3 years ago

Oxidative stress controls regulatory T cell apoptosis and suppressor activity and PD-L1-blockade resistance in tumor

Oxidative stress controls regulatory T cell apoptosis and suppressor activity and PD-L1-blockade resistance in tumor
Wojciech Szeliga, Tomasz Maj, Weiping Zou, Wei Wang, Weimin Wang, Irene Shao, Shuang Wei, Joel Crespo, Costas Lyssiotis, Lili Zhao, Linda Vatan, Ilona Kryczek, Hongjuan Zhang, J Rebecca Liu
Live regulatory T cells (Treg cells) suppress antitumor immunity, but how Treg cells behave in the metabolically abnormal tumor microenvironment remains unknown. Here we show that tumor Treg cells undergo apoptosis, and such apoptotic Treg cells abolish spontaneous and PD-L1-blockade-mediated antitumor T cell immunity. Biochemical and functional analyses show that adenosine, but not typical suppressive factors such as PD-L1, CTLA-4, TGF-β, IL-35, and IL-10, contributes to apoptotic Treg-cell-mediated immunosuppression. Mechanistically, apoptotic Treg cells release and convert a large amount of ATP to adenosine via CD39 and CD73, and mediate immunosuppression via the adenosine and A2A pathways. Apoptosis in Treg cells is attributed to their weak NRF2-associated antioxidant system and high vulnerability to free oxygen species in the tumor microenvironment. Thus, the data support a model wherein tumor Treg cells sustain and amplify their suppressor capacity through inadvertent death via oxidative stress. This work highlights the oxidative pathway as a metabolic checkpoint that controls Treg cell behavior and affects the efficacy of therapeutics targeting cancer checkpoints.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/ni.3868

DOI: 10.1038/ni.3868

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