Meflin-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts enhance tumor response to immune checkpoint blockade

Yuki Miyai, Daisuke Sugiyama, Tetsunari Hase, Naoya Asai, Tetsuro Taki, Kazuki Nishida, Takayuki Fukui, Toyofumi Fengshi Chen-Yoshikawa, Hiroki Kobayashi, Shinji Mii, Yukihiro Shiraki, Yoshinori Hasegawa, Hiroyoshi Nishikawa, Yuichi Ando, Masahide Takahashi, Atsushi Enomoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are an integral component of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Most CAFs shape the TME toward an immunosuppressive milieu and attenuate the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy. However, the detailed mechanism of how heterogeneous CAFs regulate tumor response to ICB therapy has not been defined. Here, we show that a recently defined CAF subset characterized by the expression of Meflin, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored protein marker of mesenchymal stromal/stem cells, is associated with survival and favorable therapeutic response to ICB monotherapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The prevalence of Meflin-positive CAFs was positively correlated with CD4-positive T-cell infiltration and vascularization within non-small cell lung cancer tumors. Meflin deficiency and CAF-specific Meflin overexpression resulted in defective and enhanced ICB therapy responses in syngeneic tumors in mice, respectively. These findings suggest the presence of a CAF subset that promotes ICB therapy efficacy, which adds to our understanding of CAF functions and heterogeneity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202101230
JournalLife Science Alliance
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 06-2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Plant Science
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Meflin-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts enhance tumor response to immune checkpoint blockade'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this