KRAS mutations are causally linked to protumor inflammation and are identified as driving factors in tumorigenesis. Here, using multiomics data gathered from a large set of patients, we showed that KRAS mutation was associated with a specific landscape of alternative mRNA splicing that connected to myeloid inflammation in intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA). Then, we identified a negative feedback mechanism in which the upregulation of interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL1RN)-201/203 due to alternative splicing confers vital anti-inflammatory effects in KRAS-mutant iCCA. In KRAS-mutant iCCA mice, both IL1RN-201/203 upregulation and anakinra treatment ignited a significant antitumor immune response by altering neutrophil recruitment and phenotypes. Furthermore, anakinra treatment synergistically enhanced anti–PD-1 therapy to activate intratumoral GZMB+ CD8+ T cells in KRAS-mutant iCCA mice. Clinically, we found that high IL1RN-201/203 levels in patients with KRAS-mutant iCCA were significantly associated with superior response to anti–PD-1 immunotherapy.


This work describes a novel inflammatory checkpoint mediated by IL1RN alternative splicing variants that may serve as a promising basis to develop therapeutic options for KRAS-mutant iCCA and other cancers.

This article is featured in Selected Articles from This Issue, p. 2109

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