Education & Certifications


  • Bachelor of Science, California State University, Fullerton, Biochemistry (2019)

All Publications


  • Inter-cellular CRISPR screens reveal regulators of cancer cell phagocytosis. Nature Kamber, R. A., Nishiga, Y., Morton, B., Banuelos, A. M., Barkal, A. A., Vences-Catalan, F., Gu, M., Fernandez, D., Seoane, J. A., Yao, D., Liu, K., Lin, S., Spees, K., Curtis, C., Jerby-Arnon, L., Weissman, I. L., Sage, J., Bassik, M. C. 2021

    Abstract

    Monoclonal antibody therapies targeting tumour antigens drive cancer cell elimination in large part by triggering macrophage phagocytosis of cancer cells1-7. However, cancer cells evade phagocytosis using mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Here we develop a platform for unbiased identification of factors that impede antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) using complementary genome-wide CRISPR knockout and overexpression screens in both cancer cells and macrophages. In cancer cells, beyond known factors such as CD47, we identify many regulators of susceptibility to ADCP, including the poorly characterized enzyme adipocyte plasma membrane-associated protein (APMAP). We find that loss of APMAP synergizes with tumour antigen-targeting monoclonal antibodies and/or CD47-blocking monoclonal antibodies to drive markedly increased phagocytosis across a wide range of cancer cell types, including those that are otherwise resistant to ADCP. Additionally, we show that APMAP loss synergizes with several different tumour-targeting monoclonal antibodies to inhibit tumour growth in mice. Using genome-wide counterscreens in macrophages, we find that the G-protein-coupled receptor GPR84 mediates enhanced phagocytosis of APMAP-deficient cancer cells. This work reveals a cancer-intrinsic regulator of susceptibility to antibody-driven phagocytosis and, more broadly, expands our knowledge of the mechanisms governing cancer resistance to macrophage phagocytosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-03879-4

    View details for PubMedID 34497417

  • Combining CD47 blockade with trastuzumab eliminates HER2-positive breast cancer cells and overcomes trastuzumab tolerance. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Upton, R., Banuelos, A., Feng, D., Biswas, T., Kao, K., McKenna, K., Willingham, S., Ho, P. Y., Rosental, B., Tal, M. C., Raveh, T., Volkmer, J., Pegram, M. D., Weissman, I. L. 2021; 118 (29)

    Abstract

    Trastuzumab, a targeted anti-human epidermal-growth-factor receptor-2 (HER2) monoclonal antibody, represents a mainstay in the treatment of HER2-positive (HER2+) breast cancer. Although trastuzumab treatment is highly efficacious for early-stage HER2+ breast cancer, the majority of advanced-stage HER2+ breast cancer patients who initially respond to trastuzumab acquire resistance to treatment and relapse, despite persistence of HER2 gene amplification/overexpression. Here, we sought to leverage HER2 overexpression to engage antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP) through a combination of trastuzumab and anti-CD47 macrophage checkpoint immunotherapy. We have previously shown that blockade of CD47, a surface protein expressed by many malignancies (including HER2+ breast cancer), is an effective anticancer therapy. CD47 functions as a "don't eat me" signal through its interaction with signal regulatory protein-alpha (SIRPalpha) on macrophages to inhibit phagocytosis. Hu5F9-G4 (magrolimab), a humanized monoclonal antibody against CD47, blocks CD47's "don't eat me" signal, thereby facilitating macrophage-mediated phagocytosis. Preclinical studies have shown that combining Hu5F9-G4 with tumor-targeting antibodies, such as rituximab, further enhances Hu5F9-G4's anticancer effects via ADCP. Clinical trials have additionally demonstrated that Hu5F9-G4, in combination with rituximab, produced objective responses in patients whose diffuse large B cell lymphomas had developed resistance to rituximab and chemotherapy. These studies led us to hypothesize that combining Hu5F9-G4 with trastuzumab would produce an anticancer effect in antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC)-tolerant HER2+ breast cancer. This combination significantly suppressed the growth of ADCC-tolerant HER2+ breast cancers via Fc-dependent ADCP. Our study demonstrates that combining trastuzumab and Hu5F9-G4 represents a potential new treatment option for HER2+ breast cancer patients, even for patients whose tumors have progressed after trastuzumab.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2026849118

    View details for PubMedID 34257155

  • Overexpression of CD47 is associated with brain overgrowth and 16p11.2 deletion syndrome. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Li, J., Brickler, T., Banuelos, A., Marjon, K., Shcherbina, A., Banerjee, S., Bian, J., Narayanan, C., Weissman, I. L., Chetty, S. 2021; 118 (15)

    Abstract

    Copy number variation (CNV) at the 16p11.2 locus is associated with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia. CNVs of the 16p gene can manifest in opposing head sizes. Carriers of 16p11.2 deletion tend to have macrocephaly (or brain enlargement), while those with 16p11.2 duplication frequently have microcephaly. Increases in both gray and white matter volume have been observed in brain imaging studies in 16p11.2 deletion carriers with macrocephaly. Here, we use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) derived from controls and subjects with 16p11.2 deletion and 16p11.2 duplication to understand the underlying mechanisms regulating brain overgrowth. To model both gray and white matter, we differentiated patient-derived iPSCs into neural progenitor cells (NPCs) and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). In both NPCs and OPCs, we show that CD47 (a "don't eat me" signal) is overexpressed in the 16p11.2 deletion carriers contributing to reduced phagocytosis both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, 16p11.2 deletion NPCs and OPCs up-regulate cell surface expression of calreticulin (a prophagocytic "eat me" signal) and its binding sites, indicating that these cells should be phagocytosed but fail to be eliminated due to elevations in CD47. Treatment of 16p11.2 deletion NPCs and OPCs with an anti-CD47 antibody to block CD47 restores phagocytosis to control levels. While the CD47 pathway is commonly implicated in cancer progression, we document a role for CD47 in psychiatric disorders associated with brain overgrowth.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.2005483118

    View details for PubMedID 33833053

  • Overexpression of CD47 is associated with brain overgrowth and 16p11.2 deletion syndrome PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Li, J., Brickler, T., Banuelos, A., Marjon, K., Shcherbina, A., Banerjee, S., Bian, J., Narayanan, C., Weissman, I. L., Chetty, S. 2021; 118 (15)
  • Humanized anti-CD47 monoclonal antibody magrolimab (Hu5F9-G4) plus trastuzumab potentiates antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis (ADCP), and cooperate to inhibit human HER2+breast cancer (BC) xenografts growth in vivo Upton, R., Feng, D., Banuelos, A. M., Biswas, T., Willingham, S., Kao, K. S., McKenna, K., Rosenthal, B., Tal, M. C., Volkmer, J., Pegram, M. D., Weissman, I. L. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2021
  • Proteomic analysis of young and old mouse hematopoietic stem cells and their progenitors reveals post-transcriptional regulation in stem cells. eLife Zaro, B. W., Noh, J. J., Mascetti, V. L., Demeter, J., George, B., Zukowska, M., Gulati, G. S., Sinha, R., Flynn, R. A., Banuelos, A., Zhang, A., Wilkinson, A. C., Jackson, P., Weissman, I. L. 2020; 9

    Abstract

    The balance of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) self-renewal and differentiation is critical for a healthy blood supply; imbalances underlie hematological diseases. The importance of HSCs and their progenitors have led to their extensive characterization at genomic and transcriptomic levels. However, the proteomics of hematopoiesis remains incompletely understood. Here we report a proteomics resource from mass spectrometry of mouse young adult and old adult mouse HSCs, multipotent progenitors and oligopotent progenitors; 12 cell types in total. We validated differential protein levels, including confirmation that Dnmt3a protein levels are undetected in young adult mouse HSCs until forced into cycle. Additionally, through integrating proteomics and RNA-sequencing datasets, we identified a subset of genes with apparent post-transcriptional repression in young adult mouse HSCs. In summary, we report proteomic coverage of young and old mouse HSCs and progenitors, with broader implications for understanding mechanisms for stem cell maintenance, niche interactions and fate determination.

    View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.62210

    View details for PubMedID 33236985

  • GD2 is a macrophage checkpoint molecule and combined GD2/CD47 blockade results in synergistic effects and tumor clearance in xenograft models of neuroblastoma and osteosarcoma Theruvath, J., Smith, B., Linde, M. H., Sotillo, E., Heitzeneder, S., Marjon, K., Tousley, A., Lattin, J., Banuelos, A., Dhingra, S., Murty, S., Mackall, C. L., Majzner, R. G. AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH. 2020: 35
  • Overexpression of CD47 is associated with brain overgrowth in 16p11.2 deletion syndrome bioRxiv Li, J., Brickler, T., Banuelos, A., Marjon, K., Bian, J., Narayanan, C., Weissman, I. L., Chetty, S. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1101/808022

  • Mass spectrometry analysis of mouse hematopoietic stem cells and their progenitors reveals differential expression within and between proteome and transcriptome throughout adult and aged hematopoiesis bioRxiv Zaro, B. W., Noh, J. J., Mascetti, V. L., Demeter, J., George, B. M., Zukowska, M., Gulati, G. S., Sinha, R., Morganti, R. M., Banuelos, A. M., Zhang, A., Jackson, P. K., Weissman, I. L. 2019

    View details for DOI 10.1101/836692

  • Programmed cell removal by calreticulin in tissue homeostasis and cancer NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Feng, M., Marjon, K. D., Zhu, F., Weissman-Tsukamoto, R., Levett, A., Sullivan, K., Kao, K. S., Markovic, M., Bump, P. A., Jackson, H. M., Choi, T. S., Chen, J., Banuelos, A. M., Liu, J., Gip, P., Cheng, L., Wang, D., Weissman, I. L. 2018; 9
  • Programmed cell removal by calreticulin in tissue homeostasis and cancer. Nature communications Feng, M. n., Marjon, K. D., Zhu, F. n., Weissman-Tsukamoto, R. n., Levett, A. n., Sullivan, K. n., Kao, K. S., Markovic, M. n., Bump, P. A., Jackson, H. M., Choi, T. S., Chen, J. n., Banuelos, A. M., Liu, J. n., Gip, P. n., Cheng, L. n., Wang, D. n., Weissman, I. L. 2018; 9 (1): 3194

    Abstract

    Macrophage-mediated programmed cell removal (PrCR) is a process essential for the clearance of unwanted (damaged, dysfunctional, aged, or harmful) cells. The detection and recognition of appropriate target cells by macrophages is a critical step for successful PrCR, but its molecular mechanisms have not been delineated. Here using the models of tissue turnover, cancer immunosurveillance, and hematopoietic stem cells, we show that unwanted cells such as aging neutrophils and living cancer cells are susceptible to "labeling" by secreted calreticulin (CRT) from macrophages, enabling their clearance through PrCR. Importantly, we identified asialoglycans on the target cells to which CRT binds to regulate PrCR, and the availability of such CRT-binding sites on cancer cells correlated with the prognosis of patients in various malignancies. Our study reveals a general mechanism of target cell recognition by macrophages, which is the key for the removal of unwanted cells by PrCR in physiological and pathophysiological processes.

    View details for PubMedID 30097573