Hypoxia-inducible factor 2α (HIF-2α) overexpression leads to activation of angiogenic pathways. However, little is known about the association between HIF-2α expression and anti-tumor immunity in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We aimed to explore how HIF-2α influenced the microenvironment and the underlying mechanisms.
We immunohistochemically evaluated immune cells infiltrations and prognostic value of HIF-2α expression in a retrospective Zhongshan Hospital cohort of 280 ccRCC patients. Fresh tumor samples, non-tumor tissues and autologous peripheral blood for RT-PCR, ELISA and flow cytometry analyses were collected from patients who underwent nephrectomy in Zhongshan Hospital from September 2017 to April 2018. The TCGA KIRC cohort and SATO cohort were assessed to support our findings.
We demonstrated that ccRCC patients with HIF-2αhigh tumors exhibited reduced overall survival (p = 0.025) and recurrence-free survival (p < 0.001). Functions of CD8+ T cells were impaired in HIF-2αhigh patients. In ccRCC patients, HIF-2α induced the expression of stem cell factor (SCF), which served as chemoattractant for mast cells. Tumor infiltrating mast cells impaired anti-tumor immunity partly by secreting IL-10 and TGF-β. HIF-2α mRNA level adversely associated with immunostimulatory genes expression in KIRC and SATO cohorts.
HIF-2α contributed to evasion of anti-tumor immunity via SCF secretion and subsequent recruitment of mast cells in ccRCC patients.
Cancer immunology, immunotherapy : CII. 2019 Feb 13 [Epub ahead of print]
Ying Xiong, Li Liu, Yu Xia, Yangyang Qi, Yifan Chen, Lingli Chen, Peipei Zhang, Yunyi Kong, Yang Qu, Zewei Wang, Zhiyuan Lin, Xiang Chen, Zhuoyi Xiang, Jiajun Wang, Qi Bai, Weijuan Zhang, Yuanfeng Yang, Jianming Guo, Jiejie Xu
Department of Urology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China., Department of Immunology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China., Department of Pathology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China., Department of Pathology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China., Department of Pathology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Shanghai, China., Department of Urology, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. ., Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. .