The dichotomic contribution of cancer cell lysis and tumor immunogenicity is considered essential for effective oncovirotherapy, suggesting that the innate antiviral immune response is a hurdle for efficacy of oncolytic viruses. However, emerging evidence is resizing this view. By sensing cytosolic DNA, the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING) axis can both counteract viral spread and contribute to the elicitation of adaptive immunity via type I interferon responses. In this paper, we analyzed the tumor-resident function of Sting-mediated DNA sensing in a combined approach of oncovirotherapy and PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade, in an immunocompetent murine model. While supporting increased lytic potential by oncolytic HER2-retargeted HSV-1 in vitro and in vivo, Sting-knockout tumors showed molecular signatures of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. These signatures were correspondingly associated with ineffectiveness of the combination therapy in a model of established tumors. Results suggest that the impairment in antiviral response of Sting-knockout tumors, while favoring viral replication, is not able to elicit an adequate immunotherapeutic effect, due to lack of immunogenic cell death and the inability of Sting-knockout cancer cells to promote anti-tumor adaptive immune responses. Accordingly, we propose that antiviral, tumor-resident Sting provides fundamental contributions to immunotherapeutic efficacy of oncolytic viruses.

Integrity of the antiviral STING-mediated DNA sensing in tumor cells is required to sustain the immunotherapeutic efficacy of herpes simplex oncolytic virus

Froechlich G.;Caiazza C.;Gentile C.;Nicosia A.;Mallardo M.;Sasso E.;Zambrano N.
2020

Abstract

The dichotomic contribution of cancer cell lysis and tumor immunogenicity is considered essential for effective oncovirotherapy, suggesting that the innate antiviral immune response is a hurdle for efficacy of oncolytic viruses. However, emerging evidence is resizing this view. By sensing cytosolic DNA, the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and stimulator of interferon genes (STING) axis can both counteract viral spread and contribute to the elicitation of adaptive immunity via type I interferon responses. In this paper, we analyzed the tumor-resident function of Sting-mediated DNA sensing in a combined approach of oncovirotherapy and PD-1 immune checkpoint blockade, in an immunocompetent murine model. While supporting increased lytic potential by oncolytic HER2-retargeted HSV-1 in vitro and in vivo, Sting-knockout tumors showed molecular signatures of an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. These signatures were correspondingly associated with ineffectiveness of the combination therapy in a model of established tumors. Results suggest that the impairment in antiviral response of Sting-knockout tumors, while favoring viral replication, is not able to elicit an adequate immunotherapeutic effect, due to lack of immunogenic cell death and the inability of Sting-knockout cancer cells to promote anti-tumor adaptive immune responses. Accordingly, we propose that antiviral, tumor-resident Sting provides fundamental contributions to immunotherapeutic efficacy of oncolytic viruses.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/838259
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