A novel mechanism of natural killer cell response to anti-CTLA-4 therapy identified by integrative analysis of mouse and human tumors

Emily F. Davis-Marcisak, Allison A. Fitzgerald, Michael D. Kessler, Ludmila Danilova, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Neeha Zaidi, Louis M. Weiner, Elana Fertig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immune checkpoint-inhibitory antibodies (ICIs) are well-established immunotherapies. Despite this, the impact of ICI therapy on non-T cell intratumoral immune cells is ill-defined, restraining the improvement of ICI efficacy. Preclinical murine models of human disease are infrequently validated in clinical trials, impairing the identification of novel biological factors impacting clinical ICI response. To address this barrier, we used our previously described computational approach that integrates high-throughput single-cell RNA sequencing datasets to identify known and novel cellular alterations induced by ICIs that are conserved in mice and humans. We found a signature of intratumoral natural killer (NK) cell activation that is enriched in anti-CTLA-4 treated mouse tumors and correlates with longer overall survival and is predictive of anti-CTLA-4 (ipilimumab) response in melanoma patients. We demonstrate that human NK cells express CTLA-4, which directly binds anti-CTLA-4. These data reveal a novel role for NK cells in anti-CTLA-4 treatment and present opportunities to enhance ICI efficacy. Importantly, we provide a new computational tool for onco-immunology that can identify and validate biological observations across species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUnknown Journal
DOIs
StatePublished - May 31 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

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