Context-dependent activation of STING-interferon signaling by CD11b agonists enhances anti-tumor immunity


Chronic activation of inflammatory pathways and suppressed interferon are hallmarks of immunosuppressive tumors. Previous studies have shown that CD11b integrin agonists could enhance anti-tumor immunity through myeloid reprograming, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Herein we find that CD11b agonists alter tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) phenotypes by repressing NF-κB signaling and activating interferon gene expression simultaneously. Repression of NF-κB signaling involves degradation of p65 protein and is context independent. In contrast, CD11b agonism induces STING/STAT1 pathway-mediated interferon gene expression through FAK-mediated mitochondrial dysfunction, with the magnitude of induction dependent on the tumor microenvironment and amplified by cytotoxic therapies. Using tissues from phase I clinical studies, we demonstrate that GB1275 treatment activates STING and STAT1 signaling in TAMs in human tumors. These findings suggest potential mechanism-based therapeutic strategies for CD11b agonists and identify patient populations more likely to benefit.

In Cancer Cell
Nick Borcherding
Nick Borcherding
Assistant Professor

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