Loss of PTDSS1 in tumor cells improves anti-PD-1 therapy

Jielin Liu, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences


PTDSS1 (Phosphatidylserine synthase 1) encodes an enzyme that facilitates production of phosphatidylserine (PS), which mediates a global immunosuppressive signal. Here, based on in vivo CRISPR screen, we identified PTDSS1 as a target to improve anti-PD-1 therapy. Depletion of PTDSS1 in tumor cells increased expression of IFNγ-regulated genes, including B2m, Cxcl9, Cxcl10, and Stat1. Loss of PTDSS1 in tumor cells also led to increased expression of MHC-I, which was associated with increased expression of cytolytic function related genes in CD8+ T cells and increased frequency of an iNOS+ myeloid subset. A gene signature derived from the iNOS+ myeloid cell subset correlated with clinical benefit in patients treated with anti-PD-1 therapy. Moreover, PTDSS1 knockdown in two different tumor models improved anti-PD-1 therapy. Together, our results provide insights on a new therapeutic strategy for overcoming immunosuppression elicited by PS and provide rationale for development of a combination immunotherapy strategy comprised of PTDSS1 inhibition plus PD-1 blockade.