Transcriptomic profiling disclosed the role of DNA methylation and histone modifications in tumor-infiltrating myeloid-derived suppressor cell subsets in colorectal cancer.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Increased numbers of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are positively correlated with poor prognosis and reduced survivals of cancer patients. They play central roles in tumor immune evasion and tumor metastasis. However, limited data are available on phenotypic/transcriptomic characteristics of the different MDSCs subsets in cancer. These cells include immature (I-MDSCs), monocytic (M-MDSCs), and polymorphonuclear/granulocytic (PMN-MDSCs). METHODS:Phenotypic characterization of myeloid subsets from 27 colorectal cancer (CRC) patients was assessed by flow cytometric analyses. RNA-sequencing of sorted I-MDSCs, PMN-MDSCs, and antigen-presenting cells (APCs) was also performed. RESULTS:We found that the levels of I-MDSCs and PMN-MDSCs were increased in tumor tissues (TT), compared with normal tissues (NT) in colorectal cancer. Our functional annotation analyses showed that genes associated with histone deacetylase (HDAC) activation- and DNA methylation-mediated transcriptional silencing were upregulated, and histone acetyl transferase (HAT)-related genes were downregulated in tumor-infiltrating I-MDSCs. Moreover, pathways implicated in cell trafficking and immune suppression, including Wnt, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling, were upregulated in I-MDSCs. Notably, PMN-MDSCs showed downregulation in genes related to DNA methylation and HDAC binding. Using an ex vivo model, we found that inhibition of HDAC activation or neutralization of IL-6 in CRC tumor tissues downregulates the expression of genes associated with immunosuppression and myeloid cell chemotaxis, confirming the importance of HDAC activation and IL-6 signaling pathway in MDSC function and chemotaxis. CONCLUSIONS:This study provides novel insights into the epigenetic regulations and other molecular pathways in different myeloid cell subsets within the CRC tumor microenvironment (TME), giving opportunities to potential targets for therapeutic benefits.
Project description:Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) promote tumor immune evasion and favor tumorigenesis by activating various tumor-promoting downstream signals. MDSC expansion is evident in the circulation and tumor microenvironment of many solid tumors including colorectal cancer (CRC). We have recently reported the transcriptomic profiles of tumor-infiltrating MDSCs in CRC patients and uncovered pathways, which could potentially assist tumor progression. In this study, we sorted different subsets of circulating MDSCs in CRC patients and investigated their transcriptomic profiles in order to disclose pathways, which could potentially contribute to disease progression. The sorted subsets included polymorphonuclear/granulocytic MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs), immature MDSCs (I-MDSCs), and monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs). Our functional annotation analyses revealed that multiple pathways including DNA damage-, chemotaxis-, apoptosis-, mitogen-activated protein kinase-, transforming growth factor ?-, and myeloid differentiation-related transcripts were higher in PMN-MDSCs, compared with monocytic antigen-presenting cells (APCs) or I-MDSCs. Furthermore, genes related to Janus kinase (JAK)-signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) were also elevated in PMN-MDSCs. These data suggest that upregulation of JAK-STAT pathway could trigger multiple downstream targets in PMN-MDSCs, which favor tumor progression. Additionally, we found that pathways including phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI3K), interleukin 6, and TGF-? in M-MDSCs and cell cycle-related pathways in I-MDSCs were upregulated, compared with monocytic APCs. Moreover, acetylation-related genes were upregulated in both PMN-MDSCs and M-MDSCs. This latter finding implicates that epigenetic modifications could also play a role in the regulation of multiple tumor-promoting genes in PMN-MDSCs and M-MDSCs. Taken together, this study reveals various signaling pathways, which regulate the function of MDSC subsets in the circulation of CRC patients. However, functional studies are warranted to support these findings.
Project description:Two major populations of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) and polymorphonuclear MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs) regulate immune responses in cancer and other pathologic conditions. Under physiologic conditions, Ly6C(hi)Ly6G(-) inflammatory monocytes, which are the normal counterpart of M-MDSCs, differentiate into macrophages and dendritic cells. PMN-MDSCs are the predominant group of MDSCs that accumulates in cancer. Here we show that a large proportion of M-MDSCs in tumor-bearing mice acquired phenotypic, morphological and functional features of PMN-MDSCs. Acquisition of this phenotype, but not the functional attributes of PMN-MDSCs, was mediated by transcriptional silencing of the retinoblastoma gene through epigenetic modifications mediated by histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC-2). These data demonstrate a new regulatory mechanism of myeloid cells in cancer.
Project description:Purpose: Tumor development has been closely linked to tumor microenvironment, particularly in terms of myeloid-derived suppressive cells (MDSCs), a heterogeneous population of immature myeloid cells that protect tumors from elimination by immune cells. Approaches aimed at blocking MDSC accumulation could improve cancer clinical outcome. Experimental Design: We investigated that metformin suppressed MDSC migration to inhibit cancer progression. Primary tumor tissues were incubated with metformin, and proinflammatory chemokine production was measured. To study MDSC chemotaxis in vivo, BALB/C nude mice were injected subcutaneously with TE7 cells and treated with metformin. Migration of adoptively transferred MDSCs was analyzed using flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry. Results: The frequency of tumor-infiltrated polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSCs was increased compared to their circulating counterparts. There was a significant correlation between PMN-MDSCs accumulation in tumors and ESCC prognosis. Moreover, PMN-MDSCs displayed immunosuppressive activity in vitro. Treatment with metformin reduced MDSC migration in patients. Metformin inhibited CXCL1 secretion in ESCC cells and tumor xenografts by enhancing AMPK phosphorylation and inducing DACH1 expression, leading to NF-κB inhibition and reducing MDSC migration. Knockdown of AMPK and DACH1 expression blocked the effect of metformin on MDSC chemotaxis. Conclusions: A novel anti-tumor effect of metformin, which is mediated by reducing PMN-MDSC accumulation in the tumor microenvironment via AMPK/DACH1/CXCL1 axis.
Project description:Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are key players in immune evasion, tumor progression and metastasis. MDSCs accumulate under various pathological states and fall into two functionally and phenotypically distinct subsets that have been identified in humans and mice: polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSCs and monocytic (M)-MDSCs. As dogs are an excellent model for human tumor development and progression, we set out to identify PMN-MDSCs and M-MDSCs in clinical canine oncology patients. Canine hypodense MHC class II-CD5-CD21-CD11b+ cells can be subdivided into polymorphonuclear (CADO48A+CD14-) and monocytic (CADO48A-CD14+) MDSC subsets. The transcriptomic signatures of PMN-MDSCs and M-MDSCs are distinct, and moreover reveal a statistically significant similarity between canine and previously published human PMN-MDSC gene expression patterns. As in humans, peripheral blood frequencies of canine PMN-MDSCs and M-MDSCs are significantly higher in dogs with cancer compared to healthy control dogs (PMN-MDSCs: p < 0.001; M-MDSCs: p < 0.01). By leveraging the power of evolution, we also identified additional conserved genes in PMN-MDSCs of multiple species that may play a role in MDSC function. Our findings therefore validate the dog as a model for studying MDSCs in the context of cancer.
Project description:Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) expansion is a hallmark of cancer. Three major MDSC subsets defined as monocytic (M)-MDSCs, polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSCs and early stage (e)MDSCs can be revealed in human diseases. However, the clinical relevance and immunosupressive pattern of these cells in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) are unknown. Therefore, we performed a comprehensive analysis of each MDSC subset and immunosupressive factors in the peripheral blood (PB), peritoneal fluid (PF), and the tumor tissue (TT) samples from EOC and integrated this data with the patients' clinicopathological characteristic. MDSCs were analyzed using multicolor flow cytometry. Immunosuppressive factors analysis was performed with ELISA and qRT-PCR. The level of M-MDSCs in the PB/PF/TT of EOC was significantly higher than in healthy donors (HD); frequency of PMN-MDSCs was significantly greater in the TT than in the PB/PF and HD; while the level of eMDSCs was greater in the PB compared with the PF and HD. Elevated abundance of tumor-infiltrating M-MDSCs was associated with advanced stage and high grade of EOC. An analysis of immunosuppressive pattern showed significantly increased blood-circulating ARG/IDO/IL-10-expressing M- and PMN-MDSCs in the EOC patients compared with HD and differences in the accumulation of these subsets in the three tumor immune microenvironments (TIME). This accumulation was positively correlated with levels of TGF-? and ARG1 in the plasma and PF. Low level of blood-circulating and tumor-infiltrating M-MDSCs, but neither PMN-MDSCs nor eMDSCs was strongly associated with prolonged survival in ovarian cancer patients. Our results highlight M-MDSCs as the subset with potential the highest clinical significance.
Project description:Our study reveals a non-canonical role for CCL2 in modulating non-macrophage, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and shaping a tumor-permissive microenvironment during colon cancer development. We found that intratumoral CCL2 levels increased in patients with colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CRC), adenocarcinomas, and adenomas. Deletion of CCL2 blocked progression from dysplasia to adenocarcinoma and reduced the number of colonic MDSCs in a spontaneous mouse model of colitis-associated CRC. In a transplantable mouse model of adenocarcinoma and an APC-driven adenoma model, CCL2 fostered MDSC accumulation in evolving colonic tumors and enhanced polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSC immunosuppressive features. Mechanistically, CCL2 regulated T cell suppression of PMN-MDSCs in a STAT3-mediated manner. Furthermore, CCL2 neutralization decreased tumor numbers and MDSC accumulation and function. Collectively, our experiments support that perturbing CCL2 and targeting MDSCs may afford therapeutic opportunities for colon cancer interception and prevention.
Project description:Gliomas appear to be highly immunosuppressive tumors, with a strong myeloid component. This includes MDSCs, which are a heterogeneous, immature myeloid cell population expressing myeloid markers Siglec-3 (CD33) and CD11b and lacking markers of mature myeloid cells including MHC II. Siglec-3 is a member of the sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec) family and has been suggested to promote MDSC expansion and suppression. Siglecs form a recently defined family of receptors with potential immunoregulatory functions but only limited insight in their expression on immune regulatory cell subsets, prompting us to investigate Siglec expression on MDSCs. We determined the expression of different Siglec family members on monocytic-MDSCs (M-MDSCs) and polymorphnuclear-MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs) from blood of glioma patients and healthy donors, as well as from patient-derived tumor material. Furthermore, we investigated the presence of sialic acid ligands for these Siglecs on MDSCs and in the glioma tumor microenvironment. Both MDSC subsets express Siglec-3, -5, -7 and -9, with higher levels of Siglec-3, -7 and -9 on M-MDSCs and higher Siglec-5 levels on PMN-MDSCs. Similar Siglec expression profiles were found on MDSCs from healthy donors. Furthermore, the presence of Siglec-5 and -9 was also confirmed on PMN-MDSCs from glioma tissue. Interestingly, freshly isolated glioma cells predominantly expressed sialic acid ligands for Siglec-7 and -9, which was confirmed in situ. In conclusion, our data show a distinct Siglec expression profile for M- and PMN-MDSCs and propose possible sialic acid-Siglec interactions between glioma cells and MDSCs in the tumor microenvironment.
Project description:Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are a population of immature immune cells with several protumorigenic functions. CD38 is a transmembrane receptor-ectoenzyme expressed by MDSCs in murine models of esophageal cancer. We hypothesized that CD38 could be expressed on MDSCs in human colorectal cancer (CRC), which might allow for a new perspective on therapeutic targeting of human MDSCs with anti-CD38 monoclonal antibodies in this cancer.Blood samples were collected from 41 CRC patients and 8 healthy donors, followed by peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) separation. Polymorphonuclear (PMN-) and monocytic (M-) MDSCs and CD38 expression levels were quantified by flow cytometry. The immunosuppressive capacity of M-MDSCs from 10 CRC patients was validated in a mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) assay.A significant expansion of CD38+ M-MDSCs and a trend of expansion of CD38+ PMN-MDSCs (accompanied by a trend of increased CD38 expression on both M- and PMN-MDSCs) were observed in PBMCs of CRC patients when compared with healthy donors. The CD38+ M-MDSCs from CRC patients were found to be immunosuppressive when compared with mature monocytes. CD38+ M- and PMN-MDSC frequencies were significantly higher in CRC patients who previously received treatment when compared with treatment-naive patients.This study provides a rationale for an attempt to target M-MDSCs with an anti-CD38 monoclonal antibody in metastatic CRC patients.NCI P01-CA14305603, the American Cancer Society, Scott and Suzi Lustgarten Family Colon Cancer Research Fund, Hansen Foundation, and Janssen Research and Development.
Project description:Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is common in patients with cancer, and mounting clinical evidence suggests that it may shorten the survival of cancer patients. But how stroke affects the progression of cancer remains unclear. We inoculated B16 tumor cells (2 × 105) subcutaneously before distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (dMCAO) or sham surgery in C57BL/6 mice and found that compared to sham operated mice, dMCAO mice developed significantly increased tumor volume and were accompanied by lower survival rate. To explore the underlying mechanism, we performed RNA-sequencing analysis of the tumor tissue from mice with or without stroke and found prominent upregulation of lipocalin 2 (LCN2) in the tumor from stroke mice compared to those from sham mice. Using quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, we confirmed increased mRNA expression of LCN2 as well as anti-inflammatory cytokines-Arg1, IL-10, and decreased mRNA level of pro-inflammatory cytokines-IL-6, IL-23 in the tumor of cancer-bearing stroke mice. Both immunofluorescence staining and flow cytometry analysis revealed that increased expression of LCN2 was mainly derived from the polymorphonuclear myeloid derived suppressor cells (PMN-MDSCs) in the tumor. We also found that stroke reduced the PMN-MDSCs in the peripheral blood, but increased PMN-MDSCs in the tumor of the cancer-bearing mice after stroke. In conclusion, cerebral ischemic stroke may exacerbate cancer progression by increasing LCN2 expression in PMN-MDSCs, which turns out to be a promising therapeutic target to suppress cancer progression after ischemic stroke.
Project description:Multiple myeloma (MM) is a plasma cell malignancy characterized by the accumulation of tumor cells in the bone marrow (BM) and is associated with immunosuppression, angiogenesis and osteolysis. Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) represent a heterogeneous population of immature, immunosuppressive myeloid cells that promote tumor progression through different mechanisms.In this work, we studied the contribution of MDSC subsets to different disease-promoting aspects in MM. We observed an expansion of polymorphonuclear/granulocytic (PMN-)MDSCs in two immunocompetent murine MM models, while this was not observed for monocytic (MO-)MDSCs. Both MDSC subpopulations from MM-bearing mice were immunosuppressive, but PMN-MDSCs displayed a higher suppressive potential. Soluble factors secreted by MM cells increased the viability of MDSCs, whereas the presence of MDSCs did not affect the proliferation of MM cells in vitro or in vivo. Interestingly, we observed a pro-angiogenic effect of PMN-MDSCs in the context of MM using the chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. Consistently, MM-derived PMN-MDSCs showed an up-regulation of angiogenesis-related factors and reduced PMN-MDSC levels were associated with less angiogenesis in vivo. Finally, we identified MO-MDSCs as osteoclast precursors.These results suggest that MDSC subpopulations play diverging roles in MM. We show for the first time that PMN-MDSCs exert a pro-angiogenic role in MM.