Lung tumor NF-κB signaling promotes T cell-mediated immune surveillance

Emily L. Hopewell, Weipeng Zhao, William J. Fulp, Crystina C. Bronk, Alexis S. Lopez, Michael Massengill, Scott Antonia, Esteban Celis, Eric B. Haura, Steven A. Enkemann, Dung Tsa Chen, Amer A. Beg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


NF-κB is constitutively activated in many cancer types and is a potential key mediator of tumor-associated inflammation, tumor growth, and metastasis. We investigated the role of cancer cell NF-κB activity in T cell-mediated antitumor responses. In tumors rendered immunogenic by model antigen expression or following administration of antitumor vaccines, we found that high NF-κB activity leads to tumor rejection and/or growth suppression in mice. Using a global RNA expression microarray, we demonstrated that NF-κB enhanced expression of several T cell chemokines, including Ccl2, and decreased CCL2 expression was associated with enhanced tumor growth in a mouse lung cancer model. To investigate NF-κB function in human lung tumors, we identified a gene expression signature in human lung adenocarcinoma cell lines that was associated with NF-κB activity level. In patient tumor samples, overall lung tumor NF-κB activity was strongly associated with T cell infiltration but not with cancer cell proliferation. These results therefore indicate that NF-κB activity mediates immune surveillance and promotes antitumor T cell responses in both murine and human lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2509-2522
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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