Targeting YAP-dependent MDSC infiltration impairs tumor progression

Wang, G., Lu, X., Dey, P. et al.

The signaling mechanisms between prostate cancer cells and infiltrating immune cells may illuminate novel therapeutic approaches. Here, utilizing a prostate adenocarcinoma model driven by loss of Pten and Smad4, we identify polymorphonuclear myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) as the major infiltrating immune cell type and depletion of MDSCs blocks progression. Employing a novel dual reporter prostate cancer model, epithelial and stromal transcriptomic profiling identified Cxcl5 as a cancer-secreted chemokine to attract Cxcr2-expressing MDSCs and, correspondingly, pharmacological inhibition of Cxcr2 impeded tumor progression. Integrated analyses identified hyperactivated Hippo-YAP signaling in driving Cxcl5 upregulation in cancer cells through YAP-TEAD complex and promoting MDSCs recruitment. Clinico-pathological studies reveal upregulation and activation of YAP1 in a subset of human prostate tumors, and the YAP1 signature is enriched in primary prostate tumor samples with stronger expression of MDSC relevant genes. Together, YAP-driven MDSC recruitment via heterotypic Cxcl5-Cxcr2 signaling reveals effective therapeutic strategy for advanced prostate cancer.

We demonstrate a critical role of MDSCs in prostate tumor progression and discover a cancer cell non-autonomous function of Hippo-YAP pathway in regulation of Cxcl5, a ligand for Cxcr2 expressing MDSCs. Pharmacologic elimination of MDSCs or blocking the heterotypic CxCl5-Cxcr2 signaling circuit elicits robust anti-tumor responses and prolongs survival.


Wang, G., Lu, X., Dey, P. et al. "Targeting YAP-dependent MDSC infiltration impairs tumor progression" Cancer Discovery (2016): 80–95