Clinical-grade T cells are genetically modified ex vivo to express chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) to redirect their specificity to target tumor-associated antigens in vivo. We now have developed this molecular strategy to render cytotoxic T cells specific for fungi. We adapted the pattern-recognition receptor Dectin-1 to activate T cells via chimeric CD28 and CD3-ζ (designated "D-CAR") upon binding with carbohydrate in the cell wall of Aspergillus germlings. T cells genetically modified with the Sleeping Beauty system to express D-CAR stably were propagated selectively on artificial activating and propagating cells using an approach similar to that approved by the Food and Drug Administration for manufacturing CD19-specific CAR+ T cells for clinical trials. The D-CAR+ T cells exhibited specificity for β-glucan which led to damage and inhibition of hyphal growth of Aspergillus in vitro and in vivo. Treatment of D-CAR + T cells with steroids did not compromise antifungal activity significantly. These data support the targeting of carbohydrate antigens by CAR+ T cells and provide a clinically appealing strategy to enhance immunity for opportunistic fungal infections using T-cell gene therapy.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jul 22 2014|
- Adoptive immunotherapy
- T-cell therapy
ASJC Scopus subject areas