Soypeptide lunasin in cytokine immunotherapy for lymphoma

Hua Chen Chang, David Lewis, Chun Yu Tung, Ling Han, Sarah M.P. Henriquez, Larry Voiles, Ivan P. Lupov, David Pelloso, Anthony L. Sinn, Karen E. Pollok, Ben O. De Lumen, Fang Li, Janice S. Blum, Shivani Srivastava, Michael J. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Scopus citations


Immunostimulatory cytokines can enhance anti-tumor immunity and are part of the therapeutic armamentarium for cancer treatment. We have previously reported that post-transplant lymphoma patients have an acquired deficiency of signal transducer and activator of transcription 4, which results in defective IFNγ production during clinical immunotherapy. With the goal of further improving cytokine-based immunotherapy, we examined the effects of a soybean peptide called lunasin that synergistically works with cytokines on natural killer (NK) cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy donors and post-transplant lymphoma patients were stimulated with or without lunasin in the presence of IL-12 or IL-2. NK activation was evaluated, and its tumoricidal activity was assessed using in vitro and in vivo tumor models. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay was performed to evaluate the histone modification of gene loci that are regulated by lunasin and cytokine. Adding lunasin to IL-12- or IL-2-stimulated NK cells demonstrated synergistic effects in the induction of IFNG and GZMB involved in cytotoxicity. The combination of lunasin and cytokines (IL-12 plus IL-2) was capable of restoring IFNγ production by NK cells from post-transplant lymphoma patients. In addition, NK cells stimulated with lunasin plus cytokines displayed higher tumoricidal activity than those stimulated with cytokines alone using in vitro and in vivo tumor models. The underlying mechanism responsible for the effects of lunasin on NK cells is likely due to epigenetic modulation on target gene loci. Lunasin represents a different class of immune modulating agent that may augment the therapeutic responses mediated by cytokine-based immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Immunology, Immunotherapy
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Cytokine immunotherapy
  • Lunasin
  • Lymphoma
  • NK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy

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  • Cite this

    Chang, H. C., Lewis, D., Tung, C. Y., Han, L., Henriquez, S. M. P., Voiles, L., Lupov, I. P., Pelloso, D., Sinn, A. L., Pollok, K. E., De Lumen, B. O., Li, F., Blum, J. S., Srivastava, S., & Robertson, M. J. (2014). Soypeptide lunasin in cytokine immunotherapy for lymphoma. Cancer Immunology, Immunotherapy, 63(3), 283-295.