Hühn D, Martí-Rodrigo P, Mouron S, Hansel C, Tschapalda K, Porebski B, Häggblad M, Lidemalm L, Quintela-Fandino M, Carreras-Puigvert J, Fernandez-Capetillo O
Mol Oncol - (-) - [2021-08-15; online 2021-08-15]
Among others, expression levels of programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1) have been explored as biomarkers of the response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in cancer therapy. Here, we present the results of a chemical screen that interrogated how medically approved drugs influence PD-L1 expression. As expected, corticosteroids and inhibitors of Janus kinases were among the top PD-L1 downregulators. In addition, we identified that PD-L1 expression is induced by antiestrogenic compounds. Transcriptomic analyses indicate that chronic estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) inhibition triggers a broad immunosuppressive program in ER-positive breast cancer cells, which is subsequent to their growth arrest and involves the activation of multiple immune checkpoints together with the silencing of the antigen-presenting machinery. Accordingly, estrogen-deprived MCF7 cells are resistant to T-cell-mediated cell killing, in a manner that is independent of PD-L1, but which is reverted by estradiol. Our study reveals that while antiestrogen therapies efficiently limit the growth of ER-positive breast cancer cells, they concomitantly trigger a transcriptional program that favors their immune evasion.
Chemical Biology Consortium Sweden (CBCS) [Service]