Extensive genomic characterization of human cancers presents the problem of inference from genomic abnormalities to cancer phenotypes. To address this problem, we analysed proteomes of colon and rectal tumours characterized previously by The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and perform integrated proteogenomic analyses. Somatic variants displayed reduced protein abundance compared to germline variants. Messenger RNA transcript abundance did not reliably predict protein abundance differences between tu ...[more]
Project description:Little is known about how the immune system impacts human colorectal cancer invasiveness and stemness. Here we detected interleukin-22 (IL-22) in patient colorectal cancer tissues that was produced predominantly by CD4(+) T cells. In a mouse model, migration of these cells into the colon cancer microenvironment required the chemokine receptor CCR6 and its ligand CCL20. IL-22 acted on cancer cells to promote activation of the transcription factor STAT3 and expression of the histone 3 lysine 79 (H3K79) methytransferase DOT1L. The DOT1L complex induced the core stem cell genes NANOG, SOX2, and Pou5F1, resulting in increased cancer stemness and tumorigenic potential. Furthermore, high DOT1L expression and H3K79me2 in colorectal cancer tissues was a predictor of poor patient survival. Thus, IL-22(+) cells promote colon cancer stemness via regulation of stemness genes that negatively affects patient outcome. Efforts to target this network might be a strategy in treating colorectal cancer patients.