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Recent development of new immune checkpoint inhibitors has been particularly successfully in cancer treatment, but still the majority patients fail to benefit. Converting resistant tumors to immunotherapy sensitive will provide a significant improvement in patient outcome. Here we identify Mi-2β as a key melanoma-intrinsic effector regulating the adaptive anti-tumor immune response. Studies in genetically engineered mouse melanoma models indicate that loss of Mi-2β rescues the immune response to immunotherapy in vivo. Mechanistically, ATAC-seq analysis shows that Mi-2β controls the accessibility of IFN-γ-stimulated genes (ISGs). Mi-2β binds to EZH2 and promotes K510 methylation of EZH2, subsequently activating the trimethylation of H3K27 to inhibit the transcription of ISGs. Finally, we develop an Mi-2β-targeted inhibitor, Z36-MP5, which reduces Mi-2β ATPase activity and reactivates ISG transcription. Consequently, Z36-MP5 induces a response to immune checkpoint inhibitors in otherwise resistant melanoma models. Our work provides a potential therapeutic strategy to convert immunotherapy resistant melanomas to sensitive ones.

Original publication




Journal article


Nature communications

Publication Date





Skin Disease Research Institute, The 2nd Hospital and School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, 310058, China.