HVEM is a Novel Immune Checkpoint for Prostate Cancer Immunotherapy in Humanized Mice [post]

Nicolas Aubert, Simon Brunel, Daniel Olive, Gilles Marodon
2021 unpublished
The Herpes Virus Entry Mediator (HVEM) delivers a negative signal to T cells mainly through the B and T Lymphocyte Attenuator (BTLA) molecule and thus, could represent a novel immune checkpoint during an anti-tumor immune response. A formal demonstration that HVEM can be targeted for cancer immunotherapy is however still lacking. Here, we first show that HVEM and BTLA were associated to a worse prognosis in patients with prostate adenocarcinomas, indicating a detrimental role for this pair of
more » ... lecule during prostate cancer progression. We then show that a monoclonal antibody to human HVEM significantly impacted the growth of a prostate cancer cell line in immuno-compromised NOD.SCID.gc-null mice reconstituted with human T cells. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we showed that HVEM expression by the tumor was mandatory to observe the therapeutic effect. Mechanistically, tumor control was dependent on CD8+ T cells and was associated to an increase in the proliferation and number of tumor-infiltrating leukocytes. Accordingly, the expression of genes belonging to various T cell activation pathways were enriched in tumor infiltrating leukocytes, whereas genes associated with immuno-suppressive pathways were decreased, possibly resulting in modifications of leukocyte adhesion and motility. Finally, we developed a simple in vivo assay in humanized mice to directly demonstrate that HVEM was an immune checkpoint for T-cell mediated tumor control. Our results show that targeting HVEM is a promising strategy for prostate cancer immunotherapy.
doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0302.v1 fatcat:xcwux4nx7zbgfmm6if5zer2kha