In vivo CRISPR Screens Identify E3 Ligase Cop1 as a Modulator of Macrophage Infiltration and Cancer Immunotherapy Target

Published: 23 August 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/9xkgn447vz.1
Collin Tokheim, Binbin Wang


Summary: Despite remarkable clinical efficacies of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) in cancer treatment, ICB benefits in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) remain limited. Through pooled in vivo CRISPR knockout (KO) screens in syngeneic TNBC mouse models, we found that inhibition of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cop1 in cancer cells decreases the secretion of macrophage-associated chemokines, reduces tumor macrophage infiltration, enhances tumor immunity and ICB response. Transcriptomics, epigenomics, and proteomics analyses revealed Cop1 functions through proteasomal degradation of the C/ebpδ protein. Cop1 substrate Trib2 functions as a scaffold linking Cop1 and C/ebpδ, which leads to polyubiquitination of C/ebpδ. Cop1 inhibition stabilizes C/ebpδ to suppress the expression of macrophage chemoattractant genes. Our integrated approach implicates Cop1 as a target for improving cancer immunotherapy efficacy by regulating chemokine secretion and macrophage infiltration in the TNBC tumor microenvironment.


Steps to reproduce

The dataset is meant to be used with our code that has been deposited on github as jupyter notebooks (


Dana Farber Cancer Institute


Cancer, Protein Degradation, Immunotherapy, Ubiquitylation