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Forced Activation of Notch in Macrophages Represses Tumor Growth by Upregulating miR-125a and Disabling Tumor-Associated Macrophages

Forced Activation of Notch in Macrophages Represses Tumor Growth by Upregulating miR-125a and Disabling Tumor-Associated Macrophages

Cancer Research 76(6): 1403-1415

Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) contribute greatly to hallmarks of cancer. Notch blockade was shown to arrest TAM differentiation, but the precise role and underlying mechanisms require elucidation. In this study, we employed a transgenic mouse model in which the Notch1 intracellular domain (NIC) is activated conditionally to define the effects of active Notch1 signaling in macrophages. NIC overexpression had no effect on TAM differentiation, but it abrogated TAM function, leading to repressed growth of transplanted tumors. Macrophage miRNA profiling identified a novel downstream mediator of Notch signaling, miR-125a, which was upregulated through an RBP-J-binding site at the first intronic enhancer of the host gene Spaca6A. miR-125a functioned downstream of Notch signaling to reciprocally influence polarization of M1 and M2 macrophages by regulating factor inhibiting hypoxia inducible factor-1α and IRF4, respectively. Notably, macrophages transfected with miR-125a mimetics increased phagocytic activity and repressed tumor growth by remodeling the immune microenvironment. We also identified a positive feedback loop for miR-125a expression mediated by RYBP and YY1. Taken together, our results showed that Notch signaling not only supported the differentiation of TAM but also antagonized their protumorigenic function through miR-125a. Targeting this miRNA may reprogram macrophages in the tumor microenvironment and restore their antitumor potential.

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Accession: 057892454

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26759236

DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-2019

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