of HBL, D10 (both HLA-A*0201+, TAA+) and NA8 (HLA-A*0201+, TAA-) melanoma
cell lines on poly-Hydroxyethylmethacrylate-coated plates, resulted in generation of 3D
multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS). Kinetics of cell proliferation in MCTS was significantly
slower than in monolayer cultures. Following long-term culture (>10-15 days) MCTS showed
highly compact and organised cell growth in outer layers, with necrotic cores.
To obtain an insight into the role played by tumor architecture in the elicitation of specific gene
expression patterns, we addressed gene expression profiles of NA8 melanoma cells cultured in
two-dimensional monolayers (2D) or in 3D (MCTS). Oligonucleotide microarray analysis of the
expression of over 20,000 genes was performed on cells cultured in standard 2D, in the presence
of collagen as model of extracellular matrix (ECM), or in MCTS. Gene expression profiles of
cells cultured in 2D in the presence or absence of ECM were highly similar, with more than
threefold differences limited to five genes. In contrast, culture in MCTS resulted in the
significant, more than threefold, upregulation of the expression of >100 transcripts, while 73
transcripts were more than threefold downregulated. In particular, genes encoding CXCL1, 2, and
3 (GRO-α, -β, and γ), IL-8, CCL20 (MIP-3α), and Angiopoietin-like 4 were significantly
upregulated, whereas basic-FGF and CD49d encoding genes were significantly downregulated.
Oligonucleotide chip data were validated at the gene and protein level by quantitative real-time
PCR, ELISA, and cell surface staining assays. Taken together, our data indicate that structural
modifications of the architecture of tumor cell cultures result in a significant upregulation of the
expression of a number of genes previously shown to play a role in melanoma progression and
metastatic process.
Then we investigated the effects of 3D culture on the recognition of melanoma cells by antigenspecific
HLA class I-restricted Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes (CTL). IFN-γ production can be used
as a surrogate marker for tumor cell immunorecognition. Co-culture of melanoma spheroids with
HLA-A0201 restricted Melan-A/MART-127-35-specific CTL clones resulted in significantly
defective TAA recognition by CTL as compared to 2D, as witnessed by decreased IFN-γ
production and decreased Fas Ligand, perforin and granzyme B gene expression. Indeed, Melan-
A/MART-1 expression, at both gene and protein levels, was significantly decreased in 3D as
compared with 2D tumor cell cultures. Concomitantly, a parallel decrease of HLA class I
molecule expression was also observed. Differential gene profiling studies on HBL cells showed
an increased expression of genes encoding molecules involved in intercellular adhesion, such as
junctional adhesion molecule 2 and cadherin-like 1 (>20- and 8-fold up-regulated, respectively)
in 3D as compared with 2D cultures.
We further identified a multiplicity of mechanisms potentially involved. In particular :
1) MCTS per se limit CTL capacity of recognizing HLA class I restricted antigens by reducing
exposed cell surfaces.
2) Expression of melanoma differentiation antigens is down-regulated in tumor cell spheroids as
compared to 2D unrelated to hypoxia or increased Oncostatin M gene expression but rather to
decreased MITF gene expression.
3) Expression of HLA class I molecules is frequently down-regulated in melanoma MCTS, as
compared to 2D, possibly due to decreased IRF-1 gene expression.
4) Lactate production by melanoma cells is increased in MCTS, as compared to 2D and lactate
significantly inhibits TAA triggered IFN-γ production by CTL.
Taken together, our data suggest that mere growth of melanoma cells in 3D architectures, in the
absence of immunoselective pressure, may result in defective recognition by tumor-associated
antigen-specific CTL and a constellation of mechanisms are involved in causing this impairment
of immunorecognition.
Advisors:Eberle, Alex N.
Committee Members:Christofori, Gerhard M. and Spagnoli, Giulio C.
Faculties and Departments:03 Faculty of Medicine > Departement Biomedizin > Former Units at DBM > Endocrinology (Eberle)
UniBasel Contributors:Eberle, Alex N. and Christofori, Gerhard M. and Spagnoli, Giulio C.
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:7639
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:90
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:22 Jan 2018 15:50
Deposited On:13 Feb 2009 15:46

Repository Staff Only: item control page