MERTK Acts as a costimulatory receptor on human cd8 t cells
Research output: Contribution to journal › Journal article › Research › peer-review
The TAM family of receptor tyrosine kinases (TYRO3, AXL, and MERTK) is known to be expressed on antigen-presenting cells and function as oncogenic drivers and as inhibitors of inflammatory responses. Both human and mouse CD8 T cells are thought to be negative for TAM receptor expression. In this study, we show that T-cell receptor (TCR)-activated human primary CD8 T cells expressed MERTK and the ligand PROS1 from day 2 postactivation. PROS1-mediated MERTK signaling served as a late costimulatory signal, increasing proliferation and secretion of effector and memory- associated cytokines. Knockdown and inhibition studies confirmed that this costimulatory effect was mediated through MERTK. Transcriptomic and metabolic analyses of PROS1-blocked CD8 T cells demonstrated a role of the PROS1-MERTK axis in differentiation of memory CD8 T cells. Finally, using tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) from melanoma patients, we show that MERTK signaling on T cells improved TIL expansion and TIL-mediated autologous cancer cell killing. We conclude that MERTK serves as a late costimulatory signal for CD8 T cells. Identification of this costimulatory function of MERTK on human CD8 T cells suggests caution in the development of MERTK inhibitors for hematologic or solid cancer treatment.
|Journal||Cancer Immunology Research|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|