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Resistance of melanoma to immune checkpoint inhibitors is overcome by targeting the sphingosine kinase-1

  • Imbert, Caroline
  • Montfort, Anne
  • Fraisse, Marine
  • Marcheteau, Elie
  • Gilhodes, Julia
  • Martin, Elodie
  • Bertrand, Florie
  • Marcellin, Marlène
  • Burlet-Schiltz, Odile
  • Peredo, Anne
  • Garcia, Valérie
  • Carpentier, Stéphane
  • Tartare-Deckert, Sophie
  • Brousset, Pierre
  • Rochaix, Philippe
  • Puisset, Florent
  • Filleron, Thomas
  • Meyer, Nicolas
  • Lamant, Laurence
  • Levade, Thierry
  • And 3 more
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2020
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Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) have dramatically modified the prognosis of several advanced cancers, however many patients still do not respond to treatment. Optimal results might be obtained by targeting cancer cell metabolism to modulate the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment. Here, we identify sphingosine kinase-1 (SK1) as a key regulator of anti-tumor immunity. Increased expression of SK1 in tumor cells is significantly associated with shorter survival in metastatic melanoma patients treated with anti-PD-1. Targeting SK1 markedly enhances the responses to ICI in murine models of melanoma, breast and colon cancer. Mechanistically, SK1 silencing decreases the expression of various immunosuppressive factors in the tumor microenvironment to limit regulatory T cell (Treg) infiltration. Accordingly, a SK1-dependent immunosuppressive signature is also observed in human melanoma biopsies. Altogether, this study identifies SK1 as a checkpoint lipid kinase that could be targeted to enhance immunotherapy.

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