Type III TGF-β receptor downregulation generates an immunotolerant tumor microenvironment.
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Cancers subvert the host immune system to facilitate disease progression. These evolved immunosuppressive mechanisms are also implicated in circumventing immunotherapeutic strategies. Emerging data indicate that local tumor-associated DC populations exhibit tolerogenic features by promoting Treg development; however, the mechanisms by which tumors manipulate DC and Treg function in the tumor microenvironment remain unclear. Type III TGF-β receptor (TGFBR3) and its shed extracellular domain (sTGFBR3) regulate TGF-β signaling and maintain epithelial homeostasis, with loss of TGFBR3 expression promoting progression early in breast cancer development. Using murine models of breast cancer and melanoma, we elucidated a tumor immunoevasion mechanism whereby loss of tumor-expressed TGFBR3/sTGFBR3 enhanced TGF-β signaling within locoregional DC populations and upregulated both the immunoregulatory enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) in plasmacytoid DCs and the CCL22 chemokine in myeloid DCs. Alterations in these DC populations mediated Treg infiltration and the suppression of antitumor immunity. Our findings provide mechanistic support for using TGF-β inhibitors to enhance the efficacy of tumor immunotherapy, indicate that sTGFBR3 levels could serve as a predictive immunotherapy biomarker, and expand the mechanisms by which TGFBR3 suppresses cancer progression to include effects on the tumor immune microenvironment.
Cell Line, Tumor
Mammary Neoplasms, Experimental
Mice, Inbred BALB C
Mice, Inbred C57BL
Receptors, Transforming Growth Factor beta
Transforming Growth Factor beta
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1172/JCI65745
Publication InfoAugustine, C; Beasley, G; Blobe, GC; Campbell, OM; Evans, Kathy; George, A; ... Tyler, Douglas S (2013). Type III TGF-β receptor downregulation generates an immunotolerant tumor microenvironment. J Clin Invest, 123(9). pp. 3925-3940. 10.1172/JCI65745. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13297.
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Assistant Professor of Medicine
My lab is interested in elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in tumor-mediated immune suppression and cancer immunotherapy resistance. Our overriding hypothesis is that tumor cells and/or their associated stromal elements elicit soluble factors that tolerize local dendritic cell populations and/or recruit other immunosuppressive cell populations to the tumor bed; thereby, interfering with the generation of an effective anti-tumor immune response. This work has both basic an
George Barth Geller Professor
Professor of Medicine
We are studying the use of immune therapies to treat various cancers, including gastrointestinal, breast, and lung cancers and melanoma. These therapies include vaccines based on dendritic cells developed in our laboratory as well as vaccines based on peptides, viral vectors, and DNA plasmids. Our group is also a national leader in the development and use of laboratory assays for demonstrating immunologic responses to cancer vaccines. Finally, we are developing immunotherapies based on ado
Associate Professor of Surgery
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