During epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) epithelial cancer cells transdifferentiate into highly motile, invasive, mesenchymal-like cells, giving rise to disseminating tumor cells. Few of these disseminated cells successfully metastasize. Immune cells and inflammation in the tumor microenvironment were shown to drive EMT, but few studies investigated the consequences of EMT for tumor immunosurveillance. In addition to initiating metastasis, we demonstrate that EMT confers increased susceptibility to natural killer (NK) cells and contributes, in part, to the inefficiency of the metastatic process. Depletion of NK cells allowed spontaneous metastasis without affecting primary tumor growth. EMT-induced modulation of E-cadherin and cell adhesion molecule 1 (CADM1) mediated increased susceptibility to NK cytotoxicity. Higher CADM1 expression correlates with improved patient survival in 2 lung and 1 breast adenocarcinoma patient cohorts and decreased metastasis. Our observations reveal a novel NK-mediated, metastasis-specific immunosurveillance in lung cancer and present a window of opportunity for preventing metastasis by boosting NK cell activity.
Peter J. Chockley, Jun Chen, Guoan Chen, David G. Beer, Theodore J. Standiford, Venkateshwar G. Keshamouni
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were accepted. No appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.