FOXO1 is a master regulator of CAR T memory programming.
Poor CAR T persistence limits CAR T cell therapies for B cell malignancies and solid tumors1,2. The expression of memory-associated genes such as TCF7 (protein name TCF1) is linked to response and long-term persistence in patients3-7, thereby implicating memory programs in therapeutic efficacy. Here, we demonstrate that the pioneer transcription factor, FOXO1, is responsible for promoting memory programs and restraining exhaustion in human CAR T cells. Pharmacologic inhibition or gene editing of endogenous FOXO1 in human CAR T cells diminished the expression of memory-associated genes, promoted an exhaustion-like phenotype, and impaired antitumor activity in vitro and in vivo. FOXO1 overexpression induced a gene expression program consistent with T cell memory and increased chromatin accessibility at FOXO1 binding motifs. FOXO1-overexpressing cells retained function, memory potential, and metabolic fitness during settings of chronic stimulation and exhibited enhanced persistence and antitumor activity in vivo. In contrast, TCF1 overexpression failed to enforce canonical memory programs or enhance CAR T cell potency. Importantly, endogenous FOXO1 activity correlated with CAR T and TIL responses in patients, underscoring its clinical relevance in cancer immunotherapy. Our results demonstrate that memory reprogramming through FOXO1 can enhance the persistence and potency of human CAR T cells and highlights the utility of pioneer factors, which bind condensed chromatin and induce local epigenetic remodeling, for optimizing therapeutic T cell states.
View details for DOI 10.21203/rs.3.rs-2802998/v1
View details for PubMedID 37986944
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10659532
daf-16/FoxO promotes gluconeogenesis and trehalose synthesis during starvation to support survival
daf-16/FoxO is required to survive starvation in Caenorhabditis elegans, but how daf-16IFoxO promotes starvation resistance is unclear. We show that daf-16/FoxO restructures carbohydrate metabolism by driving carbon flux through the glyoxylate shunt and gluconeogenesis and into synthesis of trehalose, a disaccharide of glucose. Trehalose is a well-known stress protectant, capable of preserving membrane organization and protein structure during abiotic stress. Metabolomic, genetic, and pharmacological analyses confirm increased trehalose synthesis and further show that trehalose not only supports survival as a stress protectant but also serves as a glycolytic input. Furthermore, we provide evidence that metabolic cycling between trehalose and glucose is necessary for this dual function of trehalose. This work demonstrates that daf-16/FoxO promotes starvation resistance by shifting carbon metabolism to drive trehalose synthesis, which in turn supports survival by providing an energy source and acting as a stress protectant.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.30057
View details for Web of Science ID 000413726200001
View details for PubMedID 29063832
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5655125