Tumor-associated macrophages are increasingly viewed as a target of great relevance in the tumor microenvironment, because of their important role in cancer progression and metastasis. However, the endogenous regulatory mechanisms underlying tumor-associated macrophage differentiation remain largely unknown. Here, we report that caspase-1 promotes tumor-associated macrophage differentiation by cleaving peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) at Asp64, thus generating a 41 kDa fragment. This truncated PPARγ translocates to mitochondria, where it directly interacts with medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD). This binding event attenuates MCAD activity and inhibits fatty acid oxidation, thereby leading to the accumulation of lipid droplets and promoting tumor-associated macrophage differentiation. Furthermore, the administration of caspase-1 inhibitors or the infusion of bone marrow-derived macrophages genetically engineered to overexpress murine MCAD markedly suppresses tumor growth. Therefore, targeting the caspase-1/PPARγ/MCAD pathway might be a promising therapeutic approach to prevent tumor progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)