Identification of immunological subtypes of hepatocellular carcinoma with expression profiling of immune-modulating genes.
- 作者列表："Cao D","Chen MK","Zhang QF","Zhou YF","Zhang MY","Mai SJ","Zhang YJ","Chen MS","Li XX","Wang HY
:Recent studies demonstrate that immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy has achieved success in many types of advanced cancers including advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, ICI therapy is beneficial in only some HCC patients, suggesting that immune-responses are highly variable in HCCs. Therefore, understanding the immune status in HCC microenvironment will facilitate ICI immunotherapy and guide patient selection for the therapy. In this study, we first analyzed the expression profile of immune-modulating genes and their relationship with survival of HCC patients using the data downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas - Liver Hepatocellular Carcinoma (TCGA-LIHC) database, and found that the higher expressions of CD276 (B7-H3) and CD47 were significantly associated with poor survival. Then we identified 4 immune subtypes of HCCs with different survivals by using the combination expression of B7-H3 (or CD47) and CD8. Patients with B7-H3low/CD8high or CD47low/CD8high have the best survival while ones with B7-H3high/CD8low or CD47high/CD8low have the worst survival. The 4 immune subtypes were validated in another 72 HCC patients obtained from South China. In conclusion, our findings suggest that HCC patient prognosis is associated with immunophenotypes by T cell infiltration (CD8 expression) and the expression of the adaptive immune resistance gene (B7-H3 or CD47), and this immune classification system will facilitate HCC patient selection for ICI immunotherapy.
: 最近的研究表明，免疫检查点抑制剂 (ICI) 治疗在包括晚期肝细胞癌 (HCC) 在内的许多类型的晚期癌症中取得了成功。然而，ICI 治疗仅在一些 HCC 患者中是有益的，这表明在 HCC 中免疫反应是高度可变的。因此，了解 HCC 微环境中的免疫状态将有助于 ICI 免疫治疗，并指导患者选择治疗。在这项研究中,我们首先使用从癌症基因组图谱-肝肝细胞癌 (TCGA-LIHC) 数据库下载的数据分析了免疫调节基因的表达谱及其与 HCC 患者生存的关系,并发现 CD276 (B7-H3) 和 CD47 的高表达与低生存率显著相关。然后，我们通过 B7-H3 (或 CD47) 和 cd8 的联合表达，确定了 4 种不同存活的 hcc 免疫亚型。B7-H3low/CD8high 或 CD47low/CD8low 患者生存最好，而 B7-H3high/CD8low 或 CD47high/CD8low 患者生存最差。在来自华南的另外 72 例 HCC 患者中验证了 4 种免疫亚型。总之，我们的研究结果表明，HCC 患者的预后与 T 细胞浸润 (CD8 表达) 和适应性免疫抵抗基因 (B7-H3 或 CD47) 的表达的免疫表型相关,这种免疫分类系统将有助于 ICI 免疫治疗的 HCC 患者选择。
METHODS::Macrophages (MΦ) play a critical role in tumor growth, immunosuppression and inhibition of adaptive immune responses in cancer. Hence, targeting signaling pathways in MΦs that promote tumor immunosuppression will provide therapeutic benefit. PI3Kγ has been recently established by our group and others as a novel immuno-oncology target. Herein, we report that a macrophage Syk-PI3K axis drives polarization of immunosuppressive MΦs which establish an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment in in vivo syngeneic tumor models. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of Syk and/or PI3Kγ in MΦs promotes a pro-inflammatory MΦphenotype, restores CD8+ T cell activity, destabilizes HIF under hypoxia, and stimulates an antitumor immune response. Assay for Transposase-accessible Chromatin using Sequencing (ATAC-seq) analyses on the bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDMs) show that inhibition of Syk kinase promotes activation and binding of NF-κB motif in SykMC-KO BMDMs, thus stimulating immunostimulatory transcriptional programming in MΦs to suppress tumor growth. Finally, we have developed in silico the "first in class" dual Syk/PI3K inhibitor, SRX3207, for the combinatorial inhibition of Syk and PI3K in one small molecule. This chemotype demonstrates efficacy in multiple tumor models and represents a novel combinatorial approach to activate antitumor immunity.
METHODS::Dysfunction of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells in tumor microenvironment hinders their anti-tumor efficacy, and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here we report that iNKT cells increase lipid biosynthesis after activation, and that is promoted by PPARγ and PLZF synergically through enhancing transcription of Srebf1. Among those lipids, cholesterol is required for the optimal IFN-γ production from iNKT cells. Lactic acid in tumor microenvironment reduces expression of PPARγ in intratumoral iNKT cells and consequently diminishes their cholesterol synthesis and IFN-γ production. Importantly, PPARγ agonist pioglitazone, a thiazolidinedione drug for type 2 diabetes, successfully restores IFN-γ production in tumor-infiltrating iNKT cells from both human patients and mouse models. Combination of pioglitazone and alpha-galactosylceramide treatments significantly enhances iNKT cell-mediated anti-tumor immune responses and prolongs survival of tumor-bearing mice. Our studies provide a strategy to augment the anti-tumor efficacy of iNKT cell-based immunotherapies via promoting their lipid biosynthesis.
METHODS::Near-infrared photoimmunotherapy (NIR-PIT) is a newly developed and selective cancer treatment that induces necrotic and immunogenic cell death and utilizes a monoclonal antibody conjugated to a photo-absorber dye, IR700DX, activated by NIR light. Although CD44 is surface cancer marker associated with drug resistance, anti-CD44-IR700 NIR-PIT results in inhibited cell growth and prolonged survival in multiple tumor types. Meanwhile, anti-CD25-IR700-targeted NIR-PIT has been reported to achieve selective and local depletion of FOXP3+CD25+CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), which are primary immunosuppressive cells in the tumor microenvironment (TME), resulting in activation of local antitumor immunity. Combined NIR-PIT with CD44- and CD25-targeted agents has the potential to directly eliminate tumor cells and also amplify the immune response by removing FOXP3+CD25+CD4+ Tregs from the TME. We investigated the difference in therapeutic effects of CD44-targeted NIR-PIT alone, CD25-targeted NIR-PIT alone, and the combination of CD44- and CD25-targeted NIR-PIT in several syngeneic tumor models, including MC38-luc, LL/2, and MOC1. The combined NIR-PIT showed significant tumor growth inhibition and prolonged survival compared with CD44-targeted NIR-PIT alone in all tumor models and showed prolonged survival compared with CD25-targeted NIR-PIT alone in MC38-luc and LL/2 tumors. Combined CD44/CD25 NIR-PIT also resulted in some complete remissions, whereas this was not achieved with either type of NIR-PIT alone. Therefore, combined NIR-PIT simultaneously targeting cancer antigens and immunosuppressive cells in the TME may be more effective than either type of NIR-PIT alone and may have potential to induce prolonged immune responses in treated tumors.