Reengineering chimeric antigen receptor T cells for targeted therapy of autoimmune disease

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Science  08 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6295, pp. 179-184
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf6756

Engineering T cells to treat autoimmunity

Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis lack therapies that specifically target only the disease-causing cells. Inspired by the clinical success of using chimeric antigen receptor T cells to treat certain types of cancers, Ellebrecht et al. asked whether a similar approach might also work against antibody-driven autoimmune diseases. They engineered T cells to express chimeric receptors consisting of the disease-causing autoantigen desmoglein 3 fused to signaling domains that activate T cells. When given to diseased mice, the engineered T cells targeted and killed B cells that express antibodies targeting desmoglein 3, hinting that such a strategy may be an effective way to treat antibody-driven autoimmune diseases.

Science, this issue p. 179

  • These authors contributed equally to this work.