The paper, entitled 'Proteomic Pathway Analysis Reveals Inflammation Increases Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cell Resistance to Apoptosis' which is freely available at http://www.mcponline.org/content/early/2010/12/29/mcp.M110.002980.long has been published in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics.
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) accumulate in patients and animals with cancer where they mediate systemic immune suppression and obstruct immune-based cancer therapies. We have previously demonstrated that inflammation, which frequently accompanies tumor onset and progression, increases the rate of accumulation and the suppressive potency of MDSC. To determine how inflammation enhances MDSC levels and activity we used mass spectrometry to identify proteins produced by MDSC induced in highly inflammatory settings. Proteomic pathway analysis identified the Fas pathway and caspase network proteins, leading us to hypothesize that inflammation enhances MDSC accumulation by increasing MDSC resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis. The MS findings were validated and extended by biological studies. Using activated caspase 3 and caspase 8 as indicators of apoptosis, flow cytometry, confocal microscopy, and western blot analyses demonstrated that inflammation-induced MDSC treated with a Fas agonist contain lower levels of activated caspases, suggesting that inflammation enhances resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis. Resistance to Fas-mediated apoptosis was confirmed by viability studies of MDSC treated with a Fas agonist. These results suggest that an inflammatory environment, which is frequently present in tumor-bearing individuals, protects MDSC against extrinsic-induced apoptosis resulting in MDSC with a longer in vivo half-life, and may explain why MDSC accumulate more rapidly and to higher levels in inflammatory settings.