Interfering with tumor metabolism is an emerging strategy for treating cancers that are resistant to standard therapies. Featuring a rapid proliferation rate and exacerbated glycolysis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) creates a highly hypoxic microenvironment with excessive production of lactic and carbonic acids. These metabolic conditions promote disease aggressiveness and cancer-related immunosuppression. The pH regulatory molecules work as a bridge between tumor cells and their surrounding milieu. Herein, we show that the pH regulatory molecules CAIX, CAXII and V-ATPase are overexpressed in the HCC microenvironment and that interfering with their pathways exerts antitumor activity. Importantly, the V-ATPase complex was expressed by M2-like tumor-associated macrophages. Blocking ex vivo V-ATPase activity established a less immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment and reversed the mesenchymal features of HCC. Thus, targeting the unique cross-talk between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment played by pH regulatory molecules holds promise as a strategy to control HCC progression and to reduce the immunosuppressive pressure mediated by the hypoxic/acidic metabolism, particularly considering the potential combination of this strategy with emerging immune checkpoint-based immunotherapies.

pH regulators to target the tumor immune microenvironment in human hepatocellular carcinoma

Carradori, Simone;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Interfering with tumor metabolism is an emerging strategy for treating cancers that are resistant to standard therapies. Featuring a rapid proliferation rate and exacerbated glycolysis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) creates a highly hypoxic microenvironment with excessive production of lactic and carbonic acids. These metabolic conditions promote disease aggressiveness and cancer-related immunosuppression. The pH regulatory molecules work as a bridge between tumor cells and their surrounding milieu. Herein, we show that the pH regulatory molecules CAIX, CAXII and V-ATPase are overexpressed in the HCC microenvironment and that interfering with their pathways exerts antitumor activity. Importantly, the V-ATPase complex was expressed by M2-like tumor-associated macrophages. Blocking ex vivo V-ATPase activity established a less immune-suppressive tumor microenvironment and reversed the mesenchymal features of HCC. Thus, targeting the unique cross-talk between tumor cells and the tumor microenvironment played by pH regulatory molecules holds promise as a strategy to control HCC progression and to reduce the immunosuppressive pressure mediated by the hypoxic/acidic metabolism, particularly considering the potential combination of this strategy with emerging immune checkpoint-based immunotherapies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/693458
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