The Francis Crick Institute
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Loss of secreted gelsolin enhances response to anticancer therapies.

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-30, 10:42 authored by Kok Haw Jonathan Lim, Evangelos Giampazolias, Oliver Schulz, Neil C Rogers, Anna Wilkins, Erik Sahai, Jessica Strid, Caetano Reis e Sousa
Type 1 conventional dendritic cells (cDC1) play a critical role in priming anticancer cytotoxic CD8+ T cells. DNGR-1 (a.k.a. CLEC9A) is a cDC1 receptor that binds to F-actin exposed on necrotic cancer and normal cells. DNGR-1 signaling enhances cross-presentation of dead-cell associated antigens, including tumor antigens. We have recently shown that secreted gelsolin (sGSN), a plasma protein, competes with DNGR-1 for binding to dead cell-exposed F-actin and dampens anticancer immunity. Here, we investigated the effects of loss of sGSN on various anticancer therapies that are thought to induce cell death and provoke an immune response to cancer. We compared WT (wildtype) with Rag1-/- , Batf3-/- , Clec9agfp/gfp , sGsn-/- or sGsn-/- Clec9agfp/gfp mice implanted with transplantable tumor cell lines, including MCA-205 fibrosarcoma, 5555 BrafV600E melanoma and B16-F10 LifeAct (LA)-ovalbumin (OVA)-mCherry melanoma. Tumor-bearing mice were treated with (1) doxorubicin (intratumoral) chemotherapy for MCA-205, (2) BRAF-inhibitor PLX4720 (oral gavage) targeted therapy for 5555 BrafV600E, and (3) X-ray radiotherapy for B16 LA-OVA-mCherry. We confirmed that efficient tumor control following each therapy requires an immunocompetent host as efficacy was markedly reduced in Rag1-/- compared with WT mice. Notably, across all the therapeutic modalities, loss of sGSN significantly enhanced tumor control compared with treated WT controls. This was an on-target effect as mice deficient in both sGSN and DNGR-1 behaved no differently from WT mice following therapy. In sum, we find that mice deficient in sGsn display enhanced DNGR-1-dependent responsiveness to chemotherapy, targeted therapy and radiotherapy. Our findings are consistent with the notion some cancer therapies induce immunogenic cell death (ICD), which mobilizes anticancer T cells. Our results point to cDC1 and DNGR-1 as decoders of ICD and to sGSN as a negative regulator of such decoding, highlighting sGSN as a possible target in cancer treatment. Further prospective studies are warranted to identify patients who may benefit most from inhibition of sGSN function.