One of most challenging issues in tumor immunology is a better understanding of the dynamics in the accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) in the tumor microenvironment (TIME), as this would lead to the development of new cancer therapeutics. Here, we show that translationally controlled tumor protein (TCTP) released by dying tumor cells is an immunomodulator crucial to full-blown MDSC accumulation in the TIME. We provide evidence that extracellular TCTP mediates recruitment of the polymorphonuclear MDSC (PMN-MDSC) population in the TIME via activation of Toll-like receptor-2. As further proof of principle, we show that inhibition of TCTP suppresses PMN-MDSC accumulation and tumor growth. In human cancers, we find an elevation of TCTP and an inverse correlation of TCTP gene dosage with antitumor immune signatures and clinical prognosis. This study reveals the hitherto poorly understood mechanism of the MDSC dynamics in the TIME, offering a new rationale for cancer immunotherapy.
© 2021. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature America, Inc.