Inactivation of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) is one of the mechanisms mitigating anti-tumor immunity during tumor onset and progression. Epigenetic abnormalities are regarded as a major culprit contributing to the dysfunction of TILs within tumor microenvironments. In this study, we used a murine model of melanoma to discover that Tet2 inactivation significantly enhances the anti-tumor activity of TILs, with the efficacy comparable to immune checkpoint inhibition imposed by anti-PD-L1 treatment. Single-cell RNA-seq analysis further revealed that Tet2-deficient TILs exhibit effector-like features. Transcriptomic and ATAC-seq analysis further demonstrated that Tet2 deletion reshapes the chromatin accessibility and favors the binding of transcription factors geared toward CD8+ T cell activation. In summary, our study establishes that Tet2 constitutes one of the epigenetic barriers contributing to dysfunction of TILs, and that Tet2 inactivation could benefit anti-tumor immunity to boost tumor suppression.


No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

Author notes


Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.

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