Ceramide activates lysosomal cathepsin B and cathepsin D to attenuate autophagy and induces ER stress to suppress myeloidderived suppressor cells

Feiyan Liu, Xia Li, Chunwan Lu, Aiping Bai, Jacek Bielawski, Alicja Bielawska, Brendan Marshall, Patricia V Schoenlein, Iryna Oleksandrivna Lebedyeva, Kebin Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

25 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are immune suppressive cells that are hallmarks of human cancer. MDSCs inhibit cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and NK cell functions to promote tumor immune escape and progression, and therefore are considered key targets in cancer immunotherapy. Recent studies determined a key role of the apoptosis pathways in tumor-induced MDSC homeostasis and it is known that ceramide plays a key role in regulation of mammalian cell apoptosis. In this study, we aimed to determine the efficacy and underlying molecular mechanism of ceramide in suppression of MDSCs. Treatment of tumor-bearing mice with LCL521, a lysosomotropic inhibitor of acid ceramidase, significantly decreased MDSC accumulation in vivo. Using a MDSC-like myeloid cell model, we determined that LCL521 targets lysosomes and increases total cellular C16 ceramide level. Although MDSC-like cells have functional apoptosis pathways, LCL521-induced MDSC death occurs in an apoptosis- and necroptosis-independent mechanism. LCL521 treatment resulted in an increase in the number of autophagic vesicles, heterolysosomes and swollen ERs. Finally, concomitant inhibition of cathepsin B and cathepsin D was required to significantly decrease LCL521-induced cell death. Our observations indicate that LCL521 targets lysosomes to activate cathepsin B and cathepsin D, resulting in interrupted autophagy and ER stress that culminates in MDSC death. Therefore, a ceramidase inhibitor is potentially an effective adjunct therapeutic agent for suppression of MDSCs to enhance the efficacy of CTL-based cancer immunotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83907-83925
Number of pages19
JournalOncotarget
Volume7
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

Cathepsin B
Cathepsin D
Ceramides
Autophagy
Apoptosis
Cell Death
Cytotoxic T-Lymphocytes
Neoplasms
Lysosomes
Immunotherapy
Acid Ceramidase
Ceramidases
Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells
Tumor Escape
Myeloid Cells
Natural Killer Cells
Homeostasis
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Autophagy flux
  • Cathepsin
  • Ceramide
  • Immune response
  • Immunity
  • Immunology and Microbiology Section
  • Lysosomal cell death
  • MDSCs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

Cite this

Ceramide activates lysosomal cathepsin B and cathepsin D to attenuate autophagy and induces ER stress to suppress myeloidderived suppressor cells. / Liu, Feiyan; Li, Xia; Lu, Chunwan; Bai, Aiping; Bielawski, Jacek; Bielawska, Alicja; Marshall, Brendan; Schoenlein, Patricia V; Lebedyeva, Iryna Oleksandrivna; Liu, Kebin.

In: Oncotarget, Vol. 7, No. 51, 01.01.2016, p. 83907-83925.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Li, Xia

AU - Lu, Chunwan

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AU - Bielawski, Jacek

AU - Bielawska, Alicja

AU - Marshall, Brendan

AU - Schoenlein, Patricia V

AU - Lebedyeva, Iryna Oleksandrivna

AU - Liu, Kebin

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