In multiple types of cancer, an increased frequency in myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) is associated with worse outcomes and poor therapeutic response. In the glioblastoma (GBM) microenvironment, monocytic (m) MDSCs represent the predominant subset. However, the molecular basis of mMDSC enrichment in the tumor microenvironment compared to granulocytic (g) MDSCs has yet to be determined. Here we performed the first broad epigenetic profiling of MDSC subsets to define underlying cell-intrinsic differences in behavior and found that enhanced gene accessibility of cell adhesion programs in mMDSCs is linked to their tumor-accelerating ability in GBM models upon adoptive transfer. Mouse and human mMDSCs expressed higher levels of integrin β1 and dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) compared to gMDSCs as part of an enhanced cell adhesion signature. Integrin β1 blockade abrogated the tumor-promoting phenotype of mMDSCs and altered the immune profile in the tumor microenvironment, while treatment with a DPP-4 inhibitor extended survival in preclinical GBM models. Targeting DPP-4 in mMDSCs reduced pERK signaling and their migration towards tumor cells. These findings uncover a fundamental difference in the molecular basis of MDSC subsets and suggest that integrin β1 and DPP-4 represent putative immunotherapy targets to attenuate myeloid cell-driven immune suppression in GBM.

This content is only available via PDF.

Article PDF first page preview

Article PDF first page preview