Publication date: Jan 04, 2021
The deadly complication of brain metastasis (BM) is largely confined to a relatively narrow cross-section of systemic malignancies, suggesting a fundamental role for biological mechanisms shared across commonly brain metastatic tumor types. To identify and characterize such mechanisms, we performed genomic, transcriptional, and proteomic profiling using whole-exome sequencing, mRNA-seq, and reverse-phase protein array analysis in a cohort of the lung, breast, and renal cell carcinomas consisting of BM and patient-matched primary or extracranial metastatic tissues. While no specific genomic alterations were associated with BM, correlations with impaired cellular immunity, upregulated oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS), and canonical oncogenic signaling pathways including phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling, were apparent across multiple tumor histologies. Multiplexed immunofluorescence analysis confirmed significant T cell depletion in BM, indicative of a fundamentally altered immune microenvironment. Moreover, functional studies using in vitro and in vivo modeling demonstrated heightened oxidative metabolism in BM along with sensitivity to OXPHOS inhibition in murine BM models and brain metastatic derivatives relative to isogenic parentals. These findings demonstrate that pathophysiological rewiring of oncogenic signaling, cellular metabolism, and immune microenvironment broadly characterizes BM. Further clarification of this biology will likely reveal promising targets for therapeutic development against BM arising from a broad variety of systemic cancers.
|disease||MESH||renal cell carcinomas|