Tumors undergo dynamic immunoediting as part of a process that balances immunologic sensing of emerging neoantigens and evasion from immune responses. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) comprise heterogeneous subsets of peripheral T cells characterized by diverse functional differentiation states and dependence on T-cell receptor (TCR) specificity gained through recombination events during their development. We hypothesized that within the tumor microenvironment (TME), an antigenic milieu and immunologic interface, tumor-infiltrating peripheral T cells could reexpress key elements of the TCR recombination machinery, namely, Rag1 and Rag2 recombinases and Tdt polymerase, as a potential mechanism involved in the revision of TCR specificity. Using two syngeneic invasive breast cancer transplantable models, 4T1 and TS/A, we observed that Rag1, Rag2, and Dntt in situ mRNA expression characterized rare tumor-infiltrating T cells. In situ expression of the transcripts was increased in coisogenic Mlh1-deficient tumors, characterized by genomic overinstability, and was also modulated by PD-1 immune-checkpoint blockade. Through immunolocalization and mRNA hybridization analyses, we detected the presence of rare TDT+RAG1/2+ cells populating primary tumors and draining lymph nodes in human invasive breast cancer. Analysis of harmonized single-cell RNA-sequencing data sets of human cancers identified a very small fraction of tumor-associated T cells, characterized by the expression of recombination/revision machinery transcripts, which on pseudotemporal ordering corresponded to differentiated effector T cells. We offer thought-provoking evidence of a TIL microniche marked by rare transcripts involved in TCR shaping.

T Cells Expressing Receptor Recombination/Revision Machinery Are Detected in the Tumor Microenvironment and Expanded in Genomically Over-unstable Models

Germano, Giovanni;Amodio, Vito;Bardelli, Alberto;
2021

Abstract

Tumors undergo dynamic immunoediting as part of a process that balances immunologic sensing of emerging neoantigens and evasion from immune responses. Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) comprise heterogeneous subsets of peripheral T cells characterized by diverse functional differentiation states and dependence on T-cell receptor (TCR) specificity gained through recombination events during their development. We hypothesized that within the tumor microenvironment (TME), an antigenic milieu and immunologic interface, tumor-infiltrating peripheral T cells could reexpress key elements of the TCR recombination machinery, namely, Rag1 and Rag2 recombinases and Tdt polymerase, as a potential mechanism involved in the revision of TCR specificity. Using two syngeneic invasive breast cancer transplantable models, 4T1 and TS/A, we observed that Rag1, Rag2, and Dntt in situ mRNA expression characterized rare tumor-infiltrating T cells. In situ expression of the transcripts was increased in coisogenic Mlh1-deficient tumors, characterized by genomic overinstability, and was also modulated by PD-1 immune-checkpoint blockade. Through immunolocalization and mRNA hybridization analyses, we detected the presence of rare TDT+RAG1/2+ cells populating primary tumors and draining lymph nodes in human invasive breast cancer. Analysis of harmonized single-cell RNA-sequencing data sets of human cancers identified a very small fraction of tumor-associated T cells, characterized by the expression of recombination/revision machinery transcripts, which on pseudotemporal ordering corresponded to differentiated effector T cells. We offer thought-provoking evidence of a TIL microniche marked by rare transcripts involved in TCR shaping.
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Morello, Gaia; Cancila, Valeria; La Rosa, Massimo; Germano, Giovanni; Lecis, Daniele; Amodio, Vito; Zanardi, Federica; Iannelli, Fabio; Greco, Daniele; La Paglia, Laura; Fiannaca, Antonino; Urso, Alfonso M; Graziano, Giulia; Ferrari, Francesco; Pupa, Serenella M; Sangaletti, Sabina; Chiodoni, Claudia; Pruneri, Giancarlo; Bardelli, Alberto; Colombo, Mario P; Tripodo, Claudio
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2318/1792717
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