KDM6A Loss Recruits Tumor-Associated Neutrophils and Promotes Neutrophil Extracellular Trap Formation in Pancreatic Cancer

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Cancer research


UNLABELLED: Lysine (K)-specific demethylase 6A (KDM6A) is a frequently mutated tumor suppressor gene in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, the impact of KDM6A loss on the PDAC tumor immune microenvironment is not known. This study used a genetically engineered, pancreas-specific Kdm6a knockout (KO) PDAC mouse model and human PDAC tissue samples to demonstrate that KDM6A loss correlates with increased tumor-associated neutrophils and neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) formation, which are known to contribute to PDAC progression. Genome-wide bromouridine sequencing analysis to evaluate nascent RNA synthesis showed that the expression of many chemotactic cytokines, especially CXC motif chemokine ligand 1 (CXCL1), was upregulated in KDM6A KO PDAC cells. KDM6A-deficient PDAC cells secreted higher levels of CXCL1 protein, which in turn recruited neutrophils. Furthermore, in a syngeneic orthotopic mouse model, treatment with a CXCL1 neutralizing antibody blocked the chemotactic and NET-promoting properties of KDM6A-deficient PDAC cells and suppressed tumor growth, confirming CXCL1 as a key mediator of chemotaxis and PDAC growth driven by KDM6A loss. These findings shed light on how KDM6A regulates the tumor immune microenvironment and PDAC progression and suggests that the CXCL1-CXCR2 axis may be a candidate target in PDAC with KDM6A loss.

SIGNIFICANCE: KDM6A loss in pancreatic cancer cells alters the immune microenvironment by increasing CXCL1 secretion and neutrophil recruitment, providing a rationale for targeting the CXCL1-CXCR2 signaling axis in tumors with low KDM6A.

Medical Subject Headings

Animals; Humans; Mice; Carcinoma, Pancreatic Ductal; Extracellular Traps; Histone Demethylases; Neutrophils; Pancreatic Neoplasms; Tumor Microenvironment

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ePub ahead of print





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