Extracellular matrix protein tenascin C increases phagocytosis mediated by CD47 Loss of function in glioblastoma

Ding Ma, Senquan Liu, Bachchu Lal, Shuang Wei, Shuyan Wang, Daqian Zhan, Hao Zhang, Richard S. Lee, Peisong Gao, Hernando Lopez-Bertoni, Mingyao Ying, Jian Jian Li, John Laterra, Mary Ann Wilson, Shuli Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Glioblastomas (GBM) are highly infiltrated by myeloidderived innate immune cells that contribute to the immunosuppressive nature of the brain tumor microenvironment (TME). CD47 has been shown to mediate immune evasion, as the CD47-SIRPα axis prevents phagocytosis of tumor cells by macrophages and other myeloid cells. In this study, we established CD47 homozygous deletion (CD47-/-) in human and mouse GBM cells and investigated the impact of eliminating the "don't eat me" signal on tumor growth and tumor-TME interactions. CD47 knockout (KO) did not significantly alter tumor cell proliferation in vitro but significantly increased phagocytosis of tumor cells by macrophages in cocultures. Compared with CD47 wild-type xenografts, orthotopic xenografts derived from CD47-/- tumor cells grew significantly slower with enhanced tumor cell phagocytosis and increased recruitment of M2-like tumor-associated microglia/ macrophages (TAM). CD47 KO increased tumor-associated extracellular matrix protein tenascin C (TNC) in xenografts, which was further examined in vitro. CD47 loss of function upregulated TNC expression in tumor cells via a Notch pathway-mediated mechanism. Depletion of TNC in tumor cells enhanced the growth of CD47-/- xenografts in vivo and decreased the number of TAM. TNC knockdown also inhibited phagocytosis of CD47-/- tumor cells in cocultures. Furthermore, TNC stimulated release of proinflammatory factors including TNFa via a Toll-like receptor 4 and STAT3- dependent mechanism in human macrophage cells. These results reveal a vital role for TNC in immunomodulation in brain tumor biology and demonstrate the prominence of the TME extracellular matrix in affecting the antitumor function of brain innate immune cells. Significance: These findings link TNC to CD47-driven phagocytosis and demonstrate that TNC affects the antitumor function of brain TAM, facilitating the development of novel innate immune system-based therapies for brain tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2697-2708
Number of pages12
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracellular matrix protein tenascin C increases phagocytosis mediated by CD47 Loss of function in glioblastoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this