Loss of YTHDF1 in gastric tumors restores sensitivity to antitumor immunity by recruiting mature dendritic cells

Xiaowu Bai, Chi Chun Wong, Yasi Pan, Huarong Chen, Weixin Liu, Jianning Zhai, Wei Kang, Yu Shi, Masami Yamamoto, Tetsuya Tsukamoto, Sachiyo Nomura, Philip Chiu, Jun Yu, Enders Kwok Wai Ng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the most common cancer worldwide. We analyzed the expression of m 6 A regulatory genes in GC cohorts and revealed that YTHDF1 was uniquely upregulated in GC as compared with adjacent normal tissues. In this study, we analyzed the role of YTHDF1 in GC cells and modulation of the tumor immune microenvironment. Methods Three GC cohorts (cohort 1, n=101; cohort 2, n=278, and the Cancer Genome Atlas cohort, n=375) were analyzed for YTHDF1 expression. Function of YTHDF1 in GC was determined in GC cell lines. Role of YTHDF1 in antitumor immunity was investigated in allograft models. Results YTHDF1 is upregulated in GC compared with adjacent normal tissues, and high YTHDF1 expression was correlated with poor survival of patients with GC at mRNA (p=0.016) and protein levels (p=0.039). Loss of YTHDF1 in human (AGS, BGC823, MKN74) or mouse (YTN16) GC cell lines inhibited cell growth and colony formation in vitro. Strikingly, syngeneic YTN16 tumors with loss of YTHDF1 underwent complete remission in immunocompetent mice, while a lesser effect was found in immunodeficient mice. Consistently, YTHDF1 loss in GC tumors led to recruitment of mature dendritic cells (DCs) with increased MHCII expression and interleukin-12 (IL-12) secretion, which in turn, promoted CD4 + and CD8 + T cells infiltration with increased interferon-γ(IFN- 3) secretion. Loss of YTHDF1 mediated the overexpression of IFN-γreceptor 1 and JAK/STAT1 signaling pathway in tumor cells, which might contribute to restored sensitivity to antitumor immunity. In addition, pre-emptive exposure of YTN16 tumors with YTHDF1 loss triggered a potent antitumor immune response on rechallenge with wild-type YTN16 cells, implying that YTHDF1 loss induced a lasting systemic antitumor immunity. Conclusions YTHDF1 is overexpressed in GC and promotes GC by inducing cell proliferation and repression of DCs-mediated antitumor immune response. YTHDF1 is a promising therapeutic target for GC treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere003663
JournalJournal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 22-02-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research


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