Targeting Glutamine Metabolism to Enhance Immunoprevention of EGFR-Driven Lung Cancer

Mofei Huang, Donghai Xiong, Jing Pan, Qi Zhang, Shizuko Sei, Robert H. Shoemaker, Ronald A. Lubet, Luis M. Montuenga, Yian Wang, Barbara S. Slusher, Ming You

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death worldwide. Vaccination against EGFR can be one of the venues to prevent lung cancer. Blocking glutamine metabolism has been shown to improve anticancer immunity. Here, the authors report that JHU083, an orally active glutamine antagonist prodrug designed to be preferentially activated in the tumor microenvironment, has potent anticancer effects on EGFR-driven mouse lung tumorigenesis. Lung tumor development is significantly suppressed when treatment with JHU083 is combined with an EGFR peptide vaccine (EVax) than either single treatment. Flow cytometry and single-cell RNA sequencing of the lung tumors reveal that JHU083 increases CD8+ T cell and CD4+ Th1 cell infiltration, while EVax elicits robust Th1 cell-mediated immune responses and protects mice against EGFRL858R mutation-driven lung tumorigenesis. JHU083 treatment decreases immune suppressive cells, including both monocytic- and granulocytic-myeloid-derived suppressor cells, regulatory T cells, and pro-tumor CD4+ Th17 cells in mouse models. Interestingly, Th1 cells are found to robustly upregulate oxidative metabolism and adopt a highly activated and memory-like phenotype upon glutamine inhibition. These results suggest that JHU083 is highly effective against EGFR-driven lung tumorigenesis and promotes an adaptive T cell-mediated tumor-specific immune response that enhances the efficacy of EVax.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAdvanced Science
StatePublished - Sep 15 2022


  • JHU-083
  • epidermal growth factor receptor vaccines
  • glutamine metabolism
  • lung tumorigenesis
  • tumor immune microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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