Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology, Ministry of Health, Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing 100191, China
Cancer-testis antigen MAGEA3, being restrictedly expressed in testis and various kinds of tumors, has long been considered as an ideal target for immunotherapy. In this study, we report that MAGEA3 interacts with STAT1 and regulates the expression of tyrosine phosphorylated STAT1 (pY-STAT1) in tumor cells. We show that pY-STAT1 is significantly up-regulated when MAGEA3 is silenced by MAGEA3-specific siRNA. RNA sequencing analysis identified 274 STAT1-related genes to be significantly altered in expression level in MAGEA3 knockdown cells. Further analysis of these differentially expressed genes with GO enrichment and KEGG pathway revealed that they are mainly enriched in plasma membrane, extracellular region and MHC class I protein complex, and involved in the interferon signaling pathways, immune response, antigen presentation and cell chemotaxis. The differentially expressed genes associated with chemokines, antigen presentation and vasculogenic mimicry formation were validated by biological experiments. Matrigel matrix-based tube formation assay showed that silencing MAGEA3 in tumor cells impairs tumor vasculogenic mimicry formation. These data indicate that MAGEA3 expression in tumor cells is associated with immune cells infiltration into tumor microenvironment and anti-tumor immune responses, implying that it may play an important role in tumor immune escape. Our findings reveal the potential impact of MAGEA3 on the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment and will provide promising strategies for improving the efficacy of MAGEA3-targeted immunotherapy.
Keywords: cancer/testis antigen, tumor microenvironment, MAGEA3, STAT1