Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) underlies immunosuppression, drug resistance, and metastasis in epithelial malignancies. However, the way in which EMT orchestrates disparate biological processes remains unclear. Here, we identify an EMT-activated vesicular trafficking network that coordinates promigratory focal adhesion dynamics with an immunosuppressive secretory program in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). The EMT-activating transcription factor ZEB1 drives exocytotic vesicular trafficking by relieving Rab6A, Rab8A, and guanine nucleotide exchange factors from miR-148a-dependent silencing, thereby facilitating MMP14-dependent focal adhesion turnover in LUAD cells and autotaxin-mediated CD8+ T cell exhaustion, indicating that cell-intrinsic and extrinsic processes are linked through a microRNA that coordinates vesicular trafficking networks. Blockade of ZEB1-dependent secretion reactivates antitumor immunity and negates resistance to PD-L1 immune checkpoint blockade, an important clinical problem in LUAD. Thus, EMT activates exocytotic Rabs to drive a secretory program that promotes invasion and immunosuppression in LUAD.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jul 11 2023|
- epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)
- lung cancer
- membrane trafficking
ASJC Scopus subject areas