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Cancer-specific killer T cells created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)

Date:
January 3, 2013
Source:
RIKEN
Summary:
Researchers in Japan report today that they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). To create these killer cells, the team first had to reprogram T lymphocytes specialized in killing a certain type of cancer, into iPS cells. The iPS cells then generated fully active, cancer-specific T lymphocytes. These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future.

Researchers from the RIKEN Research Centre for Allergy and Immunology in Japan report today that they have succeeded for the first time in creating cancer-specific immune system cells called killer T lymphocytes from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells). To create these killer cells, the team first had to reprogram T lymphocytes specialized in killing a certain type of cancer, into iPS cells. The iPS cells then generated fully active, cancer-specific T lymphocytes. These lymphocytes regenerated from iPS cells could potentially serve as cancer therapy in the future.

Previous research has shown that killer T lymphocytes produced in the lab using conventional methods are inefficient in killing cancer cells mainly because they have a very short life-span, which limits their use as treatment for cancer. To overcome these problems, the Japanese researchers led by Hiroshi Kawamoto and presenting their results in the journal Cell Stem Cell online today, reprogramed mature human killer T lymphocytes into iPS cells and investigated how these cells differentiate.

The team induced killer T lymphocytes specific for a certain type of skin cancer to reprogram into iPS cells by exposing the lymphocytes to the 'Yamanaka factors'. The 'Yamanaka factors' is a group of compounds that induce cells to revert back to a non-specialized, pluripotent stage. The iPS cells obtained were then grown in the lab and induced to differentiate into killer T lymphocytes again. This new batch of T lymphocytes was shown to be specific for the same type of skin cancer as the original lymphocytes: they maintained the genetic reorganization enabling them to express the cancer-specific receptor on their surface. The new T lymphocytes were also shown to be active and to produce the anti-tumor compound interferon γ.

"We have succeeded in the expansion of antigen-specific T cells by making iPS cells and differentiating them back into functional T cells. The next step will be to test whether these T cells can selectively kill tumor cells but not other cells in the body. If they do, these cells might be directly injected to patients for therapy. This could be realized in the not-so-distant future." explains Dr Kawamoto.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by RIKEN. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Raul Vizcardo, Kyoko Masuda, Daisuke Yamada, Tomokatsu Ikawa, Kanako Shimizu, Shin-ichiro Fujii, Haruhiko Koseki, Hiroshi Kawamoto. Regeneration of Human Tumor Antigen-Specific T Cells from iPSCs Derived from Mature CD8+ T Cells. Cell Stem Cell, 2012; 12 (1): 31-36 DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2012.12.006

Cite This Page:

RIKEN. "Cancer-specific killer T cells created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103130958.htm>.
RIKEN. (2013, January 3). Cancer-specific killer T cells created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103130958.htm
RIKEN. "Cancer-specific killer T cells created from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130103130958.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

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