CD16-158-Valine Chimeric Receptor T Cells Overcome the Resistance of Kras-Mutated Colorectal Carcinoma Cells to Cetuximab

KRAS mutations hinder therapeutic efficacy of epidermal-growth-factor-receptor (EGFR)-specific mAbs cetuximab and panitumumab-based immunotherapy of EGFR+ cancers. Although cetuximab inhibits KRAS-mutated cancer cell growth in vitro by NK cell-mediated antibody-dependent-cellular-cytotoxicity-(ADCC), KRAS-mutated colorectal carcinoma (CRC) cells escape NK cell immunosurveillance in vivo. To overcome this limitation, we used cetuximab and panitumumab to redirect Fcγ chimeric receptor (CR) T cells against KRAS-mutated HCT116 colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. We compared 4 polymorphic Fcγ-CR constructs including CD16158F -CR, CD16158V -CR, CD32131H -CR, and CD32131R -CR, transduced into T cells by retroviral vectors. Percentages of transduced T cells expressing CD32131H -CR (83.5 ± 9.5) and CD32131R -CR (77.7 ± 13.2) were significantly higher than those expressing with CD16158F -CR (30.3 ± 10.2) and CD16158V -CR (51.7 ± 13.7) (p < 0.003). CD32131R -CR T cells specifically bound soluble cetuximab and panitumumab. However, only CD16158V -CR T cells released high levels of interferon gamma (IFNγ = 1,145.5 pg/ml ±16.5 pg/ml, p < 0.001) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα = 614 pg/ml ± 21 pg/ml, p < 0.001) upon incubation with cetuximab-opsonized HCT116 cells. Moreover, only CD16158V -CR T cells combined with cetuximab killed HCT116 cells and A549 KRAS-mutated cells in vitro. CD16158V -CR T cells also effectively controlled subcutaneous growth of HCT116 cells, in CB17-SCID mice in vivo. Thus, CD16158V -CR T cells combined with cetuximab represent useful reagents to develop innovative EGFR+KRAS-mutated CRC immunotherapies.