Skin basal cell carcinomas assemble a pro-tumorigenic spatially organized and self-propagating Trem2+ myeloid niche.
2023; 14 (1): 2685
Cancer immunotherapies have revolutionized treatment but have shown limited success as single-agent therapies highlighting the need to understand the origin, assembly, and dynamics of heterogeneous tumor immune niches. Here, we use single-cell and imaging-based spatial analysis to elucidate three microenvironmental neighborhoods surrounding the heterogeneous basal cell carcinoma tumor epithelia. Within the highly proliferative neighborhood, we find that TREM2+ skin cancer-associated macrophages (SCAMs) support the proliferation of a distinct tumor epithelial population through an immunosuppression-independent manner via oncostatin-M/JAK-STAT3 signaling. SCAMs represent a unique tumor-specific TREM2+ population defined by VCAM1 surface expression that is not found in normal homeostatic skin or during wound healing. Furthermore, SCAMs actively proliferate and self-propagate through multiple serial tumor passages, indicating long-term potential. The tumor rapidly drives SCAM differentiation, with intratumoral injections sufficient to instruct naive bone marrow-derived monocytes to polarize within days. This work provides mechanistic insights into direct tumor-immune niche dynamics independent of immunosuppression, providing the basis for potential combination tumor therapies.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-37993-w
View details for PubMedID 37164949
Enhanced T cell effector activity by targeting the Mediator kinase module.
Science (New York, N.Y.)
2022; 378 (6620): eabn5647
T cells are the major arm of the immune system responsible for controlling and regressing cancers. To identify genes limiting T cell function, we conducted genome-wide CRISPR knockout screens in human chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells. Top hits were MED12 and CCNC, components of the Mediator kinase module. Targeted MED12 deletion enhanced antitumor activity and sustained the effector phenotype in CAR- and T cell receptor-engineered T cells, and inhibition of CDK8/19 kinase activity increased expansion of nonengineered T cells. MED12-deficient T cells manifested increased core Meditator chromatin occupancy at transcriptionally active enhancers-most notably for STAT and AP-1 transcription factors-and increased IL2RA expression and interleukin-2 sensitivity. These results implicate Mediator in T cell effector programming and identify the kinase module as a target for enhancing potency of antitumor T cell responses.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.abn5647
View details for PubMedID 36356142