Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are abundant and heterogeneous stromal cells in tumor microenvironment that are critically involved in cancer progression. Here, we demonstrate that two cell-surface molecules, CD10 and GPR77, specifically define a CAF subset correlated with chemoresistance and poor survival in multiple cohorts of breast and lung cancer patients. CD10+GPR77+ CAFs promote tumor formation and chemoresistance by providing a survival niche for cancer stem cells (CSCs). Mechanistically, CD10+GPR77+ CAFs are driven by persistent NF-κB activation via p65 phosphorylation and acetylation, which is maintained by complement signaling via GPR77, a C5a receptor. Furthermore, CD10+GPR77+ CAFs promote successful engraftment of patient-derived xenografts (PDXs), and targeting these CAFs with a neutralizing anti-GPR77 antibody abolishes tumor formation and restores tumor chemosensitivity. Our study reveals a functional CAF subset that can be defined and isolated by specific cell-surface markers and suggests that targeting the CD10+GPR77+ CAF subset could be an effective therapeutic strategy against CSC-driven solid tumors.
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