Product(s) used in this publication: PepTrack™ Peptide Libraries
Src-kinase inhibitors hold great potential as targeted therapy against malignant cells. However, such inhibitors may also affect nonmalignant cells and cause pronounced off-target effects. We investigated the role of the dual kinase inhibitor dasatinib on human myeloid cells. Dasatinib is clinically used for the treatment of bcr/abl⁺ leukemias because it blocks the mutated tyrosine kinase abl. To understand its effect on the development of antigen-specific T-cell responses, we assessed antigen-specific priming of human, naïve T cells. In surprising contrast to the direct inhibition of T-cell activation by dasatinib, pretreatment of maturing dendritic cells (DCs) with dasatinib strongly enhanced their stimulatory activity. This effect strictly depended on the activating DC stimulus and led to enhanced interleukin 12 (IL-12) production and T-cell responses of higher functional avidity. Src-kinase inhibitors, and not conventional tyrosine kinase inhibitors, increased IL-12 production in several cell types of myeloid origin, such as monocytes and classical or nonclassical DCs. Interestingly, only human cells, but not mouse or macaques DCs, were affected. These data highlight the potential immunostimulatory capacity of a group of novel drugs, src-kinase inhibitors, thereby opening new opportunities for chemoimmunotherapy. These data also provide evidence for a regulatory role of src kinases in the activation of myeloid cells.