Unraveling tumor-immune heterogeneity in advanced ovarian cancer uncovers immunogenic effect of chemotherapy.
In metastatic cancer, the degree of heterogeneity of the tumor microenvironment (TME) and its molecular underpinnings remain largely unstudied. To characterize the tumor-immune interface at baseline and during neoadjuvant chemotherapy (NACT) in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC), we performed immunogenomic analysis of treatment-naive and paired samples from before and after treatment with chemotherapy. In treatment-naive HGSOC, we found that immune-cell-excluded and inflammatory microenvironments coexist within the same individuals and within the same tumor sites, indicating ubiquitous variability in immune cell infiltration. Analysis of TME cell composition, DNA copy number, mutations and gene expression showed that immune cell exclusion was associated with amplification of Myc target genes and increased expression of canonical Wnt signaling in treatment-naive HGSOC. Following NACT, increased natural killer (NK) cell infiltration and oligoclonal expansion of T cells were detected. We demonstrate that the tumor-immune microenvironment of advanced HGSOC is intrinsically heterogeneous and that chemotherapy induces local immune activation, suggesting that chemotherapy can potentiate the immunogenicity of immune-excluded HGSOC tumors.
Membrane Cholesterol Efflux Drives Tumor-Associated Macrophage Reprogramming and Tumor Progression.
Goossens Pieter,Rodriguez-Vita Juan,Etzerodt Anders,Masse Marion,Rastoin Olivia,Gouirand Victoire,Ulas Thomas,Papantonopoulou Olympia,Van Eck Miranda,Auphan-Anezin Nathalie,Bebien Magali,Verthuy Christophe,Vu Manh Thien Phong,Turner Martin,Dalod Marc,Schultze Joachim L,Lawrence Toby
Macrophages possess intrinsic tumoricidal activity, yet tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) rapidly adopt an alternative phenotype within the tumor microenvironment that is marked by tumor-promoting immunosuppressive and trophic functions. The mechanisms that promote such TAM polarization remain poorly understood, but once identified, they may represent important therapeutic targets to block the tumor-promoting functions of TAMs and restore their anti-tumor potential. Here, we have characterized TAMs in a mouse model of metastatic ovarian cancer. We show that ovarian cancer cells promote membrane-cholesterol efflux and depletion of lipid rafts from macrophages. Increased cholesterol efflux promoted IL-4-mediated reprogramming, including inhibition of IFNγ-induced gene expression. Genetic deletion of ABC transporters, which mediate cholesterol efflux, reverts the tumor-promoting functions of TAMs and reduces tumor progression. These studies reveal an unexpected role for membrane-cholesterol efflux in driving TAM-mediated tumor progression while pointing to a potentially novel anti-tumor therapeutic strategy.
TGFBI Production by Macrophages Contributes to an Immunosuppressive Microenvironment in Ovarian Cancer.
The tumor microenvironment evolves during malignant progression, with major changes in nonmalignant cells, cytokine networks, and the extracellular matrix (ECM). In this study, we aimed to understand how the ECM changes during neoplastic transformation of serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma lesions (STIC) into high-grade serous ovarian cancers (HGSOC). Analysis of the mechanical properties of human fallopian tubes (FT) and ovaries revealed that normal FT and fimbria had a lower tissue modulus, a measure of stiffness, than normal or diseased ovaries. Proteomic analysis of the matrisome fraction between FT, fimbria, and ovaries showed significant differences in the ECM protein TGF beta induced (TGFBI, also known as βig-h3). STIC lesions in the fimbria expressed high levels of TGFBI, which was predominantly produced by CD163-positive macrophages proximal to STIC epithelial cells. stimulation of macrophages with TGFβ and IL4 induced secretion of TGFBI, whereas IFNγ/LPS downregulated macrophage TGFBI expression. Immortalized FT secretory epithelial cells carrying clinically relevant TP53 mutations stimulated macrophages to secrete TGFBI and upregulated integrin αvβ3, a putative TGFBI receptor. Transcriptomic HGSOC datasets showed a significant correlation between TGFBI expression and alternatively activated macrophage signatures. Fibroblasts in HGSOC metastases expressed TGFBI and stimulated macrophage TGFBI production . Treatment of orthotopic mouse HGSOC tumors with an anti-TGFBI antibody reduced peritoneal tumor size, increased tumor monocytes, and activated β3-expressing unconventional T cells. In conclusion, TGFBI may favor an immunosuppressive microenvironment in STICs that persists in advanced HGSOC. Furthermore, TGFBI may be an effector of the tumor-promoting actions of TGFβ and a potential therapeutic target. SIGNIFICANCE: Analysis of ECM changes during neoplastic transformation reveals a role for TGFBI secreted by macrophages in immunosuppression in early ovarian cancer.
BTN3A1 governs antitumor responses by coordinating αβ and γδ T cells.
Payne Kyle K,Mine Jessica A,Biswas Subir,Chaurio Ricardo A,Perales-Puchalt Alfredo,Anadon Carmen M,Costich Tara Lee,Harro Carly M,Walrath Jennifer,Ming Qianqian,Tcyganov Evgenii,Buras Andrea L,Rigolizzo Kristen E,Mandal Gunjan,Lajoie Jason,Ophir Michael,Tchou Julia,Marchion Douglas,Luca Vincent C,Bobrowicz Piotr,McLaughlin Brooke,Eskiocak Ugur,Schmidt Michael,Cubillos-Ruiz Juan R,Rodriguez Paulo C,Gabrilovich Dmitry I,Conejo-Garcia Jose R
Science (New York, N.Y.)
Gamma delta (γδ) T cells infiltrate most human tumors, but current immunotherapies fail to exploit their in situ major histocompatibility complex-independent tumoricidal potential. Activation of γδ T cells can be elicited by butyrophilin and butyrophilin-like molecules that are structurally similar to the immunosuppressive B7 family members, yet how they regulate and coordinate αβ and γδ T cell responses remains unknown. Here, we report that the butyrophilin BTN3A1 inhibits tumor-reactive αβ T cell receptor activation by preventing segregation of N-glycosylated CD45 from the immune synapse. Notably, CD277-specific antibodies elicit coordinated restoration of αβ T cell effector activity and BTN2A1-dependent γδ lymphocyte cytotoxicity against BTN3A1 cancer cells, abrogating malignant progression. Targeting BTN3A1 therefore orchestrates cooperative killing of established tumors by αβ and γδ T cells and may present a treatment strategy for tumors resistant to existing immunotherapies.
Targeting monoamine oxidase A-regulated tumor-associated macrophage polarization for cancer immunotherapy.
Targeting tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is a promising strategy to modify the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and improve cancer immunotherapy. Monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) is an enzyme best known for its function in the brain; small molecule MAO inhibitors (MAOIs) are clinically used for treating neurological disorders. Here we observe MAO-A induction in mouse and human TAMs. MAO-A-deficient mice exhibit decreased TAM immunosuppressive functions corresponding with enhanced antitumor immunity. MAOI treatment induces TAM reprogramming and suppresses tumor growth in preclinical mouse syngeneic and human xenograft tumor models. Combining MAOI and anti-PD-1 treatments results in synergistic tumor suppression. Clinical data correlation studies associate high intratumoral MAOA expression with poor patient survival in a broad range of cancers. We further demonstrate that MAO-A promotes TAM immunosuppressive polarization via upregulating oxidative stress. Together, these data identify MAO-A as a critical regulator of TAMs and support repurposing MAOIs for TAM reprogramming to improve cancer immunotherapy.
Host expression of PD-L1 determines efficacy of PD-L1 pathway blockade-mediated tumor regression.
Lin Heng,Wei Shuang,Hurt Elaine M,Green Michael D,Zhao Lili,Vatan Linda,Szeliga Wojciech,Herbst Ronald,Harms Paul W,Fecher Leslie A,Vats Pankaj,Chinnaiyan Arul M,Lao Christopher D,Lawrence Theodore S,Wicha Max,Hamanishi Junzo,Mandai Masaki,Kryczek Ilona,Zou Weiping
The Journal of clinical investigation
Programmed death-1 receptor (PD-L1, B7-H1) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) pathway blockade is a promising therapy for treating cancer. However, the mechanistic contribution of host and tumor PD-L1 and PD-1 signaling to the therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 and PD-1 blockade remains elusive. Here, we evaluated 3 tumor-bearing mouse models that differ in their sensitivity to PD-L1 blockade and demonstrated a loss of therapeutic efficacy of PD-L1 blockade in immunodeficient mice and in PD-L1- and PD-1-deficient mice. In contrast, neither knockout nor overexpression of PD-L1 in tumor cells had an effect on PD-L1 blockade efficacy. Human and murine studies showed high levels of functional PD-L1 expression in dendritic cells and macrophages in the tumor microenvironments and draining lymph nodes. Additionally, expression of PD-L1 on dendritic cells and macrophages in ovarian cancer and melanoma patients correlated with the efficacy of treatment with either anti-PD-1 alone or in combination with anti-CTLA-4. Thus, PD-L1-expressing dendritic cells and macrophages may mechanistically shape and therapeutically predict clinical efficacy of PD-L1/PD-1 blockade.
Targeting the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway suppresses CARM1-expressing ovarian cancer.
CARM1 is often overexpressed in human cancers including in ovarian cancer. However, therapeutic approaches based on CARM1 expression remain to be an unmet need. Cancer cells exploit adaptive responses such as the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response for their survival through activating pathways such as the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway. Here, we report that CARM1-expressing ovarian cancer cells are selectively sensitive to inhibition of the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway. CARM1 regulates XBP1s target gene expression and directly interacts with XBP1s during ER stress response. Inhibition of the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway was effective against ovarian cancer in a CARM1-dependent manner both in vitro and in vivo in orthotopic and patient-derived xenograft models. In addition, IRE1α inhibitor B-I09 synergizes with immune checkpoint blockade anti-PD1 antibody in an immunocompetent CARM1-expressing ovarian cancer model. Our data show that pharmacological inhibition of the IRE1α/XBP1s pathway alone or in combination with immune checkpoint blockade represents a therapeutic strategy for CARM1-expressing cancers.
Oncostatin M Receptor-Targeted Antibodies Suppress STAT3 Signaling and Inhibit Ovarian Cancer Growth.
Although patients with advanced ovarian cancer may respond initially to treatment, disease relapse is common, and nearly 50% of patients do not survive beyond five years, indicating an urgent need for improved therapies. To identify new therapeutic targets, we performed single-cell and nuclear RNA-seq data set analyses on 17 human ovarian cancer specimens, revealing the oncostatin M receptor (OSMR) as highly expressed in ovarian cancer cells. Conversely, oncostatin M (OSM), the ligand of OSMR, was highly expressed by tumor-associated macrophages and promoted proliferation and metastasis in cancer cells. Ovarian cancer cell lines and additional patient samples also exhibited elevated levels of OSMR when compared with other cell types in the tumor microenvironment or to normal ovarian tissue samples. OSMR was found to be important for ovarian cancer cell proliferation and migration. Binding of OSM to OSMR caused OSMR-IL6ST dimerization, which is required to produce oncogenic signaling cues for prolonged STAT3 activation. Human monoclonal antibody clones B14 and B21 directed to the extracellular domain of OSMR abrogated OSM-induced OSMR-IL6ST heterodimerization, promoted the internalization and degradation of OSMR, and effectively blocked OSMR-mediated signaling . Importantly, these antibody clones inhibited the growth of ovarian cancer cells and by suppressing oncogenic signaling through OSMR and STAT3 activation. Collectively, this study provides a proof of principle that anti-OSMR antibody can mediate disruption of OSM-induced OSMR-IL6ST dimerization and oncogenic signaling, thus documenting the preclinical therapeutic efficacy of human OSMR antagonist antibodies for immunotherapy in ovarian cancer. SIGNIFICANCE: This study uncovers a role for OSMR in promoting ovarian cancer cell proliferation and metastasis by activating STAT3 signaling and demonstrates the preclinical efficacy of antibody-based OSMR targeting for ovarian cancer treatment.
CXCL13 shapes immunoactive tumor microenvironment and enhances the efficacy of PD-1 checkpoint blockade in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
Yang Moran,Lu Jiaqi,Zhang Guodong,Wang Yiying,He Mengdi,Xu Qing,Xu Congjian,Liu Haiou
Journal for immunotherapy of cancer
BACKGROUND:Most patients with high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC) lack an effective response to immune checkpoint blockade, highlighting the need for more knowledge about what is required for successful treatment. As follicular cytotoxic CXCR5CD8 T cells are maintained by reinvigoration by immune checkpoint blockade in tumors, we attempted to reveal the relationship between CXCR5CD8 T cells and the tumor microenvironment to predict immunotherapy responses in HGSC. METHODS:264 patients with HGSC from two cohorts and 340 HGSC cases from The Cancer Genome Atlas cohort were enrolled. Ex vivo and in vivo studies were conducted with human HGSC tumors and murine tumor models. The spatial correlation between CXC-chemokine ligand 13 (CXCL13), CXCR5, CD8, and CD20 was evaluated by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence. Survival was compared between different subsets of patients using Kaplan-Meier analysis. The therapeutic effect of CXCL13 and programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) blockade was validated using human HGSC tumors and murine models. RESULTS:High CXCL13 expression was associated with prolonged survival. Tumors with high CXCL13 expression exhibited increased infiltration of activated and CXCR5-expressing CD8 T cells. Incubation with CXCL13 facilitated expansion and activation of CXCR5CD8 T cells ex vivo. CXCR5CD8 T cells appeared in closer proximity to CXCL13 in tumors and chemotaxis towards CXCL13 in vitro. The combination of CXCL13, CXCR5, and CD8 T cells was an independent predictor for survival. In addition, CXCL13 was associated with clusters of CD20 B cells. CD20 B cells predicted better patient survival in the presence of CXCL13. Histological evaluation highlighted colocalization of CXCL13 with tertiary lymphoid structures (TLSs). TLSs carried prognostic benefit only in the presence of CXCL13. CXCL13 in combination with anti-PD-1 therapy retarded tumor growth in a CD8 T-cell-dependent manner, resulting in increased infiltration of cytotoxic CD8 T cells and CXCR5CD8 T cells. CONCLUSIONS:These data define a critical role of CXCL13 in shaping antitumor microenvironment by facilitating the maintenance of CXCR5CD8 T cells in TLSs and support a clinical investigation for a combination of CXCL13 and PD-1 blockade therapy in HGSC.
The SETDB1-TRIM28 Complex Suppresses Antitumor Immunity.
Cancer immunology research
The tumor immune microenvironment is influenced by the epigenetic landscape of the tumor. Here, we have identified the SETDB1-TRIM28 complex as a critical suppressor of antitumor immunity. An epigenetic CRISPR-Cas9 screen of 1,218 chromatin regulators identified TRIM28 as a suppressor of PD-L1 expression. We then revealed that expression of the SETDB1-TRIM28 complex negatively correlated with infiltration of effector CD8 T cells. Inhibition of SETDB1-TRIM28 simultaneously upregulated PD-L1 and activated the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS)-stimulator of interferon genes (STING) innate immune response pathway to increase infiltration of CD8 T cells. Mechanistically, SETDB1-TRIM28 inhibition led to micronuclei formation in the cytoplasm, which is known to activate the cGAS-STING pathway. Thus, SETDB1-TRIM28 inhibition bridges innate and adaptive immunity. Indeed, knockout enhanced the antitumor effects of immune checkpoint blockade with anti-PD-L1 in a mouse model of ovarian cancer in a cGAS-dependent manner. Our findings establish the SETDB1-TRIM28 complex as a regulator of antitumor immunity and demonstrate that its loss activates cGAS-STING innate immunity to boost the antitumor effects of immune checkpoint blockade.
Cancer-associated mesothelial cells promote ovarian cancer chemoresistance through paracrine osteopontin signaling.
The Journal of clinical investigation
Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of gynecological malignancy-related deaths, due to its widespread intraperitoneal metastases and acquired chemoresistance. Mesothelial cells are an important cellular component of the ovarian cancer microenvironment that promote metastasis. However, their role in chemoresistance is unclear. Here, we investigated whether cancer-associated mesothelial cells promote ovarian cancer chemoresistance and stemness in vitro and in vivo. We found that osteopontin is a key secreted factor that drives mesothelial-mediated ovarian cancer chemoresistance and stemness. Osteopontin is a secreted glycoprotein that is clinically associated with poor prognosis and chemoresistance in ovarian cancer. Mechanistically, ovarian cancer cells induced osteopontin expression and secretion by mesothelial cells through TGF-β signaling. Osteopontin facilitated ovarian cancer cell chemoresistance via the activation of the CD44 receptor, PI3K/AKT signaling, and ABC drug efflux transporter activity. Importantly, therapeutic inhibition of osteopontin markedly improved the efficacy of cisplatin in both human and mouse ovarian tumor xenografts. Collectively, our results highlight mesothelial cells as a key driver of ovarian cancer chemoresistance and suggest that therapeutic targeting of osteopontin may be an effective strategy for enhancing platinum sensitivity in ovarian cancer.
Tumor derived UBR5 promotes ovarian cancer growth and metastasis through inducing immunosuppressive macrophages.
Song Mei,Yeku Oladapo O,Rafiq Sarwish,Purdon Terence,Dong Xue,Zhu Lijing,Zhang Tuo,Wang Huan,Yu Ziqi,Mai Junhua,Shen Haifa,Nixon Briana,Li Ming,Brentjens Renier J,Ma Xiaojing
Immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) and ascites-derived spheroids in ovarian cancer (OC) facilitate tumor growth and progression, and also pose major obstacles for cancer therapy. The molecular pathways involved in the OC-TME interactions, how the crosstalk impinges on OC aggression and chemoresistance are not well-characterized. Here, we demonstrate that tumor-derived UBR5, an E3 ligase overexpressed in human OC associated with poor prognosis, is essential for OC progression principally by promoting tumor-associated macrophage recruitment and activation via key chemokines and cytokines. UBR5 is also required to sustain cell-intrinsic β-catenin-mediated signaling to promote cellular adhesion/colonization and organoid formation by controlling the p53 protein level. OC-specific targeting of UBR5 strongly augments the survival benefit of conventional chemotherapy and immunotherapies. This work provides mechanistic insights into the novel oncogene-like functions of UBR5 in regulating the OC-TME crosstalk and suggests that UBR5 is a potential therapeutic target in OC treatment for modulating the TME and cancer stemness.
Molecular targeted therapy: Treating cancer with specificity.
Lee Yeuan Ting,Tan Yi Jer,Oon Chern Ein
European journal of pharmacology
Molecular targeted therapies are revolutionized therapeutics which interfere with specific molecules to block cancer growth, progression, and metastasis. Many molecular targeted therapies approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have demonstrated remarkable clinical success in the treatment of a myriad of cancer types including breast, leukemia, colorectal, lung, and ovarian cancers. This review provides an update on the different types of molecular targeted therapies used in the treatment of cancer, focusing on the fundamentals of molecular targeted therapy, its mode of action in cancer treatment, as well as its advantages and limitations.