KSHV infection skews macrophage polarisation towards M2-like/TAM and activates Ire1 α-XBP1 axis up-regulating pro-tumorigenic cytokine release and PD-L1 expression

Maria Saveria Gilardini Montani, Luca Falcinelli, Roberta Santarelli, Marisa Granato, Maria Anele Romeo, Nives Cecere, Roberta Gonnella, Gabriella D’Orazi, Alberto Faggioni, Mara Cirone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpesvirus (KSHV) is a gammaherpesvirus strongly linked to human cancer. The virus is also able to induce immune suppression, effect that contributes to onset/progression of the viral-associated malignancies. As KSHV may infect macrophages and these cells abundantly infiltrate Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions, in this study we investigated whether KSHV-infection could affect macrophage polarisation to promote tumorigenesis. Methods: FACS analysis was used to detect macrophage markers and PD-L1 expression. KSHV infection and the molecular pathways activated were investigated by western blot analysis and by qRT-PCR while cytokine release was assessed by Multi-analyte Kit. Results: We found that KSHV infection reduced macrophage survival and skewed their polarisation towards M2 like/TAM cells, based on the expression of CD163, on the activation of STAT3 and STAT6 pathways and the release of pro-tumorigenic cytokines such as IL-10, VEGF, IL-6 and IL-8. We also found that KSHV triggered Ire1 α-XBP1 axis activation in infected macrophages to increase the release of pro-tumorigenic cytokines and to up-regulate PD-L1 surface expression. Conclusions: The findings that KSHV infection of macrophages skews their polarisation towards M2/TAM and that activate Ire1 α-XBP1 to increase the release of pro-tumorigenic cytokines and the expression of PD-L1, suggest that manipulation of UPR could be exploited to prevent or improve the treatment of KSHV-associated malignancies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)298-306
Number of pages9
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Volume123
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 21 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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