Complement is a critical component of humoral immunity implicated in cancer development; however, its biological contributions to tumorigenesis remain poorly understood. Using the K14-HPV16 transgenic mouse model of squamous carcinogenesis, we report that urokinase (uPA)+ macrophages regulate C3-independent release of C5a during premalignant progression, which in turn regulates protumorigenic properties of C5aR1+ mast cells and macrophages, including suppression of CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity. Therapeutic inhibition of C5aR1 via the peptide antagonist PMX-53 improved efficacy of paclitaxel chemotherapy associated with increased presence and cytotoxic properties of CXCR3+ effector memory CD8+ T cells in carcinomas, dependent on both macrophage transcriptional programming and IFNγ. Together, these data identify C5aR1-dependent signaling as an important immunomodulatory program in neoplastic tissue tractable for combinatorial cancer immunotherapy.
Keywords: CD8(+) T cell; complement C5a; immunotherapy; inflammation; macrophage; squamous cell carcinoma; urokinase.
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