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Open Access Publications from the University of California

ATR Mutations Promote the Growth of Melanoma Tumors by Modulating the Immune Microenvironment.

  • Author(s): Chen, Chi-Fen;
  • Ruiz-Vega, Rolando;
  • Vasudeva, Priya;
  • Espitia, Francisco;
  • Krasieva, Tatiana B;
  • de Feraudy, Sebastien;
  • Tromberg, Bruce J;
  • Huang, Sharon;
  • Garner, Chad P;
  • Wu, Jie;
  • Hoon, Dave S;
  • Ganesan, Anand K
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Melanomas accumulate a high burden of mutations that could potentially generate neoantigens, yet somehow suppress the immune response to facilitate continued growth. In this study, we identify a subset of human melanomas that have loss-of-function mutations in ATR, a kinase that recognizes and repairs UV-induced DNA damage and is required for cellular proliferation. ATR mutant tumors exhibit both the accumulation of multiple mutations and the altered expression of inflammatory genes, resulting in decreased T cell recruitment and increased recruitment of macrophages known to spur tumor invasion. Taken together, these studies identify a mechanism by which melanoma cells modulate the immune microenvironment to promote continued growth.

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