Science

Fungal Mycobiome Drives IL-33 Secretion and Type 2 Immunity in Pancreatic Cancer

TH2 cells and innate lymphoid cells 2 (ILC2) can stimulate tumor growth by secreting pro-tumorigenic cytokines such as interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, and IL-13. However, the mechanisms by which type 2 immune cells traffic to the tumor microenvironment are unknown. Here, we show that oncogenic KrasG12D increases IL-33 expression in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells, which recruits and activates TH2 and ILC2 cells. Correspondingly, cancer-cell-specific deletion of IL-33 reduces TH2 and ILC2 recruitment and promotes tumor regression. Unexpectedly, IL-33 secretion is dependent on the intratumoral fungal mycobiome. Genetic deletion of IL-33 or anti-fungal treatment decreases TH2 and ILC2 infiltration and increases survival. Consistently, high IL-33 expression is observed in approximately 20% of human PDAC, and expression is mainly restricted to cancer cells. These data expand our knowledge of the mechanisms driving PDAC tumor progression and identify therapeutically targetable pathways involving intratumoral mycobiome-driven secretion of IL-33.

Get Insights From Ron

Sign up for the latest news and updates from Ron DePinho, MD