Sourcing the immune system to induce immunogenic cell death in Kras-colorectal cancer cells

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BACKGROUND: Current approaches aimed at inducing immunogenic cell death (ICD) to incite an immune response against cancer neoantigens are based on the use of chemotherapeutics and other agents. Results are hampered by issues of efficacy, combinatorial approaches, dosing and toxicity. Here, we adopted a strategy based on the use of an immunomolecule that overcomes pharmachemical limitations. METHODS: Cytofluorometry, electron microscopy, RT-PCR, western blotting, apotome immunofluorescence, MLR and xenografts. RESULTS: We report that an ICD process can be activated without the use of pharmacological compounds. We show that in Kras-mut/TP53-mut colorectal cancer cells the 15 kDa βGBP cytokine, a T cell effector with onco-suppressor properties and a potential role in cancer immunosurveillance, induces key canonical events required for ICD induction. We document ER stress, autophagy that extends from cancer cells to the corresponding xenograft tumours, CRT cell surface shifting, ATP release and evidence of dendritic cell activation, a process required for priming cytotoxic T cells into a specific anticancer immunogenic response. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide experimental evidence for a rationale to explore a strategy based on the use of an immunomolecule that as a single agent couples oncosuppression with the activation of procedures necessary for the induction of long term response to cancer.

Journal details

Volume 121
Issue number 9
Pages 768-775
Available online
Publication date

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