CD177 modulates the function and homeostasis of tumor-infiltrating regulatory T cells


Regulatory T (Treg) cells are one of the major immunosuppressive cell types in cancer and a potential target for immunotherapy, but targeting tumor-infiltrating (TI) Treg cells has been challenging. Here, using single-cell RNA sequencing of immune cells from renal clear cell carcinoma (ccRCC) patients, we identify two distinct transcriptional fates for TI Treg cells, Fate-1 and Fate-2. The Fate-1 signature is associated with a poorer prognosis in ccRCC and several other solid cancers. CD177, a cell surface protein normally expressed on neutrophil, is specifically expressed on Fate-1 TI Treg cells in several solid cancer types, but not on other TI or peripheral Treg cells. Mechanistically, blocking CD177 reduces the suppressive activity of Treg cells in vitro, while Treg-specific deletion of Cd177 leads to decreased tumor growth and reduced TI Treg frequency in mice. Our results thus uncover a functional CD177+ TI Treg population that may serve as a target for TI Treg-specific immunotherapy.

In Nature Communications
Nick Borcherding
Nick Borcherding
Assistant Professor

My research includes systems immunology, single-cell sequencing technology, and computational frameworks.