Research Lab

Glycoimmunology

Glycoimmunology
29679
Research Interests

Glycans are involved in all biological processes, influencing the functioning of all human cells. Our main goals are to identify glycans as novel therapeutic targets and to contribute to develop innovative immunotherapies to treat patients with cancer and with congenital disorders of Glycosylation (CDG). We aim to understand the fundamental roles of cell surface glycans in modulating the potency of immune cells and their therapeutic potential against infection and cancer. We are also screening aberrant glycosylation that potentiates cancer progression and metastasis, and supresses immune function for targeted therapy. We use state-of-the-art methods: immune-based assays, cell and molecular biology, in vitro and in vivo models and patient cells.

Research Highlights
Exploring glycosylation to improve anti-tumor immunotherapy

We developed two technologies that hold promise as therapeutics against cancer. One concerns antibodies against tumor-associated glycans (Loureiro et al, Sci Rep 2018, PCT/IB2016/053901). The sialyl Tn and sialyl Lewis X glycans are aberrantly expressed in cancer and foment evasion from the immune system and capacity for metastasis (Carrascal et al, 2018).

The other technology concerns the modulation of sialylated glycans to enhance the ability of dendritic cells to activate T cells to specifically kill tumor cells (Silva et al, 2016; WO 2017002045 A1). We are currently collaborating with partners to translate our technology into clinics.

 

fig1

A.Human dendritic cells stained with sialic acid-binding lectin (red), B. Colon adenocarcinoma showing sialyl Lewis X expression (brown)

 

CDG & Allies -PPAIN - Congenital disorders of Glycosylation - Professionals and Patient Associations International Network.

Together with the Portuguese association of CDG (APCDG) we founded an unrivalled international network that joins scientists, physicians, families and patient advocacy groups dedicated to CDG. We are establishing a patient-led unique infrastructure that foments research, awareness and education for CDG (Monticelli et al, 2016; Marques da Silva et al. 2017). Website www.researchcdg. com. CDG & Allies PPAIN is located at FCT NOVA and directed by P. Videira and Vanessa Ferreira.

Representative Projects

  • “GenMedcare therapeutics research agreement”, Total and Unit funding: €50,000, Paula Videira (PI).
  • “Siamab therapeutics research agreement”, Total and Unit funding: €20,000, Paula Videira (PI).
  • “GlyCoCan - exploiting glycosylation of colorectal cancer for the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics”, Total funding: €3,2M and Unit funding: €476,712, Paula Videira (Collaborator).
  • “Trifunctional antibodies and dendritic cell-based technologies: a combined approach to cancer immunotherapy” Bluepharma | University of Coimbra Award, Total and Unit funding: €20,000, Paula Videira (PI).
  • “ADVANCE - desenvolvimento de novas vacinas anti- cancro a partir de células dendríticas”, FEDER,-QREN, Total funding: €431,012, Unit funding: €215,506 , Paula Videira (co-PI).

Selected Publications

João Silva; Pavlo Vanat; Dorinda Marques-da-Silva; Joaquim Rui Rodrigues; Ricardo Lagoa. 2020. Metal alginates for polyphenol delivery systems: Studies on crosslinking ions and easy-to-use patches for release of protective flavonoids in skin. Bioactive Materials, 5(3), DOI: 10.1016/j.bioactmat.2020.03.012
Loureiro, LR; Feldmann, A; Bergmann, R; Koristka, S; Berndt, N; Mathe, D; Hegedus, N; Szigeti, K; Videira, PA; Bachmann, M; Arndt, C. 2020. Extended half-life target module for sustainable UniCAR T-cell treatment of STn-expressing cancers. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL & CLINICAL CANCER RESEARCH, 39, DOI: 10.1186/s13046-020-01572-4
Silva, Z; Ferro, T; Almeida, D; Soares, H; Ferreira, JA; Deschepper, FM; Hensbergen, PJ; Pirro, M; van Vliet, SJ; Springer, S; Videira, PA. 2020. MHC Class I Stability is Modulated by Cell Surface Sialylation in Human Dendritic Cells. MOLECULAR PHARMACEUTICS, 12, DOI: 10.3390/pharmaceutics12030249
Pascoal, C; Francisco, R; Ferro, T; Ferreira, VD; Jaeken, J; Videira, PA. 2020. CDG and immune response: From bedside to bench and back. JOURNAL OF INHERITED METABOLIC DISEASE, 43, DOI: 10.1002/jimd.12126
Casal, D; Mota-Silva, E; Iria, I; Pais, D; Farinho, A; Alves, S; Pen, C; Mascarenhas-Lemos, L; Ferreira-Silva, J; Ferraz-Oliveira, M; Vassilenko, V; Videira, PA; Goyri-O'Neill, J. 2020. Functional and Physiological Methods of Evaluating Median Nerve Regeneration in the Rat. Jove-Journal of Visualized Experiments, DOI: 10.3791/59767