Abstract

Eph receptors constitute the largest family of RTKs, and their associations with antitumor immunity and immunotherapy are largely unknown. By integrating genomic, transcriptomic and clinical data from cohorts in public databases, we identified EPHA5 as the most common mutated gene of Eph receptors in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). Moreover, compared with EPHA5 wild-type (WT) patients, EPHA5-mutant (Mut) patients exhibited significantly enhanced infiltration of CD8+ T cells and M1 macrophages, reduced recruitment of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) into the tumor site, as well as the increased level of chemokine, interferon-gamma, inhibitory immune checkpoint signatures, tumor mutation burden (TMB) and tumor neoantigen burden (TNB). Additionally, EPHA5 mutation cooccurred with homologous recombination (HR) or mismatch repair (MMR) gene mutations. These data were validated in the LUAD cell line H1299 and a Chinese LUAD cohort. Most importantly, clinical analysis of a Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) immunotherapy cohort indicated that LUAD patients with EPHA5 mutations who were treated with immunotherapy had markedly prolonged survival times.

Our results revealed the correlation of EPHA5 mutations with tumor immune microenvironment and predictive factors for immunotherapy, implying the potential of EPHA5 mutations as a prognostic marker for the prognosis of LUAD patients to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.