Overcoming Immunotherapy Resistance by Targeting the Tumor-Intrinsic NLRP3-HSP70 Signaling Axis.

Journal Article (Journal Article;Review)

The tumor-intrinsic NOD-like receptor family, pyrin-domain-containing-3 (NLRP3) inflammasome, plays an important role in regulating immunosuppressive myeloid cell populations in the tumor microenvironment (TME). While prior studies have described the activation of this inflammasome in driving pro-tumorigenic mechanisms, emerging data is now revealing the tumor NLRP3 inflammasome and the downstream release of heat shock protein-70 (HSP70) to regulate anti-tumor immunity and contribute to the development of adaptive resistance to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Genetic alterations that influence the activity of the NLRP3 signaling axis are likely to impact T cell-mediated tumor cell killing and may indicate which tumors rely on this pathway for immune escape. These studies suggest that the NLRP3 inflammasome and its secreted product, HSP70, represent promising pharmacologic targets for manipulating innate immune cell populations in the TME while enhancing responses to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. Additional studies are needed to better understand tumor-specific regulatory mechanisms of NLRP3 to enable the development of tumor-selective pharmacologic strategies capable of augmenting responses to checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy while minimizing unwanted off-target effects. The execution of upcoming clinical trials investigating this strategy to overcome anti-PD-1 resistance promises to provide novel insight into the role of this pathway in immuno-oncology.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Theivanthiran, B; Haykal, T; Cao, L; Holtzhausen, A; Plebanek, M; DeVito, NC; Hanks, BA

Published Date

  • September 23, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 / 19

PubMed ID

  • 34638239

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8507548

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2072-6694

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.3390/cancers13194753


  • eng

Conference Location

  • Switzerland