Factor XIIIA-expressing inflammatory monocytes promote lung squamous cancer through fibrin cross-linking

Alessandro Porrello, Patrick L. Leslie, Emily B. Harrison, Balachandra K. Gorentla, Sravya Kattula, Subrata K. Ghosh, Salma H. Azam, Alisha Holtzhausen, Yvonne L. Chao, Michele C. Hayward, Trent A. Waugh, Sanggyu Bae, Virginia Godfrey, Scott H. Randell, Cecilia Oderup, Liza Makowski, Jared Weiss, Matthew D. Wilkerson, D. Neil Hayes, H. Shelton EarpAlbert S. Baldwin, Alisa S. Wolberg, Chad V. Pecot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and lung squamous carcinomas (LUSC) represent about 30% of cases. Molecular aberrations in lung adenocarcinomas have allowed for effective targeted treatments, but corresponding therapeutic advances in LUSC have not materialized. However, immune checkpoint inhibitors in sub-populations of LUSC patients have led to exciting responses. Using computational analyses of The Cancer Genome Atlas, we identified a subset of LUSC tumors characterized by dense infiltration of inflammatory monocytes (IMs) and poor survival. With novel, immunocompetent metastasis models, we demonstrated that tumor cell derived CCL2-mediated recruitment of IMs is necessary and sufficient for LUSC metastasis. Pharmacologic inhibition of IM recruitment had substantial anti-metastatic effects. Notably, we show that IMs highly express Factor XIIIA, which promotes fibrin cross-linking to create a scaffold for LUSC cell invasion and metastases. Consistently, human LUSC samples containing extensive cross-linked fibrin in the microenvironment correlated with poor survival.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1988
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2018
Externally publishedYes


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