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A large proportion of anti-tumor immunity research is focused on major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules and CD8+ T cells. Despite mounting evidence has shown that CD4+ T cells play a major role in anti-tumor immunity, the role of the MHC-II molecules in tumor immunotherapy has not been thoroughly researched and reported. In this study, we defined a MHC-II signature for the first time by calculating the enrichment score of MHC-II protein binding pathway with a single sample gene set enrichment analysis (ssGSEA) algorithm. To evaluate and validate the predictive value of the MHC class II (MHC-II) signature, we collected the transcriptome, mutation data and matched clinical data of bladder cancer patients from IMvigor210, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) databases and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) databases. Comprehensive analyses of immunome, transcriptome, metabolome, genome and drugome were performed in order to determine the association of MHC-II signature and tumor immunotherapy. We identified that MHC-II signature is an independent and favorable predictor of immune response and the prognosis of bladder cancer treated with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), one that may be superior to tumor mutation burden. MHC-II signature was significantly associated with increased immune cell infiltration and levels of immune-related gene expression signatures. Additionally, transcriptomic analysis showed immune activation in the high-MHC-II signature subgroup, whereas it showed fatty acid metabolism and glucuronidation in the low-MHC-II signature subgroup. Moreover, exploration of corresponding genomic profiles highlighted the significance of tumor protein p53 (TP53) and fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) alterations. Our results also allowed for the identification of candidate compounds for combined immunotherapy treatment that may be beneficial for patients with bladder cancer and a high MHC-II signature. In conclusion, this study provides a new perspective on MHC-II signature, as an independent and favorable predictor of immune response and prognosis of bladder cancer treated with ICIs. Copyright © 2022 Yi, Hong, Zhang, Lin, Ying, Zou, Wang, Wei, Cheng, Zhu, Luo and Zhang.


Ruibin Yi, Shuo Hong, Yueming Zhang, Anqi Lin, Haoxuan Ying, Weidong Zou, Qiongyao Wang, Ting Wei, Quan Cheng, Weiliang Zhu, Peng Luo, Jian Zhang. MHC-II Signature Correlates With Anti-Tumor Immunity and Predicts anti-PD-L1 Response of Bladder Cancer. Frontiers in cell and developmental biology. 2022;10:757137

PMID: 35223828

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