The interferon response can influence the primary and metastatic activity of breast cancers and can interact with checkpoint immunotherapy to modulate its effects. Using N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea mutagenesis we found a mouse with an activating mutation in oligoadenylate synthetase 2 ( Oas2 ), a sensor of viral double stranded RNA, that resulted in an interferon response and prevented lactation in otherwise healthy mice.
To determine if activation of Oas2 could alter the course of mammary cancer we combined the Oas2 mutation with the MMTV-PyMT oncogene model of breast cancer and examined disease progression and the effects of checkpoint immunotherapy using Kaplan-Meier survival analysis with immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry.
Oas2 mutation prevented pregnancy from increasing metastases to lung. Checkpoint immunotherapy with antibodies against programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) was more effective when the Oas2 mutation was present.
These data establish OAS2 as a therapeutic target for agents designed to reduce metastases and increase the effectiveness of checkpoint immunotherapy in cases of pregnancy-associated breast cancer and outside of pregnancy in cases showing the lactation and involution-mimicry phenotypes.