Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapies using defined product compositions require high-purity T-cell isolation systems that, unlike immunomagnetic positive enrichment, are inexpensive and leave no trace on the final cell product. Here, we show that DNA aptamers (generated with a modified cell−SELEX procedure to display low-nanomolar affinity for the T-cell marker CD8) enable the traceless isolation of pure CD8+ T cells at low cost and high yield. Captured CD8+ T cells are released label-free by complementary oligonucleotides that undergo toehold-mediated strand displacement with the aptamer. We also show that chimeric antigen receptor T cells manufactured from these cells are comparable to antibody-isolated chimeric antigen receptor T cells in proliferation, phenotype, effector function and antitumour activity in a mouse model of B-cell lymphoma. By employing multiple aptamers and the corresponding complementary oligonucleotides, aptamer-mediated cell selection could enable the fully synthetic, sequential and traceless isolation of desired lymphocyte subsets from a single system.
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The data that support the main findings of this study are available in the Article and Supplementary Information. All source data generated for this study and relevant information are available from the corresponding authors on reasonable request. The NanoString nCounter data have been deposited in the NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, with accession code GSE130185.
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This work was supported by a sponsored research agreement from Juno Therapeutics. We are grateful to C. Ramsborg (Juno Therapeutics), A. Bianchi (Juno Therapeutics), J. Shi (Juno Therapeutics), C. Chan (Juno Therapeutics), B. Olden (University of Washington) and J. Gustafson (Seattle Children’s Research Institute) for their critical discussion and helpful advice and to A. Mills (Juno Therapeutics) for manuscript feedback. We are also grateful to all Pun and Jensen Lab members, especially J. Yokoyama (Seattle Children’s Research Institute) and A. Johnson (Seattle Children’s Research Institute), for experimental support and helpful advice. We also thank the Baker Lab, especially B. Langan, for assistance with Octet BLI studies. We thank C. Saxby (University of Washington) and R. Mukherjee (Seattle Children’s Research Institute) for their valuable input relating to NGS and NanoString nCounter analysis, respectively. We thank M. Meechan (Seattle Children’s Research Institute) for assisting with mouse bioluminescence imaging and cage monitoring. We also thank members of the Statistical Consulting Program in the Departments of Biostatistics and Statistics, especially T. H. Wai (University of Washington), for their valuable input regarding the statistical analysis. We thank H. Y. Lin for preparing the SELEX and cell isolation figures. I. Cardle was supported partly by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under award no. 5T32CA080416-19 for research reported in this publication.
S.H.P., M.C.J., N.K. and I.I.C. are co-inventors on two US provisional patent applications (nos. 62/699,438 and 62/779,946) for the aptamers and complementary reversal agents for traceless isolation described in this manuscript.
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