Authors: Zeiner PS, Zinke J, Kowalewski DJ, Bernatz S, Tichy J, Ronellenfitsch MW, Thorsen F, Berger A, Forster MT, Muller, A., Steinbach, JP., Beschorner, R., Wischhusen, J., Kvasnicka, HM., Plate, KH., Stefanović S, Weide B, Mittelbronn M, Harter PN
Despite multidisciplinary local and systemic therapeutic approaches, the prognosis for most patients with brain metastases is still dismal. The role of adaptive and innate anti-tumor response including the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) machinery of antigen presentation is still unclear. We present data on the HLA class II-chaperone molecule CD74 in brain metastases and its impact on the HLA peptidome complexity.
We analyzed CD74 and HLA class II expression on tumor cells in a subset of 236 human brain metastases, primary tumors and peripheral metastases of different entities in association with clinical data including overall survival. Additionally, we assessed whole DNA methylome profiles including CD74 promoter methylation and differential methylation in 21 brain metastases. We analyzed the effects of a siRNA mediated CD74 knockdown on HLA-expression and HLA peptidome composition in a brain metastatic melanoma cell line.
We observed that CD74 expression on tumor cells is a strong positive prognostic marker in brain metastasis patients and positively associated with tumor-infiltrating T-lymphocytes (TILs). Whole DNA methylome analysis suggested that CD74 tumor cell expression might be regulated epigenetically via CD74 promoter methylation. CD74high and TILhigh tumors displayed a differential DNA methylation pattern with highest enrichment scores for antigen processing and presentation. Furthermore, CD74 knockdown in vitro lead to a reduction of HLA class II peptidome complexity, while HLA class I peptidome remained unaffected.
In summary, our results demonstrate that a functional HLA class II processing machinery in brain metastatic tumor cells, reflected by a high expression of CD74 and a complex tumor cell HLA peptidome, seems to be crucial for better patient prognosis.
Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 6(1), 18