JAK/Stat5-mediated subtype-specific lymphocyte antigen 6 complex, locus G6D (LY6G6D) expression drives mismatch repair proficient colorectal cancer

G. Giordano, P. Parcesepe, M. R. D'Andrea, L. Coppola, T. Di Raimo, A. Remo, E. Manfrin, C. Fiorini, A. Scarpa, C. A. Amoreo, F. Conciatori, M. Milella, F. P. Caruso, L. Cerulo, A. Porras, M. Pancione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Human microsatellite-stable (MSS) colorectal cancers (CRCs) are immunologically "cold" tumour subtypes characterized by reduced immune cytotoxicity. The molecular linkages between immune-resistance and human MSS CRC is not clear. METHODS: We used transcriptome profiling, in silico analysis, immunohistochemistry, western blot, RT-qPCR and immunofluorescence staining to characterize novel CRC immune biomarkers. The effects of selective antagonists were tested by in vitro assays of long term viability and analysis of kinase active forms using anti-phospho antibodies. RESULTS: We identified the lymphocyte antigen 6 complex, locus G6D (LY6G6D) as significantly overexpressed (around 15-fold) in CRC when compared with its relatively low expression in other human solid tumours. LY6G6D up-regulation was predominant in MSS CRCs characterized by an enrichment of immune suppressive regulatory T-cells and a limited repertoire of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint receptors. Coexpression of LY6G6D and CD15 increases the risk of metastatic relapse in response to therapy. Both JAK-STAT5 and RAS-MEK-ERK cascades act in concert as key regulators of LY6G6D and Fucosyltransferase 4 (FUT4), which direct CD15-mediated immune-resistance. Momelotinib, an inhibitor of JAK1/JAK2, consistently abrogated the STAT5/LY6G6D axis in vitro, sensitizing MSS cancer cells with an intact JAK-STAT signaling, to efficiently respond to trametinib, a MEK inhibitor used in clinical setting. Notably, colon cancer cells can evade JAK2/JAK1-targeted therapy by a reversible shift of the RAS-MEK-ERK pathway activity, which explains the treatment failure of JAK1/2 inhibitors in refractory CRC. CONCLUSIONS: Combined targeting of STAT5 and MAPK pathways has superior therapeutic effects on immune resistance. In addition, the new identified LY6G6D antigen is a promising molecular target for human MSS CRC.
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)28
JournalJournal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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