The extent to which effector CD8+ T cells infiltrate into tumors is one of the major predictors of clinical outcome for patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). Immune cell infiltration into EOC is a complex process that could be affected by the epigenetic makeup of the tumor. Here, we have demonstrated that a lysine 4 histone H3 (H3K4) demethylase, (lysine-specific demethylase 5A; KDM5A) impairs EOC infiltration by immune cells and inhibits antitumor immune responses. Mechanistically, we found that KDM5A silenced genes involved in the antigen processing and presentation pathway. KDM5A inhibition restored the expression of genes involved in the antigen-presentation pathway in vitro and promoted antitumor immune responses mediated by CD8+ T cells in vivo in a syngeneic EOC mouse model. A negative correlation between expression of KDM5A and genes involved in the antigen processing and presentation pathway such as HLA-A and HLA-B was observed in the majority of cancer types. In summary, our results establish KDM5A as a regulator of CD8+ T-cell infiltration of tumors and demonstrate that KDM5A inhibition may provide a novel therapeutic strategy to boost antitumor immune responses.

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