Concomitant high apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage (Aim) and low prostate-specific antigen (psa) indicates activated t cell-mediated anticancer immunity, enhance sensitivity to pembrolizumab, and elicit good prognosis in prostate cancer

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Abstract

Background: Despite its widespread use, the use of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) alone as a screening biomarker for prostate cancer (PCa) leads often to unwarranted prostate biopsy, over-diagnosis, and consequently, over-treatment, because of its limited specificity. There are reports that the apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage (AIM), secreted mainly by macrophages and epithelial cells, is upregulated during inflammation and facilitates immune recognition of cancerous cells by blocking human regulator of complement activation. Objective: These controversies around the PSA utility necessitate a reexamination of its use as a screening tool. More so, despite the suggested implication of AIM in anticancer immunosurveillance, there is a dearth of information on its role in therapy response, disease progression, and clinical outcomes of patients with PCa. These inform the present study to probe the nature and role of AIM/PSA signaling in anticancer immunity and prognosis in PCa. Methods: A combination of bioinformatics-aided statistical analyses, gene function annotation, and immune infiltrate analyses, coupled with tissue staining, and function assays, namely migration, invasion, and clonogenicity assays, we employed. Results: We demonstrated that AIM and PSA expression levels are inversely correlated in PCa clinical samples and cell lines, with AIMlow PSAhigh defining PCa, compared to AIMhigh PSAlow in normal samples. Concomitant aberrant PSA and significantly suppressed AIM expression levels positively correlated with high-grade disease and characterized by advanced stage prostate cancer, regardless of mutation status. We found that a high PSA/AIM ratio is associated with disease recurrence in patients with prostate cancer but is equivocal for overall survival. In addition, PSA-associated AIM suppression is implicated in the enhanced ‘metastability’ of PCa and a high AIM/PSA ratio is associated with strong castration-induced regression. CRISPR-mediated AIM knockout was associated with higher PSA expression while ectopic expression of AIM significantly attenuated the migration and invasive capability of PC3 and DU145 cells. Interestingly, compared to normal samples, we observed that AIM, biomarkers of T-cell activation and M1 phenotype markers are co-suppressed in PCa samples. Conclusion: Herein, we demonstrate that AIM/CD5L binds to PSA and that a high PSA/AIM ratio defines advanced stage PCa (regardless of mutation status), is implicated in enhanced metastability, and associated with disease recurrence, while a high AIM/PSA ratio is associated with strong castration-induced regression. More so, the ectopic expression of AIM significantly enhances the anticancer effect of Pembrolizumab and elicits an increased CD8+ T-cell count in AIMhi PSAlo PDL1+ PCa cases that are respondent to Pembrolizumab treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1225
JournalBiomedicines
Volume9
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021

Keywords

  • Advanced disease
  • AIM
  • Apoptosis inhibitor of macrophage
  • CD5L
  • Immune cells
  • KLK3
  • Metastasis
  • Prognosis
  • Prostate cancer
  • Prostate-specific antigen
  • PSA
  • Recurrence
  • T-cell
  • Therapy-resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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