Publications by authors named "Patrick G Schweickert"

8 Publications

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CRISPR/Cas12a-mediated CHO genome engineering can be effectively integrated at multiple stages of the cell line generation process for bioproduction.

Biotechnol J 2021 Apr 25;16(4):e2000308. Epub 2021 Jan 25.

Bioprocess Research and Development, Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Most biopharmaceuticals produced today are generated using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells, therefore significant attention is focused on methods to improve CHO cell productivity and product quality. The discovery of gene-editing tools, such as CRISPR/Cas9, offers new opportunities to improve CHO cell bioproduction through cell line engineering. Recently an additional CRISPR-associated protein, Cas12a (Cpf1), was shown to be effective for gene editing in eukaryotic cells, including CHO. In this study, we demonstrate the successful application of CRISPR/Cas12a for the generation of clonally derived CHO knockout (KO) cell lines with improved product quality attributes. While we found Cas12a efficiency to be highly dependent on the targeting RNA used, we were able to generate CHO KO cell lines using small screens of only 96-320 clonally derived cell lines. Additionally, we present a novel bulk culture analysis approach that can be used to quickly assess CRISPR RNA efficiency and determine ideal screen sizes for generating genetic KO cell lines. Most critically, we find that Cas12a can be directly integrated into the cell line generation process through cotransfection with no negative impact on titer or screen size. Overall, our results show CRISPR/Cas12a to be an efficient and effective CHO genome editing tool.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/biot.202000308DOI Listing
April 2021

Thrombin-PAR1 signaling in pancreatic cancer promotes an immunosuppressive microenvironment.

J Thromb Haemost 2021 01 25;19(1):161-172. Epub 2020 Oct 25.

Department of Biological Sciences and The Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.

Essentials Elimination of PDAC tumor cell PAR1 increased cytotoxic T cells and reduced tumor macrophages. PAR1 PDAC cells are preferentially eliminated from growing tumors. Thrombin-PAR1 signaling in PDAC tumor cells drives an immunosuppressive gene signature. Csf2 and Ptgs2 are thrombin-PAR1 downstream immune suppressor genes in PDAC tumor cells. ABSTRACT: Background Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by a prothrombotic state and a lack of host antitumor immune responsiveness. Linking these two key features, we previously demonstrated that tumor-derived coagulation activity promotes immune evasion. Specifically, thrombin-protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR1) signaling in mouse PDAC cells drives tumor growth by evading cytotoxic CD8a cells. Methods Syngeneic mixed cell tumor growth, transcriptional analyses, and functional tests of immunosuppressive response genes were used to identify cellular and molecular immune evasion mechanisms mediated by thrombin-PAR-1 signaling in mouse PDAC tumor cells. Results Elimination of tumor cell PAR1 in syngeneic graft studies increased cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) infiltration and decreased tumor-associated macrophages in the tumor microenvironment. Co-injection of PAR1-expressing and PAR1-knockout (PAR-1 ) tumor cells into immunocompetent mice resulted in preferential elimination of PAR-1 cells from developing tumors, suggesting that PAR1-dependent immune evasion is not reliant on CTL exclusion. Transcriptomics analyses revealed no PAR1-dependent changes in the expression of immune checkpoint proteins and no difference in major histocompatibility complex-I cell surface expression. Importantly, thrombin-PAR1 signaling in PDAC cells upregulated genes linked to immunosuppression, including Csf2 and Ptgs2. Functional analyses confirmed that both Csf2 and Ptgs2 are critical for PDAC syngeneic graft tumor growth and overexpression of each factor partially restored tumor growth of PAR1 cells in immunocompetent mice. Conclusions Our results provide novel insight into the mechanisms of a previously unrecognized pathway coupling coagulation to PDAC immune evasion by identifying PAR1-dependent changes in the tumor microenvironment, a PAR1-driven immunosuppressive gene signature, and Csf2 and Ptgs2 as critical PAR1 downstream targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.15115DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7790967PMC
January 2021

Thrombin Signaling Promotes Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma through PAR-1-Dependent Immune Evasion.

Cancer Res 2019 07 2;79(13):3417-3430. Epub 2019 May 2.

Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is associated with robust activity of the coagulation system. To determine mechanisms by which clotting factors influence PDAC tumor progression, we generated and characterized C57Bl/6-derived KPC ( ) cell lines. Tissue factor (TF) and protease-activated receptor-1 (PAR-1) were highly expressed in primary KPC pancreatic lesions and KPC cell lines similar to expression profiles observed in biopsies of patients with PDAC. In allograft studies, tumor growth and metastatic potential were significantly diminished by depletion of or in cancer cells or by genetic or pharmacologic reduction of the coagulation zymogen prothrombin in mice. Notably, PAR-1-deleted KPC cells (KPC-Par-1) failed to generate sizable tumors, a phenotype completely rescued by restoration of expression. Expression profiling of KPC and KPC-Par-1 cells indicated that thrombin-PAR-1 signaling significantly altered immune regulation pathways. Accordingly, KPC-Par-1 cells failed to form tumors in immune-competent mice but displayed robust tumor growth comparable to that observed with control KPC cells in immune-compromised mice. Immune cell depletion studies indicated that CD8 T cells, but not CD4 cells or natural killer cells, mediated elimination of KPC-Par-1 tumor cells in C57Bl/6 mice. These results demonstrate that PDAC is driven by activation of the coagulation system through tumor cell-derived TF, circulating prothrombin, and tumor cell-derived PAR-1 and further indicate that one key mechanism of thrombin/PAR-1-mediated tumor growth is suppression of antitumor immunity in the tumor microenvironment. SIGNIFICANCE: The tissue factor-thrombin-PAR-1 signaling axis in tumor cells promotes PDAC growth and disease progression with one key mechanism being suppression of antitumor immunity in the microenvironment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-18-3206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6699516PMC
July 2019

BATF regulates the expression of Nfil3, Wnt10a and miR155hg for efficient induction of antibody class switch recombination in mice.

Eur J Immunol 2018 09 26;48(9):1492-1505. Epub 2018 Jun 26.

Department of Biological Sciences and Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.

BATF functions in T cells and B cells to control the host response to antigen and promote the production of class switched immunoglobulins. In this study, we demonstrate that BATF expression increases rapidly, and transiently, following B cell stimulation and use an inducible murine model of BATF deletion to show that this induction is necessary, and sufficient, for immunoglobulin (Ig) class switch recombination (CSR). We examine two genes (Nfil3 and miR155gh) that are positively regulated, and one gene (Wnt10a) that is negatively regulated by BATF during CSR. These genes play essential roles in CSR and each impacts the expression and/or function of the others. Our observations allow these targets of BATF regulation to be positioned in a network upstream of the activation of germline transcripts (GLT) from the IgH locus and of transcriptional activation of Aicda - the gene encoding the enzyme directing Ig gene rearrangements. This work extends the knowledge of the molecular control of CSR and, importantly, positions the induction and function of BATF as an early event in this process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eji.201747360DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6357966PMC
September 2018

Induced PTF1a expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells activates acinar gene networks, reduces tumorigenic properties, and sensitizes cells to gemcitabine treatment.

Mol Oncol 2018 06 21;12(7):1104-1124. Epub 2018 May 21.

Department of Biological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA.

Pancreatic acinar cells synthesize, package, and secrete digestive enzymes into the duodenum to aid in nutrient absorption and meet metabolic demands. When exposed to cellular stresses and insults, acinar cells undergo a dedifferentiation process termed acinar-ductal metaplasia (ADM). ADM lesions with oncogenic mutations eventually give rise to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). In healthy pancreata, the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) factors MIST1 and PTF1a coordinate an acinar-specific transcription network that maintains the highly developed differentiation status of the cells, protecting the pancreas from undergoing a transformative process. However, when MIST1 and PTF1a gene expression is silenced, cells are more prone to progress to PDAC. In this study, we tested whether induced MIST1 or PTF1a expression in PDAC cells could (i) re-establish the transcriptional program of differentiated acinar cells and (ii) simultaneously reduce tumor cell properties. As predicted, PTF1a induced gene expression of digestive enzymes and acinar-specific transcription factors, while MIST1 induced gene expression of vesicle trafficking molecules as well as activation of unfolded protein response components, all of which are essential to handle the high protein production load that is characteristic of acinar cells. Importantly, induction of PTF1a in PDAC also influenced cancer-associated properties, leading to a decrease in cell proliferation, cancer stem cell numbers, and repression of key ATP-binding cassette efflux transporters resulting in heightened sensitivity to gemcitabine. Thus, activation of pancreatic bHLH transcription factors rescues the acinar gene program and decreases tumorigenic properties in pancreatic cancer cells, offering unique opportunities to develop novel therapeutic intervention strategies for this deadly disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1878-0261.12314DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6026875PMC
June 2018

Genetic ablation of Smoothened in pancreatic fibroblasts increases acinar-ductal metaplasia.

Genes Dev 2016 09 15;30(17):1943-55. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA; Cancer Biology and Genetics Department, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA;

The contribution of the microenvironment to pancreatic acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM), a preneoplastic transition in oncogenic Kras-driven pancreatic cancer progression, is currently unclear. Here we show that disruption of paracrine Hedgehog signaling via genetic ablation of Smoothened (Smo) in stromal fibroblasts in a Kras(G12D) mouse model increased ADM. Smo-deleted fibroblasts had higher expression of transforming growth factor-α (Tgfa) mRNA and secreted higher levels of TGFα, leading to activation of EGFR signaling in acinar cells and increased ADM. The mechanism involved activation of AKT and noncanonical activation of the GLI family transcription factor GLI2. GLI2 was phosphorylated at Ser230 in an AKT-dependent fashion and directly regulated Tgfa expression in fibroblasts lacking Smo Additionally, Smo-deleted fibroblasts stimulated the growth of Kras(G12D)/Tp53(R172H) pancreatic tumor cells in vivo and in vitro. These results define a non-cell-autonomous mechanism modulating Kras(G12D)-driven ADM that is balanced by cross-talk between Hedgehog/SMO and AKT/GLI2 pathways in stromal fibroblasts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.283499.116DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5066238PMC
September 2016

Plk1 inhibition enhances the efficacy of gemcitabine in human pancreatic cancer.

Cell Cycle 2016 ;15(5):711-9

a Department of Biochemistry , Purdue University , West Lafayette , IN , USA.

Gemcitabine is the standard-of-care for chemotherapy in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma and it can directly incorporate into DNA or inhibit ribonucleotide reductase to prevent DNA replication and, thus, tumor cell growth. Most pancreatic tumors, however, develop resistance to gemcitabine. Polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1), a critical regulator in many cell cycle events, is significantly elevated in human pancreatic cancer. In this study, we show that Plk1 is required for the G1/S transition and that inhibition of Plk1 significantly reduces the DNA synthesis rate in human pancreatic cancer cells. Furthermore, the combined effect of a specific Plk1 inhibitor GSK461364A with gemcitabine was examined. We show that inhibition of Plk1 significantly potentiates the anti-neoplastic activity of gemcitabine in both cultured pancreatic cancer cells and Panc1-derived orthotopic pancreatic cancer xenograft tumors. Overall, our study demonstrates that co-targeting Plk1 can significantly enhance the efficacy of gemcitabine, offering a promising new therapeutic option for the treatment of gemcitabine-resistant human pancreatic cancer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15384101.2016.1148838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4845940PMC
December 2016

A photo-degradable gene delivery system for enhanced nuclear gene transcription.

Biomaterials 2014 Jan 27;35(3):1040-9. Epub 2013 Oct 27.

School of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, United States.

There currently exists a significant gap in our understanding of how the detailed chemical characteristics of polycation gene carriers influence their delivery performances in overcoming an important cellular-level transport barrier, i.e., intranuclear gene transcription. In this study, a UV-degradable gene carrier material (ENE4-1) was synthesized by crosslinking low molecular weight branched polyethylenimine (bPEI-2k) molecules using UV-cleavable o-nitrobenzyl urethane (NBU) as the linker molecule. NBU degrades upon exposure to mild UV irradiation. Therefore, this UV-degradable carrier allows us to control the chemical characteristics of the polymer/DNA complex (polyplex) particles at desired locations within the intracellular environment. By using this photolytic DNA carrier, we found that the exact timing of the UV degradation significantly influences the gene transfection efficiencies of ENE4-1/DNA(pGL2) polyplexes in HeLa cells. Interestingly, even if the polyplexes were UV-degraded at different intracellular locations/times, their nuclear entry efficiency was not influenced by the location/timing of UV degradation. The UV treatment did not influence the size or binding strength of the polyplexes. However, we confirmed that the degradation of the carrier molecules impacts the chemical characteristics of the polyplexes (it produces carbamic acid and nitrosobenzyl aldehyde groups on ENE4-1). We believe that these anionic acid groups enhance the interaction of the polyplexes with nuclear transcription proteins and thus the final gene expression levels; this effect was found to occur, even though UV irradiation itself has a general effect of reducing transfection efficiencies. Excess (uncomplexed) ENE4-1 polymers appear to not play any role in the UV-enhanced gene transcription phenomenon.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.10.030DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3849696PMC
January 2014