American Association for Cancer Research
crc-23-0376-s03.pdf (2.46 MB)

Supplementary Figure 3 from Dabrafenib Alters MDSC Differentiation and Function by Activation of GCN2

Download (2.46 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-13, 14:20 authored by M. Teresa Ciudad, Rene Quevedo, Sara Lamorte, Robbie Jin, Nadine Nzirorera, Marianne Koritzinsky, Tracy L. McGaha

Supplementary Figure 3


HHS | National Institutes of Health (NIH)



The effect of targeted therapeutics on anticancer immune responses is poorly understood. The BRAF inhibitor dabrafenib has been reported to activate the integrated stress response (ISR) kinase GCN2, and the therapeutic effect has been partially attributed to GCN2 activation. Because ISR signaling is a key component of myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC) development and function, we measured the effect of dabrafenib on MDSC differentiation and suppressive activity. Our data showed that dabrafenib attenuated MDSC ability to suppress T-cell activity, which was associated with a GCN2-dependent block of the transition from monocytic progenitor to polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSCs and proliferative arrest resulting in PMN-MDSC loss. Transcriptional profiling revealed that dabrafenib-driven GCN2 activation altered metabolic features in MDSCs enhancing oxidative respiration, and attenuated transcriptional programs required for PMN development. Moreover, we observed a broad downregulation of transcriptional networks associated with PMN developmental pathways, and increased activity of transcriptional regulons driven by Atf5, Mafg, and Zbtb7a. This transcriptional program alteration underlies the basis for PMN-MDSC developmental arrest, skewing immature MDSC development toward monocytic lineage cells. In vivo, we observed a pronounced reduction in PMN-MDSCs in dabrafenib-treated tumor-bearing mice suggesting that dabrafenib impacts MDSC populations systemically and locally, in the tumor immune infiltrate. Thus, our data reveal transcriptional networks that govern MDSC developmental programs, and the impact of GCN2 stress signaling on the innate immune landscape in tumors, providing novel insight into potentially beneficial off-target effects of dabrafenib. An important, but poorly understood, aspect of targeted therapeutics for cancer is the effect on antitumor immune responses. This article shows that off-target effects of dabrafenib activating the kinase GCN2 impact MDSC development and function reducing PMN-MDSCs in vitro and in vivo. This has important implications for our understanding of how this BRAF inhibitor impacts tumor growth and provides novel therapeutic target and combination possibilities.