Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
FLAG-tagged CD19-specific CAR-T cells eliminate CD19-bearing solid tumor cells in vitro and in vivo
Academic Editor: Vita M. Golubovskaya
Autologous T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) specific for CD19 have demonstrated remarkable efficacy as therapeutics for B cell malignancies. In the present study, we generated FLAG-tagged CD19-specific CAR-T cells (CD19-FLAG) and compared them to their non-tagged counterparts for their effects on solid and hematological cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. For solid tumors, we used HeLa cervical carcinoma cells engineered to overexpress CD19 (HeLa-CD19), and for hematological cancer we used Raji Burkitt's lymphoma cells, which endogenously express CD19. Like non-tagged CD19 CAR-T cells, CD19-FLAG CAR-T cells expanded in culture >100-fold and exhibited potent cytolytic activity against both HeLa-CD19 and Raji cells in vitro. CD19-FLAG CAR-T cells also secreted significantly more IFN-gamma and IL-2 than the control T cells. In vivo, CD19-FLAG CAR-T cells significantly blocked the growth of HeLa-CD19 solid tumors, increased tumor cleaved caspase-3 levels, and expanded systemically. CD19-FLAG CAR-T cells also significantly reduced Raji tumor burden and extended mouse survival. These results demonstrate the strong efficacy of FLAG-tagged CD19 CAR-T cells in solid and hematological cancer models.