CD47-specific antibodies and fusion proteins that block CD47–SIRPα signaling are employed as antitumor agents for several cancers. Here, we investigated the synergistic antitumor effect of simultaneously targeting CD47 and autophagy in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). SIRPαD1-Fc, a novel CD47-targeting fusion protein, was generated and was found to increase the phagocytic and cytotoxic activities of macrophages against NSCLC cells. During this process, autophagy was markedly triggered, which was characterized by the three main stages of autophagic flux, including formation and accumulation of autophagosomes, fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes, and degradation of autophagosomes in lysosomes. Meanwhile, reactive oxygen species and inactivation of mTOR were shown to be involved in autophagy initiation in SIRPαD1-Fc–treated cells, indicating a probable mechanism for autophagy activation after targeting CD47 by SIRPαD1-Fc. Inhibition of autophagy enhanced macrophage-mediated phagocytosis and cytotoxicity against SIRPαD1-Fc–treated NSCLC cells. In addition, simultaneously targeting both CD47 and autophagy in NSCLC xenograft models elicited enhanced antitumor effects, with recruitment of macrophages, activated caspase-3, and overproduction of ROS at the tumor site. Our data elucidated the cytoprotective role of autophagy in CD47-targeted therapy and highlighted the potential approach for NSCLC treatment by simultaneously targeting CD47 and autophagy. Cancer Immunol Res; 5(5); 1–13. ©2017 AACR.
See article by Kaufman, p. 355
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Immunology Research Online (http://cancerimmunolres.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received December 28, 2016.
- Revision received February 10, 2017.
- Accepted March 24, 2017.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.