Lectin-type oxidized LDL receptor-1 distinguishes population of human polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells in cancer patients

Sci Immunol. 2016 Aug;1(2):aaf8943. doi: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aaf8943. Epub 2016 Aug 5.


Polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells (PMN-MDSC) are important regulators of immune responses in cancer and have been directly implicated in promotion of tumor progression. However, the heterogeneity of these cells and lack of distinct markers hampers the progress in understanding of the biology and clinical importance of these cells. Using partial enrichment of PMN-MDSC with gradient centrifugation we determined that low density PMN-MDSC and high density neutrophils from the same cancer patients had a distinct gene profile. Most prominent changes were observed in the expression of genes associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Surprisingly, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) was one of the most increased regulators and its receptor oxidized LDL receptor 1 OLR1 was one of the most overexpressed genes in PMN-MDSC. Lectin-type oxidized LDL receptor 1 (LOX-1) encoded by OLR1 was practically undetectable in neutrophils in peripheral blood of healthy donors, whereas 5-15% of total neutrophils in cancer patients and 15-50% of neutrophils in tumor tissues were LOX-1+. In contrast to their LOX-1- counterparts, LOX-1+ neutrophils had gene signature, potent immune suppressive activity, up-regulation of ER stress, and other biochemical characteristics of PMN-MDSC. Moreover, induction of ER stress in neutrophils from healthy donors up-regulated LOX-1 expression and converted these cells to suppressive PMN-MDSC. Thus, we identified a specific marker of human PMN-MDSC associated with ER stress and lipid metabolism, which provides new insight to the biology and potential therapeutic targeting of these cells.