The lack of tumor infiltration by CD8+ T cells is associated with poor patient response to anti-PD-1 therapy. Understanding how tumor infiltration is regulated is key to improving treatment efficacy. Here, we report that phosphorylation of HRS, a pivotal component of the ESCRT complex involved in exosome biogenesis, restricts tumor infiltration of cytolytic CD8+ T cells. Following ERK-mediated phosphorylation, HRS interacts with and mediates the selective loading of PD-L1 to exosomes, which inhibits the migration of CD8+ T cells into tumors. In tissue samples from patients with melanoma, CD8+ T cells are excluded from the regions where tumor cells contain high levels of phosphorylated HRS. In murine tumor models, overexpression of phosphorylated HRS increases resistance to anti-PD-1 treatment, whereas inhibition of HRS phosphorylation enhances treatment efficacy. Our study reveals a mechanism by which phosphorylation of HRS in tumor cells regulates anti-tumor immunity by inducing PD-L1+ immunosuppressive exosomes, and suggests HRS phosphorylation blockade as a potential strategy to improve the efficacy of cancer immunotherapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)