BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent and deadly tumors worldwide. The majority of CRC is resistant to anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)-based cancer immunotherapy, with approximately 15% with high-microsatellite instability, high tumor mutation burden, and intratumoral lymphocytic infiltration. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)/PD-1 signaling was described in solid tumor cells. In melanoma, liver, and thyroid cancer cells, intrinsic PD-1 signaling activates oncogenic functions, while in lung cancer cells, it has a tumor suppressor effect. Our work aimed to evaluate the effects of the anti-PD-1 nivolumab (NIVO) on CRC cells. METHODS: In vitro NIVO-treated human colon cancer cells (HT29, HCT116, and LoVo) were evaluated for cell growth, chemo/radiotherapeutic sensitivity, apoptosis, and spheroid growth. Total RNA-seq was assessed in 6-24 hours NIVO-treated human colon cancer cells HT29 and HCT116 as compared with NIVO-treated PES43 human melanoma cells. In vivo mice carrying HT29 xenograft were intraperitoneally treated with NIVO, OXA (oxaliplatin), and NIVO+OXA, and the tumors were characterized for growth, apoptosis, and pERK1/2/pP38. Forty-eight human primary colon cancers were evaluated for PD-1 expression through immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: In PD-1+ human colon cancer cells, intrinsic PD-1 signaling significantly decreased proliferation and promoted apoptosis. On the contrary, NIVO promoted proliferation, reduced apoptosis, and protected PD-1+ cells from chemo/radiotherapy. Transcriptional profile of NIVO-treated HT29 and HCT116 human colon cancer cells revealed downregulation of BATF2, DRAM1, FXYD3, IFIT3, MT-TN, and TNFRSF11A, and upregulation of CLK1, DCAF13, DNAJC2, MTHFD1L, PRPF3, PSMD7, and SCFD1; the opposite regulation was described in NIVO-treated human melanoma PES43 cells. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly enriched for interferon pathway, innate immune, cytokine-mediated signaling pathways. In vivo, NIVO promoted HT29 tumor growth, thus reducing OXA efficacy as revealed through significant Ki-67 increase, pERK1/2 and pP38 increase, and apoptotic cell reduction. Eleven out of 48 primary human colon cancer biopsies expressed PD-1 (22.9%). PD-1 expression is significantly associated with lower pT stage. CONCLUSIONS: In PD-1+ human colon cancer cells, NIVO activates tumor survival pathways and could protect tumor cells from conventional therapies.

In PD-1+ human colon cancer cells NIVOLUMAB promotes survival and could protect tumor cells from conventional therapies

Liotti F.;Prevete N.;Pacelli R.;Melillo R. M.;
2022

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the most prevalent and deadly tumors worldwide. The majority of CRC is resistant to anti-programmed cell death-1 (PD-1)-based cancer immunotherapy, with approximately 15% with high-microsatellite instability, high tumor mutation burden, and intratumoral lymphocytic infiltration. Programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1)/PD-1 signaling was described in solid tumor cells. In melanoma, liver, and thyroid cancer cells, intrinsic PD-1 signaling activates oncogenic functions, while in lung cancer cells, it has a tumor suppressor effect. Our work aimed to evaluate the effects of the anti-PD-1 nivolumab (NIVO) on CRC cells. METHODS: In vitro NIVO-treated human colon cancer cells (HT29, HCT116, and LoVo) were evaluated for cell growth, chemo/radiotherapeutic sensitivity, apoptosis, and spheroid growth. Total RNA-seq was assessed in 6-24 hours NIVO-treated human colon cancer cells HT29 and HCT116 as compared with NIVO-treated PES43 human melanoma cells. In vivo mice carrying HT29 xenograft were intraperitoneally treated with NIVO, OXA (oxaliplatin), and NIVO+OXA, and the tumors were characterized for growth, apoptosis, and pERK1/2/pP38. Forty-eight human primary colon cancers were evaluated for PD-1 expression through immunohistochemistry. RESULTS: In PD-1+ human colon cancer cells, intrinsic PD-1 signaling significantly decreased proliferation and promoted apoptosis. On the contrary, NIVO promoted proliferation, reduced apoptosis, and protected PD-1+ cells from chemo/radiotherapy. Transcriptional profile of NIVO-treated HT29 and HCT116 human colon cancer cells revealed downregulation of BATF2, DRAM1, FXYD3, IFIT3, MT-TN, and TNFRSF11A, and upregulation of CLK1, DCAF13, DNAJC2, MTHFD1L, PRPF3, PSMD7, and SCFD1; the opposite regulation was described in NIVO-treated human melanoma PES43 cells. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly enriched for interferon pathway, innate immune, cytokine-mediated signaling pathways. In vivo, NIVO promoted HT29 tumor growth, thus reducing OXA efficacy as revealed through significant Ki-67 increase, pERK1/2 and pP38 increase, and apoptotic cell reduction. Eleven out of 48 primary human colon cancer biopsies expressed PD-1 (22.9%). PD-1 expression is significantly associated with lower pT stage. CONCLUSIONS: In PD-1+ human colon cancer cells, NIVO activates tumor survival pathways and could protect tumor cells from conventional therapies.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/878228
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 4
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact