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Natural Killer Cells in Human Diseases: Friends or Foes?

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454044 Year: Pages: 122 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-404-4 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Allergy and Immunology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Abstract

NK cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system that share some features with adaptive immune cells like T cells. They are well known for their importance to control viral infections and tumor development, but also intracellular bacterial and parasitic infections. A balance between negative and positive signals transmitted via germ line-encoded inhibitory and activating receptors controls the function of NK cells. Activated NK cells respond by killing the infected or tumor cells without prior sensitization, and by producing cytokines and chemokines. It has been shown that NK cells cross-talk with other immune cells, such as dendritic cells and macrophages, can shape T cell and B cell immune responses through direct interactions as well as by virtue of their cytokine/chemokine production. NK cells can also regulate immune responses by killing other immune cells, including activated T cells, or by producing anti-inflammatory cytokines upon excessive inflammation. However, NK cells are not friends in all situations. Indeed, it has been shown in LCMV-infected murine models that, depending on the viral inoculation load, NK cells may either help fight infection or can promote chronic infection. Moreover in cancer models, it has been shown that NK cells can kill anti-tumoral T cells. Recent studies of NK cells in patients with cancer support the notion of detrimental roles of NK cells. Furthermore, studies implicate NK cells in contributing to both graft rejection and tolerance to an allograft. In some autoimmune diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis, NK cells may promote disease pathogenesis. The scope of this Research Topic is to present and discuss knowledge on the role of NK cells in various diseases settings: viral infections as well as other infections, cancer, transplantation, and autoimmunity. The aim is to discuss how NK cells respond during disease and specifically when, why and how NK cells can be harmful and if they exert different functions (production of specific cytokines, inhibition of other immune cells through other mechanisms beside cytotoxicity) in these situations. Which are the NK cell subsets that play beneficial or deleterious roles in these diseases? Are there different phenotypes associated with protective NK cells (e.g. antiviral, antitumoral) and NK cells involved in disease pathogenesis? How are these diverse NK cells activated and do they function primarily through direct cytotoxicity, ADCC or cytokine and chemokine production? What are the signals or interactions that can change and shape the NK cell response shifting them from protective to harmful? We thank the authors that submitted reviews and original research manuscripts that help to better understand these questions, with the aim that this will help the scientific community to determine what could be the main future research directions to better understand the role of NK cells in disease protection or development.

Tailoring NK Cell Receptor-Ligand Interactions: An Art in Evolution

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889454648 Year: Pages: 407 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-464-8 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Allergy and Immunology
Added to DOAB on : 2018-11-16 17:17:57
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Abstract

Recognition and killing of aberrant, infected or tumor targets by Natural Killer (NK) cells is mediated by positive signals transduced by activating receptors upon engagement of ligands on target surface. These stimulatory pathways are counterbalanced by inhibitory receptors that raise NK cell activation threshold through negative antagonist signals. While regulatory effects are necessary for physiologic control of autoimmune aggression, they may restrain the ability of NK cells to activate against disease. Overcoming this barrier to immune surveillance, multiple approaches to enhance NK-mediated responses are being investigated since two decades. Propelled by considerable advances in the understanding of NK cell biology, these studies are critical for effective translation of NK-based immunotherapy principles into the clinic. In humans, dominant inhibitory signals are transduced by Killer Immunoglobulin Like Receptors (KIR) recognizing cognate HLA class I on target cells. Conversely, KIR recognition of “missing self-HLA” - due to HLA loss or HLA/ KIR mismatch - triggers NK-mediated tumor rejection. Initially observed in murine transplant models, these antitumor effects were later found to have important implications for the clinical outcome of haplotype-mismatched stemcell transplantation. Here, donor NK subsets protect against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse through missing self recognition of donor HLA-C allele groups (C1 or C2) and/or Bw4 epitope. These studies were subsequently extended by trials investigating the antileukemia effects of adoptively transferred haplotype-mismatched NK cells in non-transplant settings. Other mechanisms have been found to induce clinically relevant NK cell alloreactivity in transplantation, e.g., post-reconstitution functional reversal of anergic NK cells. More recently, activating KIR came into the spotlight for their potential ability to directly activate donor NK cells through in vivo recognition of HLA or other ligands. Novel therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) may optimize NK-mediated effects. Examples include obinutuzumab (GA101), a glyco-engineered anti-CD20 mAb with increased affinity for the FcγRIIIA receptor, enhancing antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; lirilumab (IPH2102), a first-in-class NK-specific checkpoint inhibitor, blocking the interaction between the major KIR and cognate HLA-C antigens; and elotuzumab (HuLuc63), a humanized monoclonal antibody specific for SLAMF7, whose anti-myeloma therapeutic effects are partly due to direct activation of SLAMF7-expressing NK cells. In addition to conventional antibodies, NK cell-targeted bispecific (BiKEs) and trispecific (TriKEs) killer engagers have also been developed. These proteins elicit potent effector functions by binding target ligands (e.g., CD19, CD22, CD30, CD133, HLA class II, EGFR) on one arm and NK receptors on the other. An additional innovative approach to direct NK cell activity is genetic reprogramming with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR). To date, primary NK cells and the NK92 cell line have been engineered with CAR specific for antigens expressed on multiple tumors. Encouraging preclinical results warrant further development of this approach. This Research Topic welcomes contributions addressing mechanisms of NK-mediated activation in response to disease as well as past and contemporary strategies to enhance NK mediated reactivity through control of the interactions between NK receptors and their ligands.

Tailoring NK Cell Receptor-Ligand Interactions: an Art in Evolution. 2nd Edition

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889456635 Year: Pages: 407 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-663-5 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Allergy and Immunology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:43
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Abstract

Recognition and killing of aberrant, infected or tumor targets by Natural Killer (NK) cells is mediated by positive signals transduced by activating receptors upon engagement of ligands on target surface. These stimulatory pathways are counterbalanced by inhibitory receptors that raise NK cell activation threshold through negative antagonist signals. While regulatory effects are necessary for physiologic control of autoimmune aggression, they may restrain the ability of NK cells to activate against disease. Overcoming this barrier to immune surveillance, multiple approaches to enhance NK-mediated responses are being investigated since two decades. Propelled by considerable advances in the understanding of NK cell biology, these studies are critical for effective translation of NK-based immunotherapy principles into the clinic. In humans, dominant inhibitory signals are transduced by Killer Immunoglobulin Like Receptors (KIR) recognizing cognate HLA class I on target cells. Conversely, KIR recognition of “missing self-HLA” - due to HLA loss or HLA/ KIR mismatch - triggers NK-mediated tumor rejection. Initially observed in murine transplant models, these antitumor effects were later found to have important implications for the clinical outcome of haplotype-mismatched stemcell transplantation. Here, donor NK subsets protect against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) relapse through missing self recognition of donor HLA-C allele groups (C1 or C2) and/or Bw4 epitope. These studies were subsequently extended by trials investigating the antileukemia effects of adoptively transferred haplotype-mismatched NK cells in non-transplant settings. Other mechanisms have been found to induce clinically relevant NK cell alloreactivity in transplantation, e.g., post-reconstitution functional reversal of anergic NK cells. More recently, activating KIR came into the spotlight for their potential ability to directly activate donor NK cells through in vivo recognition of HLA or other ligands. Novel therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAb) may optimize NK-mediated effects. Examples include obinutuzumab (GA101), a glyco-engineered anti-CD20 mAb with increased affinity for the FcγRIIIA receptor, enhancing antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity; lirilumab (IPH2102), a first-in-class NK-specific checkpoint inhibitor, blocking the interaction between the major KIR and cognate HLA-C antigens; and elotuzumab (HuLuc63), a humanized monoclonal antibody specific for SLAMF7, whose anti-myeloma therapeutic effects are partly due to direct activation of SLAMF7-expressing NK cells. In addition to conventional antibodies, NK cell-targeted bispecific (BiKEs) and trispecific (TriKEs) killer engagers have also been developed. These proteins elicit potent effector functions by binding target ligands (e.g., CD19, CD22, CD30, CD133, HLA class II, EGFR) on one arm and NK receptors on the other. An additional innovative approach to direct NK cell activity is genetic reprogramming with chimeric antigen receptors (CAR). To date, primary NK cells and the NK92 cell line have been engineered with CAR specific for antigens expressed on multiple tumors. Encouraging preclinical results warrant further development of this approach. This Research Topic welcomes contributions addressing mechanisms of NK-mediated activation in response to disease as well as past and contemporary strategies to enhance NK mediated reactivity through control of the interactions between NK receptors and their ligands.

The Second Life of Natural Killer (NK) Cells

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Book Series: Frontiers Research Topics ISSN: 16648714 ISBN: 9782889455461 Year: Pages: 118 DOI: 10.3389/978-2-88945-546-1 Language: English
Publisher: Frontiers Media SA
Subject: Medicine (General) --- Allergy and Immunology
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-23 14:53:42
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Abstract

Natural Killer (NK) cells are innate lymphocytes, now recognized as members of a larger family of “Innate lymphoid cells” (ILCs). Both murine and human NK cells are well characterized effector cells with cytotoxic as well as cytokine production ability which mainly react in response to microbial and cell stress stimuli, thus playing a central role in the defense against pathogen infection, in tumor surveillance and in regulating immune homeostasis. Despite these established concepts, our understanding of the complexity of NK cells, also in view of their developmental and functional relationship with other ILC subsets, is only recently emerging. This Research Topic highlights the recent advances in NK cell (and ILC) research in human and mouse from basic research to clinical applications.

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