Publications by authors named "Jeremy To"

6 Publications

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Retraction Note: A biomimetic assay platform for the interrogation of antigen-dependent anti-tumor T-cell function.

Commun Biol 2021 08 27;4(1):1032. Epub 2021 Aug 27.

Department of Functional Genomics, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, CA, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02569-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8415035PMC
August 2021

High-throughput CRISPR-mediated 3D enrichment platform for functional interrogation of chemotherapeutic resistance.

Biotechnol Bioeng 2021 08 6;118(8):3187-3199. Epub 2021 Jun 6.

Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation, San Diego, CA, USA.

Cancer is a disease of somatic mutations. These cellular mutations compete to dominate their microenvironment and dictate the disease outcome. While a therapeutic approach to target-specific oncogenic driver mutations helps to manage the disease, subsequent molecular evolution of tumor cells threatens to overtake therapeutic progress. There is a need for rapid, high-throughput, unbiased in vitro discovery screening platforms that capture the native complexities of the tumor and rapidly identify mutations that confer chemotherapeutic drug resistance. Taking the example of the CDK4/6 inhibitor (CDK4/6i) class of drugs, we show that the pooled in vitro CRISPR screening platform enables rapid discovery of drug resistance mutations in a three-dimensional (3D) setting. Gene-edited cancer cell clones assembled into an organotypic multicellular tumor spheroid (MCTS), exposed to CDK4/6i caused selection and enrichment of the most drug-resistant phenotypes, detectable by next-gen sequencing after a span of 28 days. The platform was sufficiently sensitive to enrich for even a single drug-resistant cell within a large, drug-responsive complex 3D tumor spheroid. The genome-wide 3D CRISPR-mediated knockout screen (>18,000 genes) identified several genes whose disruptions conferred resistance to CDK4/6i. Furthermore, multiple novel candidate genes were identified as top hits only in the microphysiological 3D enrichment assay platform and not the conventional 2D assays. Taken together, these findings suggest that including phenotypic 3D resistance profiling in decision trees could improve discovery and reconfirmation of drug resistance mechanisms and afford a platform for exploring noncell autonomous interactions, selection pressures, and clonal competition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bit.27844DOI Listing
August 2021

A biomimetic assay platform for the interrogation of antigen-dependent anti-tumor T-cell function.

Commun Biol 2021 01 8;4(1):56. Epub 2021 Jan 8.

Department of Functional Genomics, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, CA, USA.

Overcoming tumor-mediated immunosuppression and enhancing cytotoxic T-cell activity within the tumor microenvironment are two central goals of immuno-oncology (IO) drug discovery initiatives. However, exploratory assays involving immune components are often plagued by low-throughput and poor clinical relevance. Here we present an innovative ultra-high-content assay platform for interrogating T-cell-mediated killing of 3D multicellular tumor spheroids. Employing this assay platform in a chemical genomics screen of 1800 annotated compounds enabled identification of small molecule perturbagens capable of enhancing cytotoxic CD8 T-cell activity in an antigen-dependent manner. Specifically, cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) and bromodomain (BRD) protein inhibitors were shown to significantly augment anti-tumor T-cell function by increasing cytolytic granule and type II interferon secretion in T-cells in addition to upregulating major histocompatibility complex (MHC) expression and antigen presentation in tumor cells. The described biotechnology screening platform yields multi-parametric, clinically-relevant data and can be employed kinetically for the discovery of first-in-class IO therapeutic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-01565-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7794535PMC
January 2021

Co-regulatory networks of human serum proteins link genetics to disease.

Science 2018 08 2;361(6404):769-773. Epub 2018 Aug 2.

Icelandic Heart Association, Holtasmari 1, IS-201 Kopavogur, Iceland.

Proteins circulating in the blood are critical for age-related disease processes; however, the serum proteome has remained largely unexplored. To this end, 4137 proteins covering most predicted extracellular proteins were measured in the serum of 5457 Icelanders over 65 years of age. Pairwise correlation between proteins as they varied across individuals revealed 27 different network modules of serum proteins, many of which were associated with cardiovascular and metabolic disease states, as well as overall survival. The protein modules were controlled by cis- and trans-acting genetic variants, which in many cases were also associated with complex disease. This revealed co-regulated groups of circulating proteins that incorporated regulatory control between tissues and demonstrated close relationships to past, current, and future disease states.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aaq1327DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6190714PMC
August 2018

Functional profiling of microtumors to identify cancer associated fibroblast-derived drug targets.

Oncotarget 2017 Nov 20;8(59):99913-99930. Epub 2017 Oct 20.

Functional Genomics, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, CA, USA.

Recent advances in chemotherapeutics highlight the importance of molecularly-targeted perturbagens. Although these therapies typically address dysregulated cancer cell proteins, there are increasing therapeutic modalities that take into consideration cancer cell-extrinsic factors. Targeting components of tumor stroma such as vascular or immune cells has been shown to represent an efficacious approach in cancer treatment. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) exemplify an important stromal component that can be exploited in targeted therapeutics, though their employment in drug discovery campaigns has been relatively minimal due to technical logistics in assaying for CAF-tumor interactions. Here we report a 3-dimensional multi-culture tumor:CAF spheroid phenotypic screening platform that can be applied to high-content drug discovery initiatives. Using a functional genomics approach we systematically profiled 1,024 candidate genes for CAF-intrinsic anti-spheroid activity; identifying several CAF genes important for development and maintenance of tumor:CAF co-culture spheroids. Along with previously reported genes such as WNT, we identify CAF-derived targets such as ARAF and COL3A1 upon which the tumor compartment depends for spheroid development. Specifically, we highlight the G-protein-coupled receptor OGR1 as a unique CAF-specific protein that may represent an attractive drug target for treating colorectal cancer. , murine colon tumor implants in OGR1 knockout mice displayed delayed tumor growth compared to tumors implanted in wild type littermate controls. These findings demonstrate a robust microphysiological screening approach for identifying new CAF targets that may be applied to drug discovery efforts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.21915DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5725140PMC
November 2017

An HTS-compatible 3D colony formation assay to identify tumor-specific chemotherapeutics.

J Biomol Screen 2013 Dec 5;18(10):1298-308. Epub 2013 Aug 5.

1Genomics Department, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF), San Diego, CA, USA.

There has been increasing interest in the development of cellular behavior models that take advantage of three-dimensional (3D) cell culture. To enable assessment of differential perturbagen impacts on cell growth in 2D and 3D, we have miniaturized and adapted for high-throughput screening (HTS) the soft agar colony formation assay, employing a laser-scanning cytometer to image and quantify multiple cell types simultaneously. The assay is HTS compatible, providing high-quality, image-based, replicable data for multiple, co-cultured cell types. As proof of concept, we subjected colorectal carcinoma colonies in 3D soft agar to a mini screen of 1528 natural product compounds. Hit compounds from the primary screen were rescreened in an HTS 3D co-culture matrix containing colon stromal cells and cancer cells. By combining tumor cells and normal, nontransformed colon epithelial cells in one primary screening assay, we were able to obtain differential IC50 data, thereby distinguishing tumor-specific compounds from general cytotoxic compounds. Moreover, we were able to identify compounds that antagonized tumor colony formation in 3D only, highlighting the importance of this assay in identifying agents that interfere with 3D tumor structural growth. This screening platform provides a fast, simple, and robust method for identification of tumor-specific agents in a biologically relevant microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1087057113499405DOI Listing
December 2013
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