Targeting TIGIT Inhibits Bladder Cancer Metastasis Through Suppressing IL-32

Front Pharmacol. 2022 Jan 5:12:801493. doi: 10.3389/fphar.2021.801493. eCollection 2021.


Bladder cancer is a highly metastatic tumor and one of the most common malignancies originating in the urinary tract. Despite the efficacy of immune checkpoints, including programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) and cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), the effect of immunotherapy for bladder cancer remains unsatisfactory. Therefore, it is urgent to develop new targets to expand immunotherapeutic options. In this study, we utilized single-cell sequencing to explore the cell composition of tumors and detected a subset of Treg cells with high expression of T-cell immunoreceptor with immunoglobulin and immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif domain (TIGIT) and interleukin (IL)-32. The antitumor immune response was suppressed by this subset of Treg cells, while IL-32 promoted bladder cancer metastasis. Nevertheless, targeting TIGIT not only reversed immunosuppression by restoring the antitumor immune response mediated by T cells but also suppressed the secretion of IL-32 and inhibited the metastasis of bladder cancer cells. Thus, our study provided novel insights into immunosuppression in bladder cancer and highlighted TIGIT as a novel target for immunotherapy of bladder cancer. We also illustrated the mechanism of the dual effect of targeting TIGIT and revealed the metastasis-promoting effect of IL-32 in bladder cancer. Collectively, these findings raise the possibility of utilizing TIGIT as a target against bladder cancer from the bench to the bedside.

Keywords: IL-32; TIGIT; bladder cancer; immunotherapy; metastasis.