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Model-based genotype-phenotype mapping used to investigate gene signatures of immune sensitivity and resistance in melanoma micrometastasis
G. Santos, S. Nikolov, X. Lai, M. Eberhardt, F.S. Dreyer, , G. Schuler, J. Vera
Published in Nature Publishing Group
PMID: 27113331
Volume: 6
In this paper, we combine kinetic modelling and patient gene expression data analysis to elucidate biological mechanisms by which melanoma becomes resistant to the immune system and to immunotherapy. To this end, we systematically perturbed the parameters in a kinetic model and performed a mathematical analysis of their impact, thereby obtaining signatures associated with the emergence of phenotypes of melanoma immune sensitivity and resistance. Our phenotypic signatures were compared with published clinical data on pretreatment tumor gene expression in patients subjected to immunotherapy against metastatic melanoma. To this end, the differentially expressed genes were annotated with standard gene ontology terms and aggregated into metagenes. Our method sheds light on putative mechanisms by which melanoma may develop immunoresistance. Precisely, our results and the clinical data point to the existence of a signature of intermediate expression levels for genes related to antigen presentation that constitutes an intriguing resistance mechanism, whereby micrometastases are able to minimize the combined anti-tumor activity of complementary responses mediated by cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells, respectively. Finally, we computationally explored the efficacy of cytokines used as low-dose co-adjuvants for the therapeutic anticancer vaccine to overcome tumor immunoresistance.
About the journal
JournalScientific Reports
PublisherNature Publishing Group