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Intraepithelial CD94+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in a context of HLA-E overexpression as a new immune checkpoint to predict prognosis in colorectal carcinomas.

Abstract : Background: A better understanding of the immune-modulating interactions between tumor cells and immune cells underlying the balance between immune control and immune resistance in colorectal cancer (CRC) is crucial for the design of immunotherapies. We have previously demonstrated that overexpression of the human MHC class Ib molecule - HLA-E/β2 microglobulin - by tumor cells in CRC was associated with an unfavorable prognosis, suggesting its involvement in immune escape. However, the specific receptor of HLA-E/β2m - CD94/NKG2A, inhibitory or CD94/NKG2C, activating - expressed by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL), as well as the influence of the microsatellite status in HLA-E/β2m overexpression, remain unknown. Methods: We investigated in the primary tumor of 245 CRC patients 1) the association of HLA-E/β2m overexpression and the density of CD94+ intraepithelial TIL (IEL-TIL) with the microsatellite status, 2) the nature of CD94+ TIL and the receptor expressed - CD94/NKG2A or CD94/NKG2C - and 3) the prognostic influence of CD94+ IEL-TIL. Results: HLA-E/β2m was preferentially overexpressed in MSI compared with MSS CRC (44,6 % vs 18,4 % respectively, p = 0.0001), and significantly associated with a high density of CD94+ IEL-TIL in MSI (0,9% in HLA-E/β2m+ vs 0,2% in HLA-E/β2m– CRC, p = 0,001), and in MSS CRC (0,38% vs 0,15%, p < 0,0001). These CD94+ TIL mostly corresponded to CD8+ αβ T cells preferentially expressing the inhibitory NKG2A chain. Finally, a high density of CD94+ IEL-TIL was independently associated with a worse OS (p = 0.03). Conclusions: These results strongly suggest that HLA-E/β2m - CD94/NKG2A interactions, preferentially up-regulated in MSI CRC, represent a promising inhibitory immune checkpoint. From a clinical point of view, this inhibitory immune checkpoint could be blocked by the new anti-NKG2A monoclonal antibody.
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https://www.hal.inserm.fr/inserm-02538113
Contributor : Elizabeth Bernardo <>
Submitted on : Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 11:26:11 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 19, 2020 - 1:40:21 AM

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Céline Bossard, Juliette Eugène, Nicolas Jouand, Delphine Dansette, Edouard Leveque, et al.. Intraepithelial CD94+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes in a context of HLA-E overexpression as a new immune checkpoint to predict prognosis in colorectal carcinomas.. Journal of Clinical Oncology, American Society of Clinical Oncology, 2017, 35 (15_suppl), pp.e14592-e14592. ⟨10.1200/JCO.2017.35.15_suppl.e14592⟩. ⟨inserm-02538113⟩

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