Infiltration of tumors with effector T cells is positively associated with therapeutic efficacy and patient survival. However, the mechanisms underlying effector T-cell trafficking to the tumor microenvironment remain poorly understood in patients with colon cancer. The polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is involved in cancer progression, but the regulation of tumor immunity by epigenetic mechanisms has yet to be investigated. In this study, we examined the relationship between the repressive PRC2 machinery and effector T-cell trafficking. We found that PRC2 components and demethylase JMJD3-mediated histone H3 lysine 27 trimethylation (H3K27me3) repress the expression and subsequent production of Th1-type chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, mediators of effector T-cell trafficking. Moreover, the expression levels of PRC2 components, including EZH2, SUZ12, and EED, were inversely associated with those of CD4, CD8, and Th1-type chemokines in human colon cancer tissue, and this expression pattern was significantly associated with patient survival. Collectively, our findings reveal that PRC2-mediated epigenetic silencing is not only a crucial oncogenic mechanism, but also a key circuit controlling tumor immunosuppression. Therefore, targeting epigenetic programs may have significant implications for improving the efficacy of current cancer immunotherapies relying on effective T-cell-mediated immunity at the tumor site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research