Indexed on: 12 Nov '19Published on: 11 Nov '19Published in: Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
CARs are synthetic receptors designed to drive antigen-specific activation upon binding of the scFv to its cognate antigen. However, CARs can also elicit different levels of ligand-independent constitutive signaling, also known as tonic signaling. Chronic T cell activation is observed in certain combinations of scFv, hinge, and costimulatory domains and may be increased due to high levels of CAR expression. Tonic signaling can be identified during primary T cell expansion due to differences in the phenotype and growth of CAR-T cells compared to control T cells. CARs displaying tonic signaling are associated with accelerated T cell differentiation and exhaustion and impaired antitumor effects. Selecting CARs which configuration does not induce tonic signaling is important to enhance antigen-specific T cell responses. In this chapter, we describe in detail different protocols to identify tonic signaling driven by CARs during primary T cell ex vivo expansion.