Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Targeting epigenetic regulators to potentiate anti-PD-1 immunotherapy converges on the activation of type I interferon (IFN-I) response, mimicking cellular response to viral infection, but how its strength and duration are regulated to impact combination therapy efficacy remains largely unknown. Here, we show that mitochondrial CPT1A downregulation following viral infection restrains, while its induction by epigenetic perturbations sustains, a double-stranded RNA-activated IFN-I response. Mechanistically, CPT1A recruits the endoplasmic reticulum-localized ZDHHC4 to catalyze MAVS Cys79-palmitoylation, which promotes MAVS stabilization and activation by inhibiting K48- but facilitating K63-linked ubiquitination. Further elevation of CPT1A incrementally increases MAVS palmitoylation and amplifies the IFN-I response, which enhances control of viral infection and epigenetic perturbation-induced antitumor immunity. Moreover, CPT1A chemical inducers augment the therapeutic effect of combined epigenetic treatment with PD-1 blockade in refractory tumors. Our study identifies CPT1A as a stabilizer of MAVS activation, and its link to epigenetic perturbation can be exploited for cancer immunotherapy.

Original publication




Journal article


Mol Cell

Publication Date



CPT1A, DNMTs, LSD1, MAVS, ZDHHC4, double-stranded RNA, epigenetic regulation, palmitoylation, tumor immunity, type I interferon response