Vascular targeting of LIGHT normalizes blood vessels in primary brain cancer and induces intratumoural high endothelial venules

Bo He, Arnaud Jabouille, Veronica Steri, Anna Johansson-Percival, Iacovos P. Michael, Venkata Ramana Kotamraju, Reimar Junckerstorff, Anna K. Nowak, Juliana Hamzah, Gabriel Lee, Gabriele Bergers, Ruth Ganss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)
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High-grade brain cancer such as glioblastoma (GBM) remains an incurable disease. A common feature of GBM is the angiogenic vasculature, which can be targeted with selected peptides for payload delivery. We assessed the ability of micelle-tagged, vascular homing peptides RGR, CGKRK and NGR to specifically bind to blood vessels in syngeneic orthotopic GBM models. By using the peptide CGKRK to deliver the tumour necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily member LIGHT (also known as TNF superfamily member 14; TNFSF14) to angiogenic tumour vessels, we have generated a reagent that normalizes the brain cancer vasculature by inducing pericyte contractility and re-establishing endothelial barrier integrity. LIGHT-mediated vascular remodelling also activates endothelia and induces intratumoural high endothelial venules (HEVs), which are specialized blood vessels for lymphocyte infiltration. Combining CGKRK–LIGHT with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor and checkpoint blockade amplified HEV frequency and T-cell accumulation in GBM, which is often sparsely infiltrated by immune effector cells, and reduced tumour burden. Furthermore, CGKRK and RGR peptides strongly bound to blood vessels in freshly resected human GBM, demonstrating shared peptide-binding activities in mouse and human primary brain tumour vessels. Thus, peptide-mediated LIGHT targeting is a highly translatable approach in primary brain cancer to reduce vascular leakiness and enhance immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)209-221
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


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