Ubiquitin ligase STUB1 destabilizes IFNγ-receptor complex to suppress tumor IFNγ signaling.


The cytokine IFNγ differentially impacts on tumors upon immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Despite our understanding of downstream signaling events, less is known about regulation of its receptor (IFNγ-R1). With an unbiased genome-wide CRISPR/Cas9 screen for critical regulators of IFNγ-R1 cell surface abundance, we identify STUB1 as an E3 ubiquitin ligase for IFNγ-R1 in complex with its signal-relaying kinase JAK1. STUB1 mediates ubiquitination-dependent proteasomal degradation of IFNγ-R1/JAK1 complex through IFNγ-R1K285 and JAK1K249. Conversely, STUB1 inactivation amplifies IFNγ signaling, sensitizing tumor cells to cytotoxic T cells in vitro. This is corroborated by an anticorrelation between STUB1 expression and IFNγ response in ICB-treated patients. Consistent with the context-dependent effects of IFNγ in vivo, anti-PD-1 response is increased in heterogenous tumors comprising both wildtype and STUB1-deficient cells, but not full STUB1 knockout tumors. These results uncover STUB1 as a critical regulator of IFNγ-R1, and highlight the context-dependency of STUB1-regulated IFNγ signaling for ICB outcome.

More about this publication

Nature communications
  • Volume 13
  • Issue nr. 1
  • Pages 1923
  • Publication date 08-04-2022

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