Testes-specific protease 50 (TSP50) is abnormally overexpressed in many kinds of cancers and promotes cell proliferation and migration. However, whether TSP50 can influence the tumor microenvironment, especially the function of immune cells in the microenvironment, remains largely unknown. We demonstrated that exposure to the conditioned medium from TSP50-overexpressing cells, or co-culture with TSP50-overexpressing cells, enhanced the cytokine production and phagocytic activities of macrophages, and induced M2b polarization. Further investigation showed that production of TNF-α and IL-1β was strongly induced by TSP50 in TSP50-overexpressing cells. TSP50-induced TNF-α and IL-1β were main factors that mediated the effects of TSP50-overexpressing cells on macrophages. The NF-κB pathway could be activated in macrophages upon the treatment of conditioned medium of TSP50-overexpressing cells and its activation is necessary for the observed effects on macrophages. Taken together, our results suggested that oncogenic TSP50 expressed in cells could activate surrounding macrophages and induce M2b polarization, partly through inducing TNF-α/ IL-1β secretion and subsequent NF-κB pathway activation. This implies a potential mechanism by which oncogene TSP50 regulates tumor microenvironment to support tumor development.
Yang, C., Zhang, D. M., Song, Z. B., Hou, Y. Q., Bao, Y. L., Sun, L. G., … Li, Y. X. (2015). Protumoral TSP50 regulates macrophage activities and polarization via production of TNF-α and IL-1β, and activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. PLoS ONE, 10(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0145095