Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and dendritic cells (DCs) arise from common progenitors. Tumor-derived factors redirect differentiation from immune-promoting DCs to tolerogenic MDSCs, an immunological hallmark of cancer. Indeed, in vitro differentiation of DCs from human primary monocytes results in the generation of MDSCs under tumor-associated conditions (PGE2 or tumor cell-conditioned media). Comparison of MDSC and DC DNA methylomes now reveals extensive demethylation with specific gains of DNA methylation and repression of immunogenic-associated genes occurring in MDSCs specifically, concomitant with increased DNA methyltransferase 3A (DNMT3A) levels. DNMT3A downregulation erases MDSC-specific hypermethylation, and it abolishes their immunosuppressive capacity. Primary MDSCs isolated from ovarian cancer patients display a similar hypermethylation signature in connection with PGE2-dependent DNMT3A overexpression. Our study links PGE2- and DNMT3A-dependent hypermethylation with immunosuppressive MDSC functions, providing a promising target for therapeutic intervention.
Keywords: DNA methylation; DNMT3A; epigenetics; myeloid differentiation; myeloid-derived suppressor cells; ovarian carcinoma; prostaglandin E2; tolerogenesis; tolerogenic.
Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.