Yiping Yang

Overview:

The goal of Dr. Yang’s laboratory is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to the generation of potent and long-lasting anti-tumor immunity, and to develop effective gene immunotherapeutic strategies for treating cancer. Furthermore, rational pre-clinical approaches will be tested in clinical trials in patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related malignancies. Specifically, we focus on the following areas:

1. Innate Immunity to Viruses. Recombinant vaccinia virus and adenovirus have been developed as potent vaccine vehicles for treating cancer and infectious diseases. Recent studies have shown that the unique potency of these viruses lies in their effective activation of the innate immune system. How these viruses activate the innate immune system remains largely unknown. We have been interested in the role of pattern-recognition receptors including Toll-like receptors (TLRs)in innate immune recognition of these viruses as well as their signaling pathways. In addition, we are investigating the role of innate immune cells such as natural killer (NK) cells in innate and adaptive immune responses to these viruses. A full understanding of these processes will help us design effective vaccine strategies.

2. T Cell Memory. Eliciting long-lived memory T cell response is an ultimate goal of vaccination to provide long-term immunity against cancer. However, it is not clear what controls the formation of long-lived memory T cells. The understanding of mechanisms underlying memory T cell formation will provide important insights into the design of effective vaccines for treating cancer.

3. Regulatory T Cell Biology. Accumulating evidence has shown that the immunosuppressive CD4+CD25+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (TReg) play a critical role in the suppression of anti-tumor immunity. However, little is known about how TReg suppress T cell activation in vivo. Delineation of mechanisms underlying TReg-mediated suppression in vivo will help develop strategies to overcome TReg-mediated suppression in favor of boosting anti-tumor immunity.

4. Immunotherapy for EBV-associated Malignancies. Clinically, EBV-associated malignancies such as Hodgkin’s lymphoma offer a unique model to explore antigen-defined immunotherapy approaches because EBV-derived tumor antigens are specific for tumor cells only. Using this clinical model, we will test the utility of rational strategies identified in our preclinical models.

Positions:

Professor of Medicine

Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
School of Medicine

Professor of Immunology

Immunology
School of Medicine

Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Duke Cancer Institute
School of Medicine

Education:

M.D. 1985

Zhejiang University (China)

Ph.D. 1993

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor

Residency, General Internal Medicine

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Fellowship, Medical Oncology

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Grants:

Role of hedgehog signaling in tumor-associated macrophage polarization

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

T memory stem cells in cancer

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Novel Strategies for Cancer Immunotherapy in Stem Cell Transplant

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Role of Endogenous Toll-Like Receptor Ligands in Allospecific T Cell Activation

Administered By
Surgery, Abdominal Transplant Surgery
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Mentor
Start Date
End Date

Role of inflammation in cancer progression

Administered By
Medicine, Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy
Awarded By
National Institutes of Health
Role
Principal Investigator
Start Date
End Date

Publications:

Tumor-associated macrophages: implications in cancer immunotherapy.

Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs), representing most of the leukocyte population in solid tumors, demonstrate great phenotypic heterogeneity and diverse functional capabilities under the influence of the local tumor microenvironment. These anti-inflammatory and protumorigenic macrophages modulate the local microenvironment to facilitate tumor growth and metastasis. In this review, we examine the origin of TAMs and the complex regulatory networks within the tumor microenvironment that facilitate the polarization of TAMs toward a protumoral phenotype. More extensively, we evaluate the mechanisms by which TAMs mediate angiogenesis, metastasis, chemotherapeutic resistance and immune evasion. Lastly, we will highlight novel interventional strategies targeting TAMs in preclinical studies and in early clinical trials that have significant potential in improving efficacy of current chemotherapeutic and/or immunotherapeutic approaches.
Authors
Petty, AJ; Yang, Y
MLA Citation
Petty, Amy J., and Yiping Yang. “Tumor-associated macrophages: implications in cancer immunotherapy..” Immunotherapy, vol. 9, no. 3, Mar. 2017, pp. 289–302. Pubmed, doi:10.2217/imt-2016-0135.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1236771
PMID
28231720
Source
pubmed
Published In
Immunotherapy
Volume
9
Published Date
Start Page
289
End Page
302
DOI
10.2217/imt-2016-0135

Heparan sulfate, an endogenous TLR4 agonist, promotes acute GVHD after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains the most common cause of nonrelapse-related morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). Although T-cell depletion and intensive immunosuppression are effective in the control of GVHD, they are often associated with higher rates of infection and tumor recurrence. In this study, we showed that heparan sulfate (HS), an extracellular matrix component, can activate Toll-like receptor 4 on dendritic cells in vitro, leading to the enhancement of dendritic cell maturation and alloreactive T-cell responses. We further demonstrated in vivo that serum HS levels were acutely elevated at the onset of clinical GVHD in mice after allo-HSCT. Treatment with the serine protease inhibitor α1-antitrypsin decreased serum levels of HS, leading to a reduction in alloreactive T-cell responses and GVHD severity. Conversely, an HS mimetic that increased serum HS levels accelerated GVHD. In addition, in patients undergoing allo-HSCT for hematologic malignancies, serum HS levels were elevated and correlated with the severity of GVHD. These results identify a critical role for HS in promoting acute GVHD after allo-HSCT, and they suggest that modulation of HS release may have therapeutic potential for the control of clinical GVHD.
Authors
Brennan, TV; Lin, L; Huang, X; Cardona, DM; Li, Z; Dredge, K; Chao, NJ; Yang, Y
MLA Citation
Brennan, Todd V., et al. “Heparan sulfate, an endogenous TLR4 agonist, promotes acute GVHD after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.Blood, vol. 120, no. 14, Oct. 2012, pp. 2899–908. Pubmed, doi:10.1182/blood-2011-07-368720.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub756477
PMID
22760779
Source
pubmed
Published In
Blood
Volume
120
Published Date
Start Page
2899
End Page
2908
DOI
10.1182/blood-2011-07-368720

Intrinsic IL-21 signaling is critical for CD8 T cell memory formation in response to Vaccinia viral infection

Authors
Novy, P; Yang, Y
MLA Citation
Novy, Patricia, and Yiping Yang. “Intrinsic IL-21 signaling is critical for CD8 T cell memory formation in response to Vaccinia viral infection.” Journal of Immunology, vol. 184, AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS, Apr. 2010.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub1150142
Source
wos
Published In
The Journal of Immunology
Volume
184
Published Date

The fate of effector CD8 T cells in vivo is controlled by the duration of antigen stimulation.

What controls the fate of the T-cell response remains incompletely defined. Gain of effector function facilitated by costimulation has been thought to be a crucial factor in determining the outcome of the T-cell response, i.e. long-term memory in the presence of costimulation versus tolerance induction in the absence of costimulation. In this study, we show that while costimulation or cognate CD4 helps to promote the acquisition of effector function during the initial phase of the CD8 T-cell response, the fate of effector CD8 T cells is controlled by the duration of subsequent antigenic stimulation. Effector CD8 T cells differentiate into memory cells only after clearance of antigen, whereas in the presence of persistent antigen, effector CD8 T cells are tolerized. Furthermore, protective immunity against tumour cannot develop in the persisting antigen environment. These results suggest that removal of persisting antigen by other means might be a prerequisite for effective immunotherapy in cancer.
Authors
MLA Citation
Huang, Xiaopei, and Yiping Yang. “The fate of effector CD8 T cells in vivo is controlled by the duration of antigen stimulation..” Immunology, vol. 118, no. 3, July 2006, pp. 361–71. Pubmed, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2567.2006.02381.x.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub777580
PMID
16827897
Source
pubmed
Published In
Immunology
Volume
118
Published Date
Start Page
361
End Page
371
DOI
10.1111/j.1365-2567.2006.02381.x

Cyclophosphamide diminishes inflammation and prolongs transgene expression following delivery of adenoviral vectors to mouse liver and lung.

Immune responses to adenovirus-mediated gene transfer contribute to the problems of transient recombinant gene expression, inflammation, and difficulties with vector readministration. Activation of CD4+ T cells is required for full realization of effector function of both CD8+ T cells (i.e., cytotoxic T cells) and B cells (i.e., neutralizing antibody). We evaluate in this study the effectiveness of a short course of high-dose cyclophosphamide to block immune responses in mice administered vector into lung and liver of C57BL/6 mice. Administration of cyclophosphamide with vector directed to liver blocked activation and mobilization of both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. As a result, transgene expression was prolonged, inflammation was reduced, and, at the higher doses of cyclophosphamide, formation of neutralizing antibody was prevented and the vector was successfully readministered. Similar studies in the lung demonstrated an effective blockade of T and B cell responses. In contrast to the liver, where it was easier to stabilize transgene expression than to prevent neutralizing antibody, cyclophosphamide prevented the formation of neutralizing antibodies at all doses in the lung, whereas stabilization of transgene expression was only achieved at the highest dose. These experiments begin to define the parameters by which cyclophosphamide could be used as an adjunct in gene therapy.
Authors
Jooss, K; Yang, Y; Wilson, JM
MLA Citation
Jooss, K., et al. “Cyclophosphamide diminishes inflammation and prolongs transgene expression following delivery of adenoviral vectors to mouse liver and lung..” Hum Gene Ther, vol. 7, no. 13, Aug. 1996, pp. 1555–66. Pubmed, doi:10.1089/hum.1996.7.13-1555.
URI
https://scholars.duke.edu/individual/pub807240
PMID
8864756
Source
pubmed
Published In
Human Gene Therapy
Volume
7
Published Date
Start Page
1555
End Page
1566
DOI
10.1089/hum.1996.7.13-1555

Research Areas:

Acute Disease
Adaptive Immunity
Adenoviridae
Adenoviridae Infections
Adenovirus E1A Proteins
Adenovirus E1B Proteins
Adenoviruses, Human
Adjuvants, Immunologic
Adoptive Transfer
Aged
Alternative Splicing
Antibody Formation
Antigen Presentation
Antigens, CD4
Antigens, CD8
Antigens, Neoplasm
Antigens, Viral
Antineoplastic Agents
Autoantigens
Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmunity
Blotting, Western
CD4 Antigens
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes
Cell Proliferation
Chaperonins
Chloride Channels
Coculture Techniques
Combined Modality Therapy
Cyclic AMP
Cystic Fibrosis Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
Cytokines
Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
DNA, Viral
Dendritic Cells
Dependovirus
Disease Models, Animal
Electric Conductivity
Endoplasmic Reticulum
Endosomes
Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
Female
Flow Cytometry
Gene Deletion
Gene Knock-In Techniques
Gene Transfer Techniques
Gene therapy
Genes, Bacterial
Genes, Viral
Genetic Therapy
Germinal Center
Glucose
Graft vs Host Disease
Growth Inhibitors
HLA Antigens
HLA-C Antigens
Heat-Shock Proteins
Hemagglutinins
Hematologic Neoplasms
Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation
Heparitin Sulfate
Histocompatibility
Histocompatibility Testing
Humans
Immune System
Immune Tolerance
Immunity, Cellular
Immunity, Innate
Immunologic Memory
Immunosuppressive Agents
Immunotherapy
Influenza A virus
Interferon Type I
Interferon-beta
Interleukin-10
Interleukin-12
Interleukin-13
Interleukin-2
Interleukin-6
Killer Cells, Natural
Luciferases
Lung Neoplasms
Lymphocyte Activation
Lymphocyte Depletion
Lymphocyte Transfusion
Lymphocytes
Lymphoma
Lymphopenia
Macrophages
Male
Membrane Glycoproteins
Mice
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Mice, Inbred CBA
Mice, Knockout
Mice, Mutant Strains
Mice, Nude
Mice, Transgenic
Microsomes
Middle Aged
Mitosis
Molecular Sequence Data
Myelodysplastic Syndromes
Myeloid Cells
Myeloid Differentiation Factor 88
NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily K
Neoplasms
North Carolina
Oocytes
Peripheral Blood Stem Cell Transplantation
Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
RNA, Messenger
Receptors, Cell Surface
Receptors, Interleukin-1
Receptors, KIR
Recombinant Proteins
Retrospective Studies
Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
Risk Factors
STAT1 Transcription Factor
Sequence Deletion
Stem Cell Transplantation
Survival Rate
T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity
T-Lymphocytes
T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory
Toll-Like Receptor 2
Toll-Like Receptor 4
Toll-Like Receptor 8
Toll-Like Receptor 9
Toll-Like Receptors
Transfection
Transgenes
Transplantation Conditioning
Transplantation, Homologous
Tumor Escape
Vaccines
Vaccinia
Vaccinia virus
Virus Diseases
Viruses
Xenopus
beta-Galactosidase