Iron Metabolism in the Tumor Microenvironment: Contributions of Innate Immune Cells.

Published on Feb 12, 2021in Frontiers in Immunology5.085
· DOI :10.3389/FIMMU.2020.626812
Wei Liang10
Estimated H-index: 10
Napoleone Ferrara179
Estimated H-index: 179
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego)
Cells of the innate immune system are a major component of the tumor microenvironment. They play complex and multifaceted roles in the regulation of cancer initiation, growth, metastasis and responses to therapeutics. Innate immune cells like neutrophils and macrophages are recruited to cancerous tissues by chemotactic molecules released by cancer cells and cancer-associated stromal cells. Once they reach the tumor, they can be instructed by a network of proteins, nucleic acids and metabolites to exert protumoral or antitumoral functions. Altered iron metabolism is a feature of cancer. Epidemiological studies suggest that increased presence of iron and/or iron binding proteins is associated with increased risks of cancer development. It has been shown that iron metabolism is involved in shaping the immune landscapes in inflammatory/infectious diseases and cancer-associated inflammation. In this article, we will dissect the contribution of macrophages and neutrophils to dysregulated iron metabolism in malignant cells and its impact on cancer growth and metastasis. The mechanisms involved in regulating the actions of macrophages and neutrophils will also be discussed. Moreover, we will examine the effects of iron metabolism on the phenotypes of innate immune cells. Both iron chelating and overloading agents are being explored in cancer treatment. This review highlights alternative strategies for management of iron content in cancer cells by targeting the iron donation and modulation properties of macrophages and neutrophils in the tumor microenvironment.
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