August 7, 2017 – BioCentury
In a paper published in Nature, researchers at NIH’s NCI and colleagues identified about 100 genes that may be tied to immunotherapy resistance in cancer cells.
The researchers used a CRISPR-Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) loss-of-function screen in human melanoma cell lines targeting over 19,000 protein-encoding genes to test the impact of somatic mutations on T cell response. The authors sought to identify genes that have key roles in antigen presentation and interferon-gamma signaling, which affects T cell recognition of tumors.
The assay resulted in the identification of about 100 genes that may be necessary for immunotherapy. Nicholas Restifo, who led the study, told BioCentury that “dozens” of those genes were previously unknown to play a role in T cell recognition of tumors. Restifo is a senior investigator at NCI’s Center for Cancer Research.