Cancer-induced immunosuppression is a major problem reducing antitumor effects of immunotherapies, but its molecular mechanism has not been well understood. We evaluated immunosuppressive roles of activated Wnt/β-catenin pathways in human melanoma for dendritic cells (DCs) and CTLs. IL-10 expression was associated with β-catenin accumulation in human melanoma cell lines and tissues and was induced by direct β-catenin/TCF binding to the IL-10 promoter. Culture supernatants from β-catenin-accumulated melanoma have activities to impair DC maturation and to induce possible regulatory DCs. Those immunosuppressive culture supernatant activities were reduced by knocking down β-catenin in melanoma cells, partly owing to downregulation of IL-10. Murine splenic and tumor-infiltrating DCs obtained from nude mice implanted with human mutant β-catenin-overexpressed melanoma cells had less ability to activate T cells than did DCs from mice with control melanoma cells, showing in vivo suppression of DCs by activated Wnt/β-catenin signaling in human melanoma. This in vivo DC suppression was restored by the administration of a β-catenin inhibitor, PKF115-584. β-catenin-overexpressed melanoma inhibited IFN-γ production by melanoma-specific CTLs in an IL-10-independent manner and is more resistant to CTL lysis in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that Wnt/β-catenin pathways in human melanoma may be involved in immunosuppression and immunoresistance in both induction and effector phases of antitumor immunoresponses partly through IL-10 production, and they may be attractive targets for restoring immunocompetence in patients with Wnt/β-catenin-activated melanoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy