The innate immune system plays an important role in preventing metastasis of various cancers, such as cutaneous melanoma. Natural Killer (NK) cells recognize cancer cells without prior antigen sensitization and induce cytolysis of their target cells. The study of Prof. Lukas Sommer's team and others give mechanistic insights into how melanoma cells expressing the nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR) evade NK cell killing and promote eventually metastatis formation. NGFR leads to the downregulation of NK cell ligands in melanoma cells, preventing recognition by the guards. Moreover, the lipid constitution of NGFR-expressing cells was altered to prevent cytotoxic induction by NK cells. These new insights into metastasis in melanoma could support the development of new therapeutic approaches.
The publication shows the results of a highly collaborative project between two groups of the Institute of Anatomy (Prof. Lukas Sommer and Prof. Christian Stockmann) and other UZH departments.
The publication is open access: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adc8825