Cancer immunotherapy has emerged as a promising cancer treatment. However, the presence of immune-refractory tumor cells limits its clinical success by blocking amplification of anti-tumor immunity. Previously, we found that immune selection by immunotherapy drives the evolution of tumors toward multi-modal resistant and stem-like phenotypes via transcription induction of AKT co-activator TCL1A by NANOG. Here, we report a crucial role of HSP90A at the crossroads between NANOG-TCL1A axis and multi-aggressive properties of immune-edited tumor cells by identifying HSP90AA1 as a NANOG transcriptional target. Furthermore, we demonstrate that HSP90A potentiates AKT activation through TCL1A-stabilization, thereby contributing to the multi-aggressive properties in NANOGhigh tumor cells. Importantly, HSP90 inhibition sensitized immune-refractory tumor to adoptive T cell transfer as well as PD-1 blockade, and re-invigorated the immune cycle of tumor-reactive T cells. Our findings implicate that the HSP90A-TCL1A-AKT pathway ignited by NANOG is a central molecular axis and a potential target for immune-refractory tumor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)