RM Kortlever, NM Sodir, CH Wilson, DL Burkhart, L Pellegrinet, L Brown Swigart, TD Littlewood, GI Evan
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.