The c.1085A>G genetic variant of CSF1R gene regulates tumor immunity by altering the proliferation, polarization, and function of macrophages

Yu Min Yeh, Shan Ju Hsu, Peng Chan Lin, Keng Fu Hsu, Pei Ying Wu, Wu Chou Su, Jang Yang Chang, Meng Ru Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Targeting tumor-associated macrophages with colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF-1R) inhibition reveals a strategy for cancer therapy. Here, we studied the impact of CSF1R germline genetic variant on CSF-1R signaling and the susceptibility to CSF-1R inhibitors. Experimental designs: CSF1R germline genetic variants were studied in 140 cancer patients. CSF-1R phosphorylation, endocytosis, and macrophage polarization were measured as the response to CSF-1 stimulation. Tumor-associated macrophages in surgical specimens and sensitivity to CSF-1R inhibitors were used to determine macrophage function. Results: A CSF1R c.1085A>G genetic variant causing the change of histidine to arginine in the domain of receptor dimerization was identified as a high allele frequency in Eastern Asian population. Cancer patients with this variant allele had less M2-like tumor-associated macrophages accompanied by low VEGF expression in tumor tissues. Importantly, CSF1R genetic variant was significantly associated with disease-free survival in colorectal, endometrial, and ovarian cancer. In terms of differentiation, macrophages with CSF1R c.1085A>G genetic variant displayed a refractory response to CSF-1 stimulation and macrophage survival was sensitive to CSF-1R inhibitors with IC50 of 0.1 to 1 nmol/L range. On contrast, CSF-1 induced a prominent phosphorylation and rapid endocytosis of CSF-1R, leading to an M2-like dominant polarization in macrophages with CSF1R c.1085 genotype A_A, in which CSF-1R inhibitors of PLX3397, BLZ945, and GW2580 inhibited macrophage survival with IC50 of 10 to 100 nmol/L range. Conclusions: The CSF1R c.1085A>G genetic variant regulates tumor immunity by altering the polarization and function of macrophages. This genetic variant confers the sensitivity to CSF-1R inhibitors, implying as a biomarker in targeting CSF-1R signaling for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6021-6030
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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