Publications -- Stephen O. Mathew

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This collection is limited to articles published under the terms of a creative commons license or other open access publishing agreement since 2016. It is not intended as a complete list of the author's works.


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    Withaferin A: A Pleiotropic Anticancer Agent from the Indian Medicinal Plant Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal
    (MDPI, 2023-01-22) Kumar, Suneel; Mathew, Stephen O.; Aharwal, Ravindra P.; Tulli, Hardeep S.; Mohan, Chakrabhavi D.; Sethi, Gautam; Ahn, Kwang-Seok; Webber, Kassidy; Sandhu, Sardul S.; Bishayee, Anupam
    Cancer represents the second most deadly disease and one of the most important public health concerns worldwide. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immune therapy are the major types of treatment strategies that have been implemented in cancer treatment. Unfortunately, these treatment options suffer from major limitations, such as drug-resistance and adverse effects, which may eventually result in disease recurrence. Many phytochemicals have been investigated for their antitumor efficacy in preclinical models and clinical studies to discover newer therapeutic agents with fewer adverse effects. Withaferin A, a natural bioactive molecule isolated from the Indian medicinal plant Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, has been reported to impart anticancer activities against various cancer cell lines and preclinical cancer models by modulating the expression and activity of different oncogenic proteins. In this article, we have comprehensively discussed the biosynthesis of withaferin A as well as its antineoplastic activities and mode-of-action in in vitro and in vivo settings. We have also reviewed the effect of withaferin A on the expression of miRNAs, its combinational effect with other cytotoxic agents, withaferin A-based formulations, safety and toxicity profiles, and its clinical potential.
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    Differential Expression of LLT1, SLAM Receptors CS1 and 2B4 and NCR Receptors NKp46 and NKp30 in Pediatric Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)
    (MDPI, 2023-02-26) Powers, Sheila B.; Ahmed, Nourhan G.; Jose, Roslin; Brezgiel, Marissa; Aryal, Subhash; Bowman, W. Paul; Mathew, Porunelloor A.; Mathew, Stephen O.
    Acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) represents the most common pediatric cancer. Most patients (85%) develop B-cell ALL; however, T-cell ALL tends to be more aggressive. We have previously identified 2B4 (SLAMF4), CS1 (SLAMF7) and LLT1 (CLEC2D) that can activate or inhibit NK cells upon the interaction with their ligands. In this study, the expression of 2B4, CS1, LLT1, NKp30 and NKp46 was determined. The expression profiles of these immune receptors were analyzed in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells of B-ALL and T-ALL subjects by single-cell RNA sequencing data obtained from the St. Jude PeCan data portal that showed increased expression of LLT1 in B-ALL and T-ALL subjects. Whole blood was collected from 42 pediatric ALL subjects at diagnosis and post-induction chemotherapy and 20 healthy subjects, and expression was determined at the mRNA and cell surface protein level. A significant increase in cell surface LLT1 expression in T cells, monocytes and NK cells was observed. Increased expression of CS1 and NKp46 was observed on monocytes of ALL subjects at diagnosis. A decrease of LLT1, 2B4, CS1 and NKp46 on T cells of ALL subjects was also observed post-induction chemotherapy. Furthermore, mRNA data showed altered expression of receptors in ALL subjects pre- and post-induction chemotherapy treatment. The results indicate that the differential expression of the receptors/ligand may play a role in the T-cell- and NK-cell-mediated immune surveillance of pediatric ALL.
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    Roles of NK Cell Receptors 2B4 (CD244), CS1 (CD319), and LLT1 (CLEC2D) in Cancer
    (MDPI, 2020-07-01) Buller, Casey W.; Mathew, Porunelloor A.; Mathew, Stephen O.
    Natural killer (NK) cells play a pivotal role in the immune system, especially in the recognition and clearance of cancer cells and infected cells. Their effector function is controlled by a delicate balance between the activating and inhibitory signals. We have identified 2B4 (CD244, SLAMF4) and CS1 (CD319, SLAMF7) as NK cell receptors regulating NK cell cytotoxicity. Lectin-like transcript 1 (LLT1), a member of the C-type lectin-like domain family 2 (CLEC2D), induced IFN-g production but did not directly regulate cytolytic activity. Interestingly, LLT1 expressed on other cells acts as a ligand for an NK cell inhibitory receptor NKRP1A (CD161) and inhibits NK cytolytic function. Extensive research has been done on novel therapies that target these receptors to increase the effector function of NK cells. The 2B4 receptor is involved in the rejection of melanoma cells in mice. Empliciti, an FDA-approved monoclonal antibody, explicitly targets the CS1 receptor and enhances the NK cell cytotoxicity against multiple myeloma cells. Our studies revealed that LLT1 is expressed on prostate cancer and triple-negative breast cancer cells and allows them to evade NK-cell-mediated killing. In this review, we describe NK cell receptors 2B4, CS1, and LLT1 and their potential in targeting cancer cells for NK-cell-mediated immunotherapy. New cancer immunotherapies like chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) and NK (CAR-NK) cells are showing great promise in the treatment of cancer, and CAR cells specific to these receptors would be an attractive therapeutic option.
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    Overexpression of LLT1 (OCIL, CLEC2D) on prostate cancer cells inhibits NK cell-mediated killing through LLT1-NKRP1A (CD161) interaction
    (Impact Journals, LLC, 2016-09-08) Mathew, Stephen O.; Chaudhary, Pankaj; Powers, Sheila B.; Vishwanatha, Jamboor K.; Mathew, Porunelloor A.
    Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer diagnosed and the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men. Natural Killer (NK) cells are the first line of defense against cancer and infections. NK cell function is regulated by a delicate balance between signals received through activating and inhibitory receptors. Previously, we identified Lectin-like transcript-1 (LLT1/OCIL/CLEC2D) as a counter-receptor for the NK cell inhibitory receptor NKRP1A (CD161). Interaction of LLT1 expressed on target cells with NKRP1A inhibits NK cell activation. In this study, we have found that LLT1 was overexpressed on prostate cancer cell lines (DU145, LNCaP, 22Rv1 and PC3) and in primary prostate cancer tissues both at the mRNA and protein level. We further showed that LLT1 is retained intracellularly in normal prostate cells with minimal cell surface expression. Blocking LLT1 interaction with NKRP1A by anti-LLT1 mAb on prostate cancer cells increased the NK-mediated cytotoxicity of prostate cancer cells. The results indicate that prostate cancer cells may evade immune attack by NK cells by expressing LLT1 to inhibit NK cell-mediated cytolytic activity through LLT1-NKRP1A interaction. Blocking LLT1-NKRP1A interaction will make prostate cancer cells susceptible to killing by NK cells and therefore may be a new therapeutic option for treatment of prostate cancer.
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    The Many Faces of Innate Immunity in SARS-CoV-2 Infection
    (MDPI, 2021-06-04) Hanan, Nicholas; Doud, Ronnie L., Jr.; Park, In-Woo; Jones, Harlan P.; Mathew, Stephen O.
    The innate immune system is important for initial antiviral response. SARS-CoV-2 can result in overactivity or suppression of the innate immune system. A dysregulated immune response is associated with poor outcomes; with patients having significant Neutrophil-to-Lymphocyte ratios (NLR) due to neutrophilia alongside lymphopenia. Elevated interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 leads to overactivity and is a prominent feature of severe COVID-19 patients. IL-6 can result in lymphopenia; where COVID-19 patients typically have significantly altered lymphocyte subsets. IL-8 attracts neutrophils; which may play a significant role in lung tissue damage with the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps leading to cytokine storm or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Several factors like pre-existing co-morbidities, genetic risks, viral pathogenicity, and therapeutic efficacy act as important modifiers of SARS-CoV-2 risks for disease through an interplay with innate host inflammatory responses. In this review, we discuss the role of the innate immune system at play with other important modifiers in SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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    A novel ligand on astrocytes interacts with natural cytotoxicity receptor NKp44 regulating immune response mediated by NK cells
    (PLOS, 2018-02-15) Bowen, Kelly E.; Mathew, Stephen O.; Borgmann, Kathleen; Ghorpade, Anuja; Mathew, Porunelloor A.
    NK cells play important role in immunity against pathogens and cancer. NK cell functions are regulated by inhibitory and activating receptors binding corresponding ligands on the surface of target cells. NK cells were shown to be recruited to the CNS following several pathological conditions. NK cells could impact CNS physiology by killing glial cells and by secreting IFN-gamma. Astrocytes are intimately involved in immunological and inflammatory events occurring in the CNS and reactive astrogliosis is a key feature in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. There is little data on NK-astrocyte interactions and ligands expressed on astrocytes that could impact NK cell function. Natural cytotoxicity receptors (NCRs) play a critical role in the cytolytic function of NK cells. Among the NCRs, NKp44 is unique in expression and signal transduction. NKp44 is expressed only upon activation of NK cells and it can mediate both activating and inhibitory signals to NK cells. Here, we have studied the expression and function of natural cytotoxicity receptor NKp44 upon NK-astrocytes interactions in the presence or absence of an HIV peptide (HIV-3S peptide) shown to induce NK cell killing of CD4+ T cells during HIV-infection. Using a fusion protein consisting of the extracellular domain of NKp44 fused to Fc portion of human IgG, we determined the expression of a novel ligand for NKp44 (NKp44L) on astrocytes. Incubation of astrocytes with HIV-3S peptide downregulated NKp44L expression on astrocytes implicating protection from NK mediated killing. Thus, our study showed that NKp44 have a protective effect on astrocytes from NK cell mediated killing during HIV infection and impact astrocyte role in HAND.