Scientific publications

Central Role of the Antigen-Presentation and Interferon-γ Pathways in Resistance to Immune Checkpoint Blockade

Dec 23, 2021 | Magazine: Annual Review of Cancer Biology

Annette Paschen,1,2 Ignacio Melero,3,4 and Antoni Ribas5


Resistance to immunotherapy is due in some instances to the acquired stealth mechanisms of tumor cells that lose expression of MHC class I antigen–presenting molecules or downregulate their class I antigen–presentation pathways. Most dramatically, biallelic β2-microglobulin (B2M) loss leads to complete loss of MHC class I expression and to invisibility to CD8+ T cells.

MHC class I expression and antigen presentation are potently upregulated by interferon-γ (IFNγ) in a manner that depends on IFNγ receptor (IFNGR) signaling via JAK1 and JAK2. Mutations in these molecules lead to IFNγ unresponsiveness and mediate loss of recognition and killing by cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

Loss of MHC class I augments sensitivity of tumor cells to be killed by natural killer (NK) lymphocytes, and this mechanism could be exploited to revert resistance, for instance, with interleukin-2 (IL-2)-based agents.

Moreover, in some experimental models,potent local type I interferon responses, such as those following intratumoral injection of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) or TLR3 agonists, revert resistance due to mutations of JAKs.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO   Annual Review of Cancer Biology. December 23, 2021. doi: