Cell loss by apoptosis is a common feature in tumors. Dying tumor cells induce immune tolerance within the tumor microenvironment largely through highly conserved homeostatic clearance programs that restore tissue immune homeostasis and contribute to the formation of an immunosuppressive niche. The translocation of phosphatidylserine (PS) on cellular membranes, during the initial phases of apoptosis, functions as a recognition and removal signal that limits the immunogenicity of cell death. We examined whether altering clearance of dying cancer cells to elicit inflammatory turnover can allow for and potentiate immune responses against tumor cells. To remove inhibitory signals in the homeostatic clearance pathway we utilized a molecular bridge scaffold to engineer a modified phosphatidylserine bridge protein (FA58C2-hIgG1 or C2-hIgG1) that works as a bridge between apoptotic cells expressing aminophospholipids and phagocytes bearing Fc receptors. In vivo administration of C2-hIgG1 partially restores immune responses to dead tumor cells in antigen cross presentation assays and promotes recruitment and retention of tumor antigen specific CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells, and natural killer cells into tumors. These effects combine to elicit anti-lymphoma immunity, improve responses to immune checkpoint inhibitors, and enhance the effectiveness of adoptive T cell transfers using engineered T Cell Receptors (TCRs) but not chimeric antigen receptor engineered (CAR-T) T cells.

Citation Format: Daniel Corey, Aaron Ring, Melissa McCracken, Masanori Miyanishi, Sydney Gordon, Irving Weissman. Super cross-presentation of tumor antigens by synthetic design of an anti-phosphatidylserine bridge protein [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Second CRI-CIMT-EATI-AACR International Cancer Immunotherapy Conference: Translating Science into Survival; 2016 Sept 25-28; New York, NY. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Immunol Res 2016;4(11 Suppl):Abstract nr B051.