Neuroblastoma is the most common childhood solid tumor, yet the prognosis for high-risk disease remains poor. We demonstrate here that arginase 2 (ARG2) drives neuroblastoma cell proliferation via regulation of arginine metabolism. Targeting arginine metabolism, either by blocking cationic amino acid transporter 1 (CAT-1)-dependent arginine uptake in vitro or therapeutic depletion of arginine by pegylated recombinant arginase BCT-100, significantly delayed tumor development and prolonged murine survival. Tumor cells polarized infiltrating monocytes to an M1-macrophage phenotype, which released IL1b and TNFa in a RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT)-dependent manner. IL1b and TNFa established a feedback loop to upregulate ARG2 expression via p38 and extracellular regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling in neuroblastoma and neural crest-derived cells. Proteomic analysis revealed that enrichment of IL1b and TNFa in stage IV human tumor microenvironments was associated with a worse prognosis. These data thus describe an immune-metabolic regulatory loop between tumor cells and infiltrating myeloid cells regulating ARG2, which can be clinically exploited.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research