An Autocrine Cytokine/JAK/STAT-Signaling Induces Kynurenine Synthesis in Multidrug Resistant Human Cancer Cells.

Multidrug resistant cancer cells are hard to eradicate for the inefficacy of conventional anticancer drugs. Besides escaping the cytotoxic effects of chemotherapy, they also bypass the pro-immunogenic effects induced by anticancer drugs: indeed they are not well recognized by host dendritic cells and do not elicit a durable anti-tumor immunity. It has not yet been investigated whether multidrug resistant cells have a different ability to induce immunosuppression than chemosensitive ones. We addressed this issue in human and murine chemosensitive and multidrug resistant cancer cells.
We found that the activity and expression of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), which catalyzes the conversion of tryptophan into the immunosuppressive metabolite kynurenine, was higher in all the multidrug resistant cells analyzed and that IDO1 inhibition reduced the growth of drug-resistant tumors in immunocompetent animals. In chemoresistant cells the basal activity of JAK1/STAT1 and JAK1/STAT3 signaling was higher, the STAT3 inhibitor PIAS3 was down-regulated, and the autocrine production of STAT3-target and IDO1-inducers cytokines IL-6, IL-4, IL-1β, IL-13, TNF-α and CD40L, was increased. The disruption of the JAK/STAT signaling lowered the IDO1 activity and reversed the kynurenine-induced pro-immunosuppressive effects, as revealed by the restored proliferation of T-lymphocytes in STAT-silenced chemoresistant cells.
Our work shows that multidrug resistant cells have a stronger immunosuppressive attitude than chemosensitive cells, due to the constitutive activation of the JAK/STAT/IDO1 axis, thus resulting chemo- and immune-evasive. Disrupting this axis may significantly improve the efficacy of chemo-immunotherapy protocols against resistant tumors.
AuthorsIvana Campia, Ilaria Buondonno, Barbara Castella, Barbara Rolando, Joanna Kopecka, Elena Gazzano, Dario Ghigo, Chiara Riganti
JournalPloS one (PLoS One) Vol. 10 Issue 5 Pg. e0126159 ( 2015) ISSN: 1932-6203 [Electronic] United States
PMID25955018 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)

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