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Tumor PD-L1 selectively suppresses type I interferon in myeloid cells to suppress CTL recruitment to promote lung metastasis

By John D Klement, Priscilla S Redd, Chunwan Lu, Alyssa D Merting, Dakota B Poschel, Dafeng Yang, Gang Zhou, David H Munn, Kebin Liu

Posted 18 Jun 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.06.18.449028

The mechanism underlying tumor cell PD-L1 (tPD-L1) induction of immune suppression through T cell PD-1 is well-known, but the mechanism underlying tPD-L1 induction of immune suppression via an intermediate cell is incompletely understood. We report here that tPD-L1 does not suppress cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation and lytic function when only tumor cells and CTLs are present. Strikingly, knocking out PD-L1 in tumor cells has no effect on primary tumor growth, but significantly decreases lung metastasis in a CTL-dependent manner. Depletion of myeloid cells impaired tPD-L1 promotion of lung metastasis. Single-cell RNA sequencing revealed that tPD-L1 engages myeloid PD-1 (mPD-1) to antagonize type I interferon (IFN-I) and STAT1 signaling to repress Cxcl9 and Cxcl10 expression to impair CTL recruitment to lung metastases. Human patient response to PD-1 blockade immunotherapy correlates with IFN-I response in myeloid cells. Our data determines that the tPD-L1/mPD-1/IFN-I/STAT1/Cxcl9/10 axis controls CTL tumor infiltration in lung metastasis.

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