Molecular Medicine Israel

TOP CAR with TMIGD2 as a safe and effective costimulatory domain in CAR cells treating human solid tumors


Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)–T cell therapy shows impressive efficacy treating hematologic malignancies but requires further optimization in solid tumors. Here, we developed a TMIGD2 optimized potent/persistent (TOP) CAR that incorporated the costimulatory domain of TMIGD2, a T and NK cell costimulator, and monoclonal antibodies targeting the IgV domain of B7-H3, an immune checkpoint expressed on solid tumors and tumor vasculature. Comparing second- and third-generation B7-H3 CARs containing TMIGD2, CD28, and/or 4-1BB costimulatory domains revealed superior antitumor responses in B7-H3.TMIGD2 and B7-H3.CD28.4-1BB CAR-T cells in vitro. Comparing these two constructs using in vivo orthotopic human cancer models demonstrated that B7-H3.TMIGD2 CAR-T cells had equivalent or superior antitumor activity, survival, expansion, and persistence. Mechanistically, B7-H3.TMIGD2 CAR-T cells maintained mitochondrial metabolism; produced less cytokines; and established fewer exhausted cells, more central memory cells, and a larger CD8/CD4 T cell ratio. These studies demonstrate that the TOP CAR with TMIGD2 costimulation offered distinct benefits from CD28.41BB costimulation and is effective against solid tumors.

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