Quantitative differences in signal transduction are to date an understudied feature of tumour heterogeneity. The MAPK Erk pathway, which is activated in a large proportion of human tumours, is a prototypic example of distinct cell fates being driven by signal intensity. We have used primary hepatocyte precursors transformed with different dosages of an oncogenic form of Ras to model subclonal variations in MAPK signalling. Orthotopic allografts of Ras-transformed cells in immunocompromised mice gave rise to fast-growing aggressive tumours, both at the primary location and in the peritoneal cavity. Fluorescent labelling of cells expressing different oncogene levels, and consequently varying levels of MAPK Erk activation, highlighted the selection processes operating at the two sites of tumour growth. Indeed, significantly higher Ras expression was observed in primary as compared to secondary, metastatic sites, despite the apparent evolutionary trade-off of increased apoptotic death in the liver that correlated with high Ras dosage. Analysis of the immune tumour microenvironment at the two locations suggests that fast peritoneal tumour growth in the immunocompromised setting is abrogated in immunocompetent animals due to efficient antigen presentation by peritoneal dendritic cells. Furthermore, our data indicate that, in contrast to the metastatic-like outgrowth, strong MAPK signalling is required in the primary liver tumours to resist elimination by NK cells. Overall, this study describes a quantitative aspect of tumour heterogeneity and points to a potential vulnerability of a subtype of hepatocellular carcinoma as a function of MAPK Erk signalling intensity.
The RNA-sequencing data have been deposited in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO, NCBI) repository, and are accessible through GEO Series accession number GSE180580. Raw data from figures 1 to 5 were deposited on Mendeley data at doi: 10.17632/73nbvs8925.1.
Transcriptomic analysis of mouse hepatic progenitors expressing different level of the HRasG12V oncogene (in vivo and ex vivo).NCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE180580.
- Urszula Hibner
- Urszula Hibner
- Damien Grégoire
- Leila Akkari
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All reported animal procedures were carried out in accordance with the rules of the FrenchInstitutional Animal Care and Use Committee and European Community Council(2010/63/EU). Animal studies were approved by institutional ethical committee (Comitéd'éthique en expérimentation animale Languedoc-Roussillon (#36)) and by the Ministère del'Enseignement Supérieur, de la Recherche et de l'Innovation (APAFIS#11196-2018090515538313v2).
- Roger J Davis, University of Massachusetts Medical School, United States
© 2023, Lozano et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes (CTLs) are key players of adaptive anti-tumor immunity based on their ability to specifically recognize and destroy tumor cells. Many cancer immunotherapies rely on unleashing CTL function. However, tumors can evade killing through strategies which are not yet fully elucidated. To provide deeper insight into tumor evasion mechanisms in an antigen-dependent manner, we established a human co-culture system composed of tumor and primary immune cells. Using this system, we systematically investigated intrinsic regulators of tumor resistance by conducting a complementary CRISPR screen approach. By harnessing CRISPR activation (CRISPRa) and CRISPR knockout (KO) technology in parallel, we investigated gene gain-of-function as well as loss-of-function across genes with annotated function in a colon carcinoma cell line. CRISPRa and CRISPR KO screens uncovered 187 and 704 hits respectively, with 60 gene hits overlapping between both. These data confirmed the role of interferon‑γ (IFN-γ), tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and autophagy pathways and uncovered novel genes implicated in tumor resistance to killing. Notably, we discovered that ILKAP encoding the integrin-linked kinase-associated serine/threonine phosphatase 2C, a gene previously unknown to play a role in antigen specific CTL-mediated killing, mediate tumor resistance independently from regulating antigen presentation, IFN-γ or TNF-α responsiveness. Moreover, our work describes the contrasting role of soluble and membrane-bound ICAM-1 in regulating tumor cell killing. The deficiency of membrane-bound ICAM-1 (mICAM-1) or the overexpression of soluble ICAM-1 (sICAM-1) induced resistance to CTL killing, whereas PD-L1 overexpression had no impact. These results highlight the essential role of ICAM-1 at the immunological synapse between tumor and CTL and the antagonist function of sICAM-1.
Anthracyclines, such as doxorubicin (Dox), are widely used chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. However, they frequently induce cardiotoxicity leading to dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. This study sought to investigate the role of the exchange protein directly activated by cAMP (EPAC) in Dox-induced cardiotoxicity and the potential cardioprotective effects of EPAC inhibition. We show that Dox induces DNA damage and cardiomyocyte cell death with apoptotic features. Dox also led to an increase in both cAMP concentration and EPAC1 activity. The pharmacological inhibition of EPAC1 (with CE3F4) but not EPAC2 alleviated the whole Dox-induced pattern of alterations. When administered in vivo, Dox-treated WT mice developed a dilated cardiomyopathy which was totally prevented in EPAC1 knock-out (KO) mice. Moreover, EPAC1 inhibition potentiated Dox-induced cell death in several human cancer cell lines. Thus, EPAC1 inhibition appears as a potential therapeutic strategy to limit Dox-induced cardiomyopathy without interfering with its antitumoral activity.