Extracellular nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (eNAMPT) neutralization counteracts T cell immune evasion in breast cancer

Cristina Travelli, Giorgia Colombo, Martina Aliotta, Francesca Fagiani, Natalia Fava, Rita De Sanctis, Ambra A. Grolla, Joe G.N. Garcia, Nausicaa Clemente, Paola Portararo, Massimo Costanza, Fabrizio Condorelli, Mario Paolo Colombo, Sabina Sangaletti, Armando A. Genazzani

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1 Scopus citations


Background Nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT) is a key intracellular enzyme that participates in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) homeostasis as well as a released cytokine (eNAMPT) that is elevated in inflammatory conditions and in cancer. In patients with breast cancer, circulating eNAMPT is elevated and its plasma levels correlate with prognosis and staging. In light of this, we investigated the contribution of eNAMPT in triple negative mammary carcinoma progression by investigating the effect of its neutralization via a specific neutralizing monoclonal antibody (C269). Methods We used female BALB/c mice injected with 4T1 clone 5 cells and female C57BL6 injected with EO771 cells, evaluating tumoral size, spleen weight and number of metastases. We injected two times a week the anti-eNAMPT neutralizing antibody and we sacrificed the mice after 28 days. Harvested tumors were analyzed by histopathology, flow cytometry, western blot, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and RNA sequencing to define tumor characteristics (isolating tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and tumoral cells) and to investigate the molecular mechanisms behind the observed phenotype. Moreover, we dissected the functional relationship between T cells and tumoral cells using three-dimensional (3D) co-cultures. Results The neutralization of eNAMPT with C269 led to decreased tumor size and reduced number of lung metastases. RNA sequencing and functional assays showed that eNAMPT controlled T-cell response via the programmed death-ligand 1/programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-L1/PD-1) axis and its neutralization led to a restoration of antitumoral immune responses. In particular, eNAMPT neutralization was able to activate CD8+IFNγ+GrzB+ T cells, reducing the immunosuppressive phenotype of T regulatory cells. Conclusions These studies indicate for the first time eNAMPT as a novel immunotherapeutic target for triple negative breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere007010
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 25 2023
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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