Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a highly immune-suppressive tumor with a low response rate to single checkpoint blockade therapy. ETS homologous factor (EHF) is a tumor suppressor in PDAC. Here, we report a novel function of EHF in pancreatic cancer immune microenvironment editing and efficacy prediction for anti-PD1 therapy. Our findings support that the deficiency of tumoral EHF induced the accumulation of regulatory T (T reg) cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and a decrease in the number of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells. Mechanistically, EHF deficiency induced the conversion and expansion of T reg cells and MDSCs through inhibiting tumor TGFβ1 and GM-CSF secretion. EHF suppressed the transcription of TGFB1 and CSF2 by directly binding to their promoters. Mice bearing EHF overexpression tumors exhibited significantly better response to anti-PD1 therapy than those with control tumors. Our findings delineate the immunosuppressive mechanism of EHF deficiency in PDAC and highlight that EHF overexpression may improve PDAC checkpoint immunotherapy.
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