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Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2020 Jan 17. doi: 10.1007/s00262-019-02476-9. [Epub ahead of print]

High expression of ID1 in monocytes is strongly associated with phenotypic and functional MDSC markers in advanced melanoma.

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Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Visionsgatan 4, 171 64 Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska Institute, Visionsgatan 4, 171 64 Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.
Department of Oncology, Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Department of Tumor Immunology, Institute for Molecular Life Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.
Karolinska University Hospital Solna, Stockholm, Sweden.


The efficacy of immunotherapies for malignant melanoma is severely hampered by local and systemic immunosuppression mediated by myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC). Inhibitor of differentiation 1 (ID1) is a transcriptional regulator that was shown to be centrally involved in the induction of immunosuppressive properties in myeloid cells in mice, while it was overexpressed in CD11b+ cells in the blood of late-stage melanoma patients. Therefore, we comprehensively assessed ID1 expression in PBMC from stage III and IV melanoma patients, and studied ID1 regulation in models for human monocyte differentiation towards monocyte-derived dendritic cells. A highly significant elevation of ID1 was observed in CD33+CD11b+CD14+HLA-DRlow monocytic MDSC in the blood of melanoma patients compared to their HLA-DRhigh counterparts, while expression of ID1 correlated positively with established MDSC markers S100A8/9 and iNOS. Moreover, expression of ID1 in monocytes significantly decreased in PBMC samples taken after surgical removal of melanoma metastases, compared to those taken before surgery. Finally, maturation of monocyte-derived DC coincided with a significant downregulation of ID1. Together, these data indicate that increased ID1 expression is strongly associated with expression of phenotypic and immunosuppressive markers of monocytic MDSC, while downregulation is associated with a more immunogenic myeloid phenotype. As such, ID1 may be an additional phenotypic marker for monocytic MDSC. Investigation of ID1 as a pharmacodynamic biomarker or its use as a target for modulating MDSC is warranted.


Cancer; Immunosuppression; Melanoma; Myeloid cells


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