First published July 23, 2019 - More info
Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) has been established as an efficacious methodology for the treatment of cancer. Identifying targets to enhance the antigen recognition, functional capacity and longevity of T cells has the potential to broaden the applicability of these approaches in the clinic. We previously reported that targeting expression of phosphotyrosine phosphatase, non-receptor type (PTPN) 22 in effector CD8+ T cells enhances the efficacy of ACT for tumor clearance in mice. In the current work, we demonstrate that, upon ACT, PTPN22-deficient effector CD8+ T cells afford greater protection against tumors expressing very low affinity antigen, but do not survive long-term in vivo. Persistence of CD8+ T cells following tumor clearance is improved by ACT of memory phenotype cells that have a distinct metabolic phenotype as compared to effector T cells. Importantly, PTPN22-deficient T cells have comparable capacity to form long-lived memory cells in vivo but enhanced anti-tumor activity in vivo and effector responses ex vivo. These findings provide key insight into the regulation of effector and memory T cell responses in vivo, and indicate that PTPN22 is a rationale target to improve ACT for cancer.