Basic StudiesEngineering NK Cells Modified With an EGFRvIII-specific Chimeric Antigen Receptor to Overexpress CXCR4 Improves Immunotherapy of CXCL12/SDF-1α-secreting GlioblastomaMüller, Nadja*; Michen, Susanne*; Tietze, Stefanie*; Töpfer, Katrin*; Schulte, Alexander†; Lamszus, Katrin†; Schmitz, Marc‡; Schackert, Gabriele*,§; Pastan, Ira∥; Temme, Achim*,§ Author Information *Department of Neurosurgery, Section Experimental Neurosurgery/Tumor Immunology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus ‡Institute of Immunology, Medical Faculty Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden §German Cancer Consortium (DKTK), Dresden †Laboratory for Brain Tumor Biology, Department of Neurosurgery, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany ∥Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD Supplemental Digital Content is available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Website, www.immunotherapy-journal.com. Reprints: Achim Temme, Department of Neurosurgery, Section Experimental Neurosurgery/Tumor Immunology, University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus, TU Dresden, Fetscherstrasse 74, Dresden 01307, Germany. (e-mail: [email protected]). Received September 10, 2014 Accepted March 31, 2015 Journal of Immunotherapy: June 2015 - Volume 38 - Issue 5 - p 197-210 doi: 10.1097/CJI.0000000000000082 Buy SDC Metrics Abstract Natural killer (NK) cells are promising effector cells for adjuvant immunotherapy of cancer. So far, several preclinical studies have shown the feasibility of gene-engineered NK cells, which upon expression of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) are redirected to otherwise NK cell–resistant tumors. Yet, we reasoned that the efficiency of an immunotherapy using CAR-modified NK cells critically relies on efficient migration to the tumor site and might be improved by the engraftment of a receptor specific for a chemokine released by the tumor. On the basis of the DNAX-activation protein 12 (DAP12), a signaling adapter molecule involved in signal transduction of activating NK cell receptors, we constructed an epidermal growth factor variant III (EGFRvIII)-CAR, designated MR1.1-DAP12 which confers specific cytotoxicity of NK cell towards EGFRvIII+ glioblastoma cells in vitro and to established subcutaneous U87-MGEGFRvIII tumor xenografts. So far, infusion of NK cells with expression of MR1.1-DAP12 caused a moderate but significantly delayed tumor growth and increased median survival time when compared with NK cells transduced with an ITAM-defective CAR. Notably, the further genetic engineering of these EGFRvIII-specific NK cells with the chemokine receptor CXCR4 conferred a specific chemotaxis to CXCL12/SDF-1α secreting U87-MG glioblastoma cells. Moreover, the administration of such NK cells resulted in complete tumor remission in a number of mice and a significantly increased survival when compared with the treatment of xenografts with NK cells expressing only the EGFRvIII-specific CAR or mock control. We conclude that chemokine receptor–engineered NK cells with concomitant expression of a tumor-specific CAR are a promising tool to improve adoptive tumor immunotherapy. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.