HMGN2: An Antitumor Effector Molecule of γδT Cells

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Abstract

γδT cells function in the regulation of T-cell activation in cancer and have been identified as a novel target for cancer immunotherapy. Activated γδT cells release a series of cytotoxic molecules-including granulysin, perforin, Fas/Fas ligand (Fas-L), and granzymes A and B-to kill target cells. Our previous research has shown that high mobility group nucleosomal-binding domain 2 (HMGN2), which is expressed at a high level in activated CD8+T cells, is an antitumor effector molecule of CD8+T cells. In the present study, we examined the expression and antitumor effects of HMGN2 in γδT cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from healthy donors with a PBMC separation column. PMBCs were stimulated with isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and interleukin-2 (IL-2) for 10 days for activation and expansion. Activated γδT cells were isolated from IPP-pretreated PBMCs with a Moflo XDP flow cytometry sorter. The expression of HMGN2 in γδT cells was detected by flow cytometry and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The cytotoxic effects of γδT cells and HMGN2 were analyzed by carboxyfluorescein succinimidyl ester labeling. IPP combined with IL-2 induced significant activation and expansion of γδT cells in vitro. HMGN2 was constitutively expressed in γδT cells. IPP-activated γδT cells expressed a high level of HMGN2 that could be detected intracellularly and in the supernatant. Moreover, supernatants of purified γδT cells were sufficient to kill tumor cells and could be blocked with anti-human HMGN2 antibody. This study suggests that HMGN2 is an antitumor effector molecule of γδT cells.

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