PLZF confers effector functions to donor T cells that preserve graft-versus-tumor effects while attenuating GVHD
Graft vs Host Disease
Graft vs Tumor Effect
Kruppel-Like Transcription Factors
Efforts to limit GVHD mediated by alloreactive donor T cells after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation are limited by a concomitant decrease in graft-versus-tumor (GVT) activity and increased possibilities of tumor relapse. Using a novel approach, we adoptively transferred conventional T cells expressing the transcription factor promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger (PLZF), which confers effector properties resembling invariant natural killer T cells, such as copious production of cytokines under suboptimal stimulation. PLZF expression in T-cell allografts attenuates expansion of alloreactive T cells, leading to lower GVHD. Intact alloreactivity-driven antitumor cytokine responses result in preserved GVT effects, leading to improved survival. Our findings suggest that therapy with PLZF-overexpressing T cells would result in overall improved outcomes due to less GVHD and intact GVT effects.