Scavenger receptor type B1 and lipoprotein nanoparticle inhibit myeloid-derived suppressor cells

Michael P. Plebanek, Debayan Bhaumik, Paul J. Bryce, C. Shad Thaxton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are innate immune cells that potently inhibit T cells. In cancer, novel therapies aimed to activate T cells can be rendered ineffective due to the activity of MDSCs. Thus, targeted inhibition of MDSCs may greatly enhance T-cell–mediated antitumor immunity, but mechanisms remain obscure. Here we show, for the first time, that scavenger receptor type B-1 (SCARB1), a high-affinity receptor for spherical high-density lipoprotein (HDL), is expressed by MDSCs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that SCARB1 is specifically targeted by synthetic high-density lipoprotein-like nanoparticles (HDL NP), which reduce MDSC activity. Using in vitro T-cell proliferation assays, data show that HDL NPs specifically bind SCARB1 to inhibit MDSC activity. In murine cancer models, HDL NP treatment significantly reduces tumor growth, metastatic tumor burden, and increases survival due to enhanced adaptive immunity. Flow cytometry and IHC demonstrate that HDL NP–mediated suppression of MDSCs increased CD8 þ T cells and reduced Treg cells in the metastatic tumor microenvironment. Using transgenic mice lacking SCARB1, in vivo data clearly show that the HDL NPs specifically target this receptor for suppressing MDSCs. Ultimately, our data provide a new mechanism and targeted therapy, HDL NPs, to modulate a critical innate immune cell checkpoint to enhance the immune response to cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-697
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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