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Runx-mediated regulation of CCL5 via antagonizing two enhancers influences immune cell function and anti-tumor immunity.


CCL5 is a unique chemokine with distinct stage and cell-type specificities for regulating inflammation, but how these specificities are achieved and how CCL5 modulates immune responses is not well understood. Here we identify two stage-specific enhancers: the proximal enhancer mediates the constitutive CCL5 expression during the steady state, while the distal enhancer located 1.35 Mb from the promoter induces CCL5 expression in activated cells. Both enhancers are antagonized by RUNX/CBFβ complexes, and SATB1 further mediates the long-distance interaction of the distal enhancer with the promoter. Deletion of the proximal enhancer decreases CCL5 expression and augments the cytotoxic activity of tissue-resident T and NK cells, which coincides with reduced melanoma metastasis in mouse models. By contrast, increased CCL5 expression resulting from RUNX3 mutation is associated with more tumor metastasis in the lung. Collectively, our results suggest that RUNX3-mediated CCL5 repression is critical for modulating anti-tumor immunity.

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