American Chemical Society
pr3c00491_si_004.xlsx (138.09 kB)

Proteogenomics Reveal the Overexpression of HLA‑I in Cancer

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posted on 2023-10-19, 22:43 authored by Ying Wang, David Fenyö
An accurate quantification of HLA class I gene expression is important in understanding the interplay with the tumor microenvironment of antitumor cytotoxic T cell activities. Because HLA-I sequences are highly variable, standard RNAseq and mass spectrometry-based quantification workflows using common genome and protein sequence references do not provide HLA-I allele specific quantifications. Here, we used personalized HLA-I nucleotide and protein reference sequences based on the subjects’ HLA-I genotypes and surveyed tumor and adjacent normal samples from patients across nine cancer types. Mass spectrometry using data dependent acquisition data was validated to be sufficient to estimate HLA-A protein expression at the allele level. We found that HLA-I proteins were present in significantly higher levels in tumors compared to adjacent normal tissues from 41 to 63% of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, uterine corpus endometrial carcinoma, and clear cell renal cell carcinoma patients, and this was driven by increased levels of HLA-I gene transcripts. Most immune cell types are universally enriched in HLA-I high tumors, while endothelial and neuronal cells showed divergent relationships with HLA-I. Pathway analysis revealed that tumor senescence and autophagy activity influence the level of HLA-I proteins in glioblastoma. Genes correlated to HLA-I protein expression are mostly the ones directly involved in HLA-I function in immune response and cell death, while glycosylation genes are exclusively co-expressed with HLA-I at the protein level.