Authors: Patrycja Kozik, Marine Gros, Daniel N. Itzhak, …, Elaine Del Nery, Georg H.H. Borner, Sebastian Amigorena
Cross-presentation of antigens by dendritic cells (DCs) is critical for initiation of anti-tumor immune responses. Yet, key steps involved in trafficking of antigens taken up by DCs remain incompletely understood. Here, we screen 700 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs and identify 37 enhancers of antigen import from endolysosomes into the cytosol. To reveal their mechanism of action, we generate proteomic organellar maps of control and drug-treated DCs (focusing on two compounds, prazosin and tamoxifen). By combining organellar mapping, quantitative proteomics, and microscopy, we conclude that import enhancers undergo lysosomal trapping leading to membrane permeation and antigen release. Enhancing antigen import facilitates cross-presentation of soluble and cell-associated antigens. Systemic administration of prazosin leads to reduced growth of MC38 tumors and to a synergistic effect with checkpoint immunotherapy in a melanoma model. Thus, inefficient antigen import into the cytosol limits antigen cross-presentation, restraining the potency of anti-tumor immune responses and efficacy of checkpoint blockers.