Bio concept 3d renering

Tumor-resident regulatory T cells in pancreatic cancer express the αvβ5 integrin as a targetable activation marker


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has abundant immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs), which contribute to a microenvironment resistant to immunotherapy. Here, we report that Tregs in the PDAC tissue, but not those in the spleen, express the αvβ5 integrin in addition to neuropilin-1 (NRP-1), which makes them susceptible to the iRGD tumor-penetrating peptide, which targets cells positive for αv integrin- and NRP-1. As a result, long-term treatment of PDAC mice with iRGD leads to tumor-specific depletion of Tregs and improved efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade. αvβ5 integrin+ Tregs are induced from both naïve CD4+ T cells and natural Tregs upon T cell receptor stimulation, and represent a highly immunosuppressive subpopulation of CCR8+ Tregs. This study identifies the αvβ5 integrin as a marker for activated tumor-resident Tregs, which can be targeted to achieve tumor-specific Treg depletion and thereby augment anti-tumor immunity for PDAC therapy.