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Targeting NKG2A to boost anti-tumor CD8 T-cell responses in human colorectal cancer

Abstract : Recently, the inhibitory CD94/NKG2A receptor has joined the group of immune checkpoints (ICs) and its expression has been documented in NK cells and CD8+ T lymphocytes in several cancers and some infectious diseases. In colorectal cancer (CRC), we previously reported that NKG2A+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are predominantly CD8+ αβ T cells and that CD94 overexpression and/or its ligand HLA-E were associated with a poor prognosis. This study aimed to thoroughly characterize the NKG2A+ CD8+ TIL subpopulation and document the impact of NKG2A on anti-tumor responses in CRC. Our findings highlight new features of this subpopulation: (i) enrichment in colorectal tumors compared to paired normal colonic mucosa, (ii) their character as tissue-resident T cells and their majority terminal exhaustion status, (iii) co-expression of other ICs delineating two subgroups differing mainly in the level of NKG2A expression and the presence of PD-1, (iv) high functional avidity despite reduced proliferative capacity and finally (v) inhibition of anti-tumor reactivity that is overcome by blocking NKG2A. From a clinical point of view, these results open a promising alternative for immunotherapies based on NKG2A blockade in CRC, which could be performed alone or in combination with other IC inhibitors, adoptive cell transfer or therapeutic vaccination.
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Contributor : Valérie Pecqueret Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - 5:05:14 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 3:17:45 AM


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Kathleen Ducoin, Romain Oger, Linda Bilonda Mutala, Cécile Deleine, Nicolas Jouand, et al.. Targeting NKG2A to boost anti-tumor CD8 T-cell responses in human colorectal cancer. OncoImmunology, Taylor & Francis, 2022, 11 (1), ⟨10.1080/2162402X.2022.2046931⟩. ⟨inserm-03603232⟩



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