Publications by authors named "Jane A Gross"

13 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

MOR209/ES414, a Novel Bispecific Antibody Targeting PSMA for the Treatment of Metastatic Castration-Resistant Prostate Cancer.

Mol Cancer Ther 2016 09 12;15(9):2155-65. Epub 2016 Jul 12.

Emergent BioSolutions, Seattle, Washington.

Treatment of metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) remains a highly unmet medical need and current therapies ultimately result in disease progression. Immunotherapy is a rapidly growing approach for treatment of cancer but has shown limited success to date in the treatment of mCRPC. We have developed a novel humanized bispecific antibody, MOR209/ES414, built on the ADAPTIR (modular protein technology) platform, to redirect T-cell cytotoxicity toward prostate cancer cells by specifically targeting T cells through CD3ε to prostate cancer cells expressing PSMA (prostate-specific membrane antigen). In vitro cross-linking of T cells with PSMA-expressing tumor cells by MOR209/ES414 triggered potent target-dependent tumor lysis and induction of target-dependent T-cell activation and proliferation. This activity occurred at low picomolar concentrations of MOR209/ES414 and was effective at low T-effector to tumor target cell ratios. In addition, cytotoxic activity was equivalent over a wide range of PSMA expression on target cells, suggesting that as few as 3,700 PSMA receptors per cell are sufficient for tumor lysis. In addition to high sensitivity and in vitro activity, MOR209/ES414 induced limited production of cytokines compared with other bispecific antibody formats. Pharmacokinetic analysis of MOR209/ES414 demonstrated a serum elimination half-life in NOD/SCID γ (NSG) mice of 4 days. Administration of MOR209/ES414 in murine xenograft models of human prostate cancer significantly inhibited tumor growth, prolonged survival, and decreased serum prostate-specific antigen levels only in the presence of adoptively transferred human T cells. On the basis of these preclinical findings, MOR209/ES414 warrants further investigation as a potential therapeutic for the treatment of CRPC. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(9); 2155-65. ©2016 AACR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1535-7163.MCT-15-0242DOI Listing
September 2016

The INNs and outs of antibody nonproprietary names.

MAbs 2016 ;8(1):1-9

ab Lilly Biotechnology Center San Diego , CA 92121 , USA.

An important step in drug development is the assignment of an International Nonproprietary Name (INN) by the World Health Organization (WHO) that provides healthcare professionals with a unique and universally available designated name to identify each pharmaceutical substance. Monoclonal antibody INNs comprise a -mab suffix preceded by a substem indicating the antibody type, e.g., chimeric (-xi-), humanized (-zu-), or human (-u-). The WHO publishes INN definitions that specify how new monoclonal antibody therapeutics are categorized and adapts the definitions to new technologies. However, rapid progress in antibody technologies has blurred the boundaries between existing antibody categories and created a burgeoning array of new antibody formats. Thus, revising the INN system for antibodies is akin to aiming for a rapidly moving target. The WHO recently revised INN definitions for antibodies now to be based on amino acid sequence identity. These new definitions, however, are critically flawed as they are ambiguous and go against decades of scientific literature. A key concern is the imposition of an arbitrary threshold for identity against human germline antibody variable region sequences. This leads to inconsistent classification of somatically mutated human antibodies, humanized antibodies as well as antibodies derived from semi-synthetic/synthetic libraries and transgenic animals. Such sequence-based classification implies clear functional distinction between categories (e.g., immunogenicity). However, there is no scientific evidence to support this. Dialog between the WHO INN Expert Group and key stakeholders is needed to develop a new INN system for antibodies and to avoid confusion and miscommunication between researchers and clinicians prescribing antibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420862.2015.1114320DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966553PMC
September 2016

Increased BCMA expression in lupus marks activated B cells, and BCMA receptor engagement enhances the response to TLR9 stimulation.

Autoimmunity 2011 Mar 20;44(2):69-81. Epub 2011 Jan 20.

Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.

B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) and APRoliferation inducing ligand (APRIL) are members of the TNF superfamily that regulate B-cell survival and autoreactivity. To further understand the significance of elevated BLyS and APRIL in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), we examined the expression profiles of their receptors (B-cell-activating factor (BAFF)-R, transmembrane activator and calcium modulator and cyclophilin ligand interactor, and B cell maturation antigen (BCMA)) on B-cell subsets in SLE and also investigated the differential expression and function of BCMA in TLR9-induced B-cell activation. While BAFF-R expression on SLE B cells was significantly lower compared to healthy control B cells (p = 0.003), BCMA expression was substantially higher on SLE B cells (p = 0.038), especially on memory cells and plasmablasts. BCMA(+) cells had higher CD19 and CD86 expression, indicating a greater degree of activation in both healthy and lupus patients. CpG stimulation increased BCMA expression on B cells and induced the proliferation and maturation of BCMA(+) B cells. A BCMA agonistic antibody also enhanced CpG-induced proliferation, activation, and IgG secretion by B cells in both healthy controls and lupus patients. Furthermore, the agonistic BCMA antibody co-stimulated auto-antibody production by CpG-stimulated lupus B cells in vitro. Signaling through BCMA enhances B cell activation following exposure to TLR9 agonists, and increased expression in SLE may contribute to the production of IgG autoantibodies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/08916934.2010.509122DOI Listing
March 2011

B-lymphocyte stimulator/a proliferation-inducing ligand heterotrimers are elevated in the sera of patients with autoimmune disease and are neutralized by atacicept and B-cell maturation antigen-immunoglobulin.

Arthritis Res Ther 2010 19;12(2):R48. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

Preclinical Research and Development, ZymoGenetics, Inc, 1201 Eastlake Ave East, Seattle, WA 98102, USA.

Introduction: B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) are members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family that regulate B-cell maturation, survival, and function. They are overexpressed in a variety of autoimmune diseases and reportedly exist in vivo not only as homotrimers, but also as BLyS/APRIL heterotrimers.

Methods: A proprietary N-terminal trimerization domain was used to produce recombinant BLyS/APRIL heterotrimers. Heterotrimer biologic activity was compared with that of BLyS and APRIL in a 4-hour signaling assay by using transmembrane activator and CAML interactor (TACI)-transfected Jurkat cells and in a 4-day primary human B-cell proliferation assay. A bead-based immunoassay was developed to quantify native heterotrimers in human sera from healthy donors (n = 89) and patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE; n = 89) or rheumatoid arthritis (RA; n = 30). Heterotrimer levels were compared with BLyS and APRIL homotrimer levels in a subset of these samples.

Results: The recombinant heterotrimers consisted mostly of one BLyS and two APRIL molecules. Heterotrimer signaling did not show any significant difference compared with APRIL in the TACI-Jurkat assay. Heterotrimers were less-potent inducers of B-cell proliferation than were homotrimeric BLyS or APRIL (EC(50), nMol/L: BLyS, 0.02; APRIL, 0.17; heterotrimers, 4.06). The soluble receptor fusion proteins atacicept and B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA)-immunoglobulin (Ig) neutralized the activity of BLyS, APRIL, and heterotrimers in both cellular assays, whereas B-cell activating factor belonging to the TNF family receptor (BAFF-R)-Ig neutralized only the activity of BLyS. In human sera, significantly more patients with SLE had detectable BLyS (67% versus 18%; P < 0.0001), APRIL (38% versus 3%; P < 0.0002), and heterotrimer (27% versus 8%; P = 0.0013) levels compared with healthy donors. Significantly more patients with RA had detectable APRIL, but not BLyS or heterotrimer, levels compared with healthy donors (83% versus 3%; P < 0.0001). Heterotrimer levels weakly correlated with BLyS, but not APRIL, levels.

Conclusions: Recombinant BLyS/APRIL heterotrimers have biologic activity and are inhibited by atacicept and BCMA-Ig, but not by BAFF-R-Ig. A novel immunoassay demonstrated that native BLyS/APRIL heterotrimers, as well as BLyS and APRIL homotrimers, are elevated in patients with autoimmune diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ar2959DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2888197PMC
September 2010

Hodgkin lymphoma cells express TACI and BCMA receptors and generate survival and proliferation signals in response to BAFF and APRIL.

Blood 2007 Jan 7;109(2):729-39. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College, Cornell University, 1300 York Ave, Rm C-410, New York, NY 10021, USA.

Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) originates from the clonal expansion of malignant Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells. These B-cell-derived elements constitute less than 10% of the tumoral mass. The remaining tissue is comprised of an inflammatory infiltrate that includes myeloid cells. Myeloid cells activate B cells by producing BAFF and APRIL, which engage TACI, BCMA, and BAFF-R receptors on the B cells. Here, we studied the role of BAFF and APRIL in HL. Inflammatory and HRS cells from HL tumors expressed BAFF and APRIL. Unlike their putative germinal center B-cell precursors, HRS cells lacked BAFF-R, but expressed TACI and BCMA, a phenotype similar to that of plasmacytoid B cells. BAFF and APRIL enhanced HRS cell survival and proliferation by delivering nonredundant signals via TACI and BCMA receptors through both autocrine and paracrine pathways. These signals caused NF-kappaB activation; Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, and c-Myc up-regulation; and Bax down-regulation, and were amplified by APRIL-binding proteoglycans on HRS cells. Interruption of BAFF and APRIL signaling by TACI-Ig decoy receptor, which binds to and neutralizes BAFF and APRIL, or by small-interfering RNAs targeting BAFF, APRIL, TACI, and BCMA inhibited HRS cell accumulation in vitro and might attenuate HL expansion in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2006-04-015958DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1785096PMC
January 2007

An APRIL to remember: novel TNF ligands as therapeutic targets.

Nat Rev Drug Discov 2006 Mar;5(3):235-46

Department of Autoimmunity and Inflammation, ZymoGenetics, Inc. 1201 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle, Washington 98102, USA.

Since their discovery in 1998, the two TNF family members APRIL and BLyS/BAFF have received increasing attention. In addition to regulating normal B-cell development and immune responses, these molecules might be crucial in a diverse set of diseases, including autoimmunity and cancer. Although more has been published about the general biology of BLyS/BAFF than that of APRIL, many recent articles have described novel APRIL biology. Here we focus on APRIL, exploring its normal and pathological functions, and comparing the therapeutic molecules currently under development that target BLyS/BAFF alone, or APRIL and BLyS/BAFF together.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrd1982DOI Listing
March 2006

IL-31 is associated with cutaneous lymphocyte antigen-positive skin homing T cells in patients with atopic dermatitis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2006 Feb;117(2):418-25

Department of Autoimmunity and Inflammation, ZymoGenetics, Inc., Seattle, WA 98102, USA.

Background: IL-31 is a newly discovered T-cell cytokine that, when overexpressed in mice, results in pruritus and skin dermatitis resembling human atopic dermatitis (AD).

Objective: We sought to investigate the expression of IL-31 and IL-31 receptor A (IL-31RA) in skin biopsy specimens and peripheral blood cells from patients with AD and healthy individuals.

Methods: Expression of IL-31 and IL-31RA was evaluated in skin biopsy specimens from patients with AD and healthy individuals by means of immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. IL-31 protein production by skin-homing cutaneous lymphocyte antigen (CLA)-positive T cells was also assessed.

Results: IL-31RA protein was expressed by keratinocytes and infiltrating macrophages in skin biopsy specimens from patients with AD. Comparisons between skin from patients with AD and healthy skin showed IL-31RA expression at higher levels on epidermal keratinocytes in AD samples. Infiltrating cells, more numerous in skin from patients with AD compared with that of healthy individuals, expressed IL31 mRNA. Histomorphometric analysis of these cells indicated they were of the lymphocytic lineage, with the majority of cells staining positive for CLA and CD3. IL31 mRNA and protein expression is largely restricted to CD45RO(+) (memory) CLA(+) T cells in peripheral blood of patients with AD and healthy volunteers. Moreover, circulating CLA(+) T cells from patients with AD, but not from patients with psoriasis, are capable of producing higher levels of IL-31 compared with CLA(+) T cells from healthy individuals. However, the average levels of IL-31 were not significantly different between patients with AD and healthy individuals.

Conclusion: We provide evidence that IL-31 expression is associated with CLA(+) T cells and might contribute to the development of AD-induced skin inflammation and pruritus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2005.10.046DOI Listing
February 2006

Elevated serum B-lymphocyte stimulator levels in patients with familial lymphoproliferative disorders.

J Clin Oncol 2006 Feb 23;24(6):983-7. Epub 2006 Jan 23.

Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

Purpose: Serum B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) levels have been found to be elevated in a number of immune disease models. Therefore, we sought to establish whether BLyS levels were elevated in patients with B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders and to determine whether elevated BLyS levels correlated with clinical characteristics of the disease.

Patients And Methods: Specimens were collected from the peripheral blood of individuals diagnosed with B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL; n = 70) or from age- and sex-matched patients seen at the same institution (n = 41). Serum BLyS levels were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and sequencing of the BLyS promoter was performed by conventional methods and confirmed by restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.

Results: We found that elevated BLyS levels were more common in patients with familial B-CLL than individuals with sporadic B-CLL or normal controls. Because of this association, we sequenced the BLyS promoter in patients with B-CLL and normal controls and identified a polymorphic site, -871 C/T. We found that the wild-type sequence was significantly underrepresented in patients with familial B-CLL (4%) compared with patients with sporadic B-CLL (30%; P = .01) or controls (24%; P = .04). Furthermore, using a luciferase reporter under control of the BLyS promoter containing either a C or a T at position -871, we found that the reporter construct containing a T at -871 had a 2.6-fold increase in activity (P = .004).

Conclusion: Our data suggest serum BLyS levels are elevated in patients with familial B-CLL and that elevated BLyS levels correlate with the presence of a T at -871 in the BLyS promoter.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2005.02.7938DOI Listing
February 2006

B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) stimulates immunoglobulin production and malignant B-cell growth in Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia.

Blood 2006 Apr 22;107(7):2882-8. Epub 2005 Nov 22.

Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM) is a serious and frequently fatal B-cell malignancy associated with an elevated monoclonal IgM protein in the serum. Many of the mechanisms leading to this disease are not yet known. B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) is a TNF family member that is critical for maintenance of normal B-cell development and homeostasis. BLyS is overexpressed in a variety of B-cell malignancies and has been shown to inhibit apoptosis in malignant B cells. It also regulates immunoglobulin secretion by normal B cells. To determine the relevance of BLyS in WM, we examined the role of BLyS in WM patient samples. Malignant B cells were found to bind soluble BLyS and variably express the receptors BAFF-R, TACI, and BCMA. We also found expression of BLyS in bone marrow specimens by immunohistochemistry and elevated serum BLyS levels in patients with WM. BLyS, alone or in combination with cytokines that induce immunoglobulin production, was found to increase IgM secretion by malignant B cells. Furthermore, BLyS was found to increase the viability and proliferation of malignant B cells from WM patients. Due to the role of BLyS in WM, strategies to inhibit BLyS may potentially have therapeutic efficacy in these patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2005-09-3552DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1895377PMC
April 2006

A role for B cell-activating factor of the TNF family in chemically induced autoimmunity.

J Immunol 2005 Nov;175(9):6163-8

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.

After exposure to subtoxic doses of heavy metals such as mercury, H-2s mice develop an autoimmune syndrome consisting of the rapid production of IgG autoantibodies that are highly specific for nucleolar autoantigens and a polyclonal increase in serum IgG1 and IgE. In this study, we observe that HgCl2 administration in susceptible mice results in the elevated production of B cell-activating factor of the TNF family ((BAFF) also known as BLyS, TALL-1, zTNF-4, THANK, and TNSF13B), a B cell growth factor belonging to the TNF family. A transmembrane activator and calcium-modulating and cyclophilin ligand interactor (TACI)-Ig fusion protein (which neutralizes both BAFF and a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL), another TNF family member) inhibited Hg-induced autoantibody or serum IgE production. These results are discussed in the context of the inhibitory effect of TACI-Ig on B cell maturation at the transitional stage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.175.9.6163DOI Listing
November 2005

Expression of BLyS and its receptors in B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma: correlation with disease activity and patient outcome.

Blood 2004 Oct 13;104(8):2247-53. Epub 2004 Jul 13.

Division of Hematology and Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 First St SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.

BLyS, recently shown to be critical for survival of normal B cells, has been found to be elevated in a number of immune disease models. A role for BLyS in the survival of malignant B cells has also been revealed and we therefore sought to identify a role for BLyS and its receptors in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). We found that tumor cells from all NHL histologic subtypes expressed one or more of 3 known receptors (BCMA, TACI, and BAFF-R) for BLyS; however, the pattern of expression was variable. We provide evidence that BLyS is expressed in tumors from patients with NHL and that BLyS levels increase as tumors transform to a more aggressive phenotype. Additionally, we provide evidence that serum BLyS levels are elevated in a subgroup of patients with NHL. In patients with de novo large B-cell lymphoma, a high BLyS level correlated with a poorer median overall survival, the presence of constitutional symptoms, and elevated values of lactic dehydrogenase. When BLyS levels were correlated with response to therapy in all patients, responding patients had a significantly lower BLyS level than those with progressive disease. In summary, we found that BLyS and its receptors represent a potentially important therapeutic target in B-cell lymphoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2004-02-0762DOI Listing
October 2004

Interleukin 31, a cytokine produced by activated T cells, induces dermatitis in mice.

Nat Immunol 2004 Jul 6;5(7):752-60. Epub 2004 Jun 6.

Department of Immunology, ZymoGenetics, 1201 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle, Washington 98102, USA.

T cell-derived cytokines are important in the development of an effective immune response, but when dysregulated they can promote disease. Here we identify a four-helix bundle cytokine we have called interleukin 31 (IL-31), which is preferentially produced by T helper type 2 cells. IL-31 signals through a receptor composed of IL-31 receptor A and oncostatin M receptor. Expression of IL-31 receptor A and oncostatin M receptor mRNA was induced in activated monocytes, whereas epithelial cells expressed both mRNAs constitutively. Transgenic mice overexpressing IL-31 developed severe pruritus, alopecia and skin lesions. Furthermore, IL-31 receptor expression was increased in diseased tissues derived from an animal model of airway hypersensitivity. These data indicate that IL-31 may be involved in promoting the dermatitis and epithelial responses that characterize allergic and non-allergic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni1084DOI Listing
July 2004

Expression of BCMA, TACI, and BAFF-R in multiple myeloma: a mechanism for growth and survival.

Blood 2004 Jan 25;103(2):689-94. Epub 2003 Sep 25.

Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st St SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

Multiple myeloma (MM) is a progressive disease that is thought to result from multiple genetic insults to the precursor plasma cell that ultimately affords the tumor cell with proliferative potential despite its differentiated phenotype and resistance to undergoing apoptosis. Altered expression of antiapoptotic factors as well as growth factors have been described in a significant number of patients. However, the key regulatory elements that control myeloma development and progression remain largely undefined. Because of the knowledge that B-lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS), a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family member shown to be critical for maintenance of normal B-cell development and homeostasis, promotes the survival of malignant B cells, we began a coordinated study of BLyS and its receptors in MM. All MM cells studied expressed one or more of 3 known receptors (B-cell maturation antigen [BCMA], transmembrane activator and CAML interactor [TACI], and B-cell activating factor receptor [BAFF-R]) for BLyS; however, the pattern of expression was variable. Additionally, we provide evidence that BLyS can modulate the proliferative capacity and survival of MM cells. Finally, we provide evidence that BLyS is expressed by MM cells and is present in the bone marrow of patients with MM. Expression of BCMA, TACI, and BAFF-R by MM taken together with the ability of BLyS to support MM cell growth and survival has exciting implications because they may be potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2003-06-2043DOI Listing
January 2004