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Metabolic stress in cancer cells induces immune escape through a PI3K-dependent blockade of IFN? receptor signaling.


ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:T-cell mediated immunotherapy brought clinical success for many cancer patients. Nonetheless, downregulation of MHC class I antigen presentation, frequently occurring in solid cancers, limits the efficacy of these therapies. Unraveling the mechanisms underlying this type of immune escape is therefore of great importance. We here investigated the immunological effects of metabolic stress in cancer cells as a result of nutrient deprivation. METHODS:TC1 and B16F10 tumor cell lines were cultured under oxygen- and glucose-deprivation conditions that mimicked the tumor microenvironment of solid tumors. Presentation of peptide antigens by MHC class I molecules was measured by flow cytometry and via activation of tumor-specific CD8 T cell clones. The proficiency of the IFNy-STAT1 pathway was investigated by Western blots on phosphorylated proteins, transfection of constitutive active STAT1 constructs and qPCR of downstream targets. Kinase inhibitors for PI3K were used to examine its role in IFNy receptor signal transduction. RESULTS:Combination of oxygen- and glucose-deprivation resulted in decreased presentation of MHC class I antigens on cancer cells, even in the presence of the stimulatory cytokine IFNy. This unresponsiveness to IFNy was the result of failure to phosphorylate the signal transducer STAT1. Forced expression of constitutive active STAT1 fully rescued the MHC class I presentation. Furthermore, oxygen- and glucose-deprivation increased PI3K activity in tumor cells. Pharmacological inhibition of this pathway not only restored signal transduction through IFNy-STAT1 but also improved MHC class I presentation. Importantly, PI3K inhibitors also rendered tumor cells sensitive for recognition by CD8 T cells in culture conditions of metabolic stress. CONCLUSIONS:These data revealed a strong impact of metabolic stress on the presentation of tumor antigens by MHC class I and suggest that this type of tumor escape takes place at hypoxic areas even during times of active T cell immunity and IFNy release.

SUBMITTER: Marijt KA 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6567539 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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