Myc Cooperates with Ras by Programming Inflammation and Immune Suppression.

31 Jan 2018

The two oncogenes KRas and Myc cooperate to drive tumorigenesis, but the mechanism underlying this remains unclear. In a mouse lung model of KRasG12D-driven adenomas, we find that co-activation of Myc drives the immediate transition to highly proliferative and invasive adenocarcinomas marked by highly inflammatory, angiogenic, and immune-suppressed stroma. We identify epithelial-derived signaling molecules CCL9 and IL-23 as the principal instructing signals for stromal reprogramming. CCL9 mediates recruitment of macrophages, angiogenesis, and PD-L1-dependent expulsion of T and B cells. IL-23 orchestrates exclusion of adaptive T and B cells and innate immune NK cells. Co-blockade of both CCL9 and IL-23 abrogates Myc-induced tumor progression. Subsequent deactivation of Myc in established adenocarcinomas triggers immediate reversal of all stromal changes and tumor regression, which are independent of CD4+CD8+ T cells but substantially dependent on returning NK cells. We show that Myc extensively programs an immune suppressive stroma that is obligatory for tumor progression.