Calreticulin is the dominant pro-phagocytic signal on multiple human cancers and is counterbalanced by CD47.
ABSTRACT Under normal physiological conditions, cellular homeostasis is partly regulated by a balance of pro- and anti-phagocytic signals. CD47, which prevents cancer cell phagocytosis by the innate immune system, is highly expressed on several human cancers including acute myeloid leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and bladder cancer. Blocking CD47 with a monoclonal antibody results in phagocytosis of cancer cells and leads to in vivo tumor elimination, yet normal cells remain mostly unaffected. Thus, we postulated that cancer cells must also display a potent pro-phagocytic signal. Here, we identified calreticulin as a pro-phagocytic signal that was highly expressed on the surface of several human cancers, but was minimally expressed on most normal cells. Increased CD47 expression correlated with high amounts of calreticulin on cancer cells and was necessary for protection from calreticulin-mediated phagocytosis. Blocking the interaction of target cell calreticulin with its receptor, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein, on phagocytic cells prevented anti-CD47 antibody-mediated phagocytosis. Furthermore, increased calreticulin expression was an adverse prognostic factor in diverse tumors including neuroblastoma, bladder cancer, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. These findings identify calreticulin as the dominant pro-phagocytic signal on several human cancers, provide an explanation for the selective targeting of tumor cells by anti-CD47 antibody, and highlight the balance between pro- and anti-phagocytic signals in the immune evasion of cancer.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Microglia are resident brain macrophages that can phagocytose dead, dying or viable neurons, which may be beneficial or detrimental in inflammatory, ischaemic and neurodegenerative brain pathologies. Cell death caused by phagocytosis of an otherwise viable cell is called 'primary phagocytosis' or 'phagoptosis'. Calreticulin (CRT) exposure on the surface of cancer cells can promote their phagocytosis via LRP (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein) on macrophages, but it is not known whether this occurs with neurons and microglia. METHODS: We used primary cultures of cerebellar neurons, astrocytes and microglia to investigate the potential role of CRT/LRP phagocytic signalling in the phagocytosis of viable neurons by microglia stimulated with LPS (lipopolysaccharide) or nanomolar concentrations of amyloid-beta peptide1-42 (Abeta). Exposure of CRT on the neuronal surface was investigated using surface biotinylation and western blotting. A phagocytosis assay was also developed using BV2 and PC12 cell lines to investigate CRT/LRP signalling in microglial phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. RESULTS: We found that BV2 microglia readily phagocytosed apoptotic PC12 cells, but this was inhibited by a CRT blocking antibody or LRP-blocking protein (Receptor-Associated Protein: RAP). Activation of primary rat microglia with LPS or Abeta resulted in loss of co-cultured cerebellar granule neurons, and this was blocked by RAP or antibodies against CRT or against LRP, preventing all neuronal loss and death. CRT was present on the surface of viable neurons, and this exposure did not change in inflammatory conditions. CRT antibodies prevented microglia-induced neuronal loss when added to neurons, while LRP antibodies prevented neuronal loss when added to the microglia. Pre-binding of CRT to neurons promoted neuronal loss if activated microglia were added, but pre-binding of CRT to microglia or both cell types prevented microglia-induced neuronal loss. CONCLUSIONS: CRT exposure on the surface of viable or apoptotic neurons appears to be required for their phagocytosis via LRP receptors on activated microglia, but free CRT can block microglial phagocytosis of neurons by acting on microglia. Phagocytosis of CRT-exposing neurons by microglia can be a direct cause of neuronal death during inflammation, and might therefore contribute to neurodegeneration and be prevented by blocking the CRT/LRP pathway.Journal of Neuroinflammation 08/2012; 9(1):196. · 4.35 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: In order to define the proteins whose expression is regulated by cAMP and protein kinase A (PKA), we used a quantitative proteomic approach in studies of wild-type (WT) and kin- (PKA-null) S49 murine T lymphoma cells. We also compared the impact of endogenous increases in cAMP (Forskolin [Fsk] plus the phosphodiesterase inhibitor isobutylmethylxanthine [IBMX]) or by a cAMP analog (8-CPT-cAMP). We identified 1056 proteins in WT and kin- S49 cells and found that 8-CPT-cAMP and Fsk/IBMX produced differences in protein expression. WT S49 cells had a correlation coefficient of 0.41 between DNA microarray data and the proteomic analysis in cells incubated with 8-CPT-cAMP for 24 h and a correlation coefficient of 0.42 between the DNA microarray data obtained at 6 h and the changes in protein expression after 24 h incubation with 8-CPT-cAMP. Glutathione reductase (Gsr) had higher basal expression in kin- S49 cells than in WT cells. Consistent with this finding, kin- cells are less sensitive to cell killing and generation of malondialdehyde than are WT cells incubated with H2O2. Cyclic AMP acting via PKA thus has a broad impact on protein expression in mammalian cells, including in the regulation of Gsr and oxidative stress.Biochemistry 10/2012; · 3.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Cell fusion plays a well-recognized physiological role during development, while its function during progression is still unclear. Here, we show that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells spontaneously fused with murine host cells in vivo. AML cells fused in most cases with mouse macrophages. Other targets of AML cell fusion were dendritic and endothelial cells. Cytogenetic and molecular analysis revealed that successive recipients conserved detectable amounts of parental DNA. Moreover, in a mouse AML1-ETO model where female AML1-ETO-leukemic cells, expressing CD45.2, were injected in congenic CD45.1 male mice AML cells, we found hybrid cells expressing both allelic types of CD45 and XXY set of sexual chromosomes. More importantly, the fusion protein AML1-ETO was transferred in the hybrid cells. When sorted hybrid cells were reinjected in a secondary recipient, they gave rise to leukemia with 100% penetrance and similar time of onset of leukemic cells. Our data indicate that in vivo fusion of cancer cells with host cells may be a mechanism of gene transfer for cancer dissemination and suggest that fused cells may be used to identify still unrecognized leukemogenic genes that are conserved in hybrid cells and able to perpetuate leukemia in vivo.Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.) 11/2012; 14(11):1057-66. · 5.48 Impact Factor