Most patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) do not achieve durable clinical responses from immune checkpoint inhibitors, suggesting the existence of additional resistance mechanisms. Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD)-induced cell death (NICD) of P2X7 receptor (P2X7R)-expressing T cells regulates immune homeostasis in inflamed tissues. This process is mediated by mono-adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP)-ribosyltransferases (ARTs). We found an association between membranous expression of ART1 on tumor cells and reduced CD8 T cell infiltration. Specifically, we observed a reduction in the P2X7R+ CD8 T cell subset in human lung adenocarcinomas. In vitro, P2X7R+ CD8 T cells were susceptible to ART1-mediated ADP-ribosylation and NICD, which was exacerbated upon blockade of the NAD+-degrading ADP-ribosyl cyclase CD38. Last, in murine NSCLC and melanoma models, we demonstrate that genetic and antibody-mediated ART1 inhibition slowed tumor growth in a CD8 T cell-dependent manner. This was associated with increased infiltration of activated P2X7R+CD8 T cells into tumors. In conclusion, we describe ART1-mediated NICD as a mechanism of immune resistance in NSCLC and provide preclinical evidence that antibody-mediated targeting of ART1 can improve tumor control, supporting pursuit of this approach in clinical studies.
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