Colorectal cancer results from the progressive accumulation of genetic and epigenetic alterations. IFN signaling defects play an important role in the carcinogenesis process, in which the inability of IFN transcription regulatory factors (IRF) to access regulatory sequences in IFN-stimulated genes (ISG) in tumors and in immune cells may be pivotal. We reported that low-dose combination of two FDA-approved epidrugs, azacytidine (A) and romidepsin (R), with IFNα2 (ARI) hampers the aggressiveness of both colorectal cancer metastatic and stem cells in vivo and triggers immunogenic cell death signals that stimulate dendritic cell (DC) function. Here, we investigated the molecular signals induced by ARI treatment and found that this drug combination increased the accessibility to regulatory sequences of ISGs and IRFs that were epigenetically silenced in both colorectal cancer cells and DCs. Likewise, specific ARI-induced histone methylation and acetylation changes marked epigenetically affected ISG promoters in both metastatic cancer cells and DCs. Analysis by ChIPseq confirmed such ARI-induced epigenetically regulated IFN signature. The activation of this signal endowed DCs with a marked migratory capability. Our results establish a direct correlation between reexpression of silenced ISGs by epigenetic control and ARI anticancer activity and provide new knowledge for the development of innovative combined therapeutic strategies for colorectal cancer. Cancer Immunol Res; 5(7); 604-16.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research