Macrophage-derived IL-1β and TNF-α regulate arginine metabolism in neuroblastoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Livingstone Fultang
  • Laura D Gamble
  • Luciana Gneo
  • Andrea M Berry
  • Sharon A Egan
  • Fenna De Bie
  • Orli Yogev
  • Georgina L Eden
  • Samantha Brownhill
  • Ashley Vardon
  • Paul N Cheng
  • Murray D Norris
  • Heather C Etchevers
  • Jayne Murray
  • David S Ziegler
  • Louis Chesler
  • Ronny Schmidt
  • Susan A Burchill
  • Michelle Haber
  • Carmela DeSanto
  • Francis Mussai


Neuroblastoma is the most common childhood solid tumor, yet the prognosis for high-risk disease remains poor. We demonstrate here that arginase 2 (ARG2) drives neuroblastoma cell proliferation via regulation of arginine metabolism. Targeting arginine metabolism, either by blocking cationic amino acid transporter 1 (CAT-1)-dependent arginine uptake in vitro or therapeutic depletion of arginine by pegylated-recombinant arginase BCT-100, significantly delayed tumor development and prolonged murine survival. Tumor cells polarized infiltrating-monocytes to a M1-macrophage phenotype, which released IL-1β and TNF-α in a RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (AKT)-dependent manner. IL-1β and TNF-α established a feedback loop to upregulate ARG2 expression via p38 and extracellular regulated kinases 1/2 (ERK1/2) signaling in neuroblastoma and neural crest-derived cells. Proteomic analysis revealed that enrichment of IL-1β and TNF-α in stage IV human tumor microenvironments was associated with a worse prognosis. These data thus describe an immune-metabolic regulatory loop between tumor cells and infiltrating myeloid cells regulating ARG2, which can be clinically exploited.


Original languageEnglish
JournalCancer Research
Early online date13 Dec 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Dec 2018