Cellular & molecular immunology

Response gene to complement 32 (RGC-32) expression on M2-polarized and tumor-associated macrophages is M-CSF-dependent and enhanced by tumor-derived IL-4.

PMID 25418473


Response gene to complement 32 (RGC-32) is a cell cycle regulator involved in the proliferation, differentiation and migration of cells and has also been implicated in angiogenesis. Here we show that RGC-32 expression in macrophages is induced by IL-4 and reduced by LPS, indicating a link between RGC-32 expression and M2 polarization. We demonstrated that the increased expression of RGC-32 is characteristic of alternatively activated macrophages, in which this protein suppresses the production of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 and promotes the production of the anti-inflammatory mediator TGF-β. Consistent with in vitro data, tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) express high levels of RGC-32, and this expression is induced by tumor-derived ascitic fluid in an M-CSF- and/or IL-4-dependent manner. Collectively, these results establish RGC-32 as a marker for M2 macrophage polarization and indicate that this protein is a potential target for cancer immunotherapy, targeting tumor-associated macrophages.

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