Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is a collection of biologically diverse cancers characterized by distinct transcriptional patterns, biology, and immune composition. TNBCs subtypes include two basal-like (BL1, BL2), a mesenchymal (M) and a luminal androgen receptor (LAR) subtype. Through a comprehensive analysis of mutation, copy number, transcriptomic, epigenetic, proteomic, and phospho-proteomic patterns we describe the genomic landscape of TNBC subtypes. Mesenchymal subtype tumors display high mutation loads, genomic instability, absence of immune cells, low PD-L1 expression, decreased global DNA methylation, and transcriptional repression of antigen presentation genes. We demonstrate that major histocompatibility complex I (MHC-I) is transcriptionally suppressed by H3K27me3 modifications by the polycomb repressor complex 2 (PRC2). Pharmacological inhibition of PRC2 subunits EZH2 or EED restores MHC-I expression and enhances chemotherapy efficacy in murine tumor models, providing a rationale for using PRC2 inhibitors in PD-L1 negative mesenchymal tumors. Subtype-specific differences in immune cell composition and differential genetic/pharmacological vulnerabilities suggest additional treatment strategies for TNBC.
© 2021. The Author(s).