Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are “polarized” myeloid cells that effectively promote tumorigenesis by inhibiting antitumor immunity. How myeloid cells acquire the protumoral properties during tumorigenesis is poorly understood. We report here that the polarity protein TIPE2 (tumor necrosis factor-α–induced protein 8-like 2) mediates the functional polarization of murine and human MDSCs by specifying their pro- and antitumoral properties. Tumor cells induced the expression of TIPE2 in Gr1+CD11b+ cells through reactive oxygen species (ROS). TIPE2 in turn increased the expression of protumoral mediators such as CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein-β while inhibiting the expression of antitumoral mediators. Consequently, tumor growth in TIPE2-deficient mice was significantly diminished, and TIPE2-deficient MDSCs markedly inhibited tumor growth upon adoptive transfer. Pharmaceutical blockade of ROS inhibited TIPE2 expression in MDSCs and reduced tumor growth in mice. These findings indicate that TIPE2 plays a key role in the functional polarization of MDSCs and represents a new therapeutic target for cancer immunotherapy.

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