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Hypoxia Drives Dihydropyrimidine Dehydrogenase Expression in Macrophages and Confers Chemoresistance in Colorectal Cancer
Cancer Research  (IF12.701),  Pub Date : 2021-12-01, DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.can-21-1572
Marie Malier, Khaldoun Gharzeddine, Marie-Hélène Laverriere, Sabrina Marsili, Fabienne Thomas, Thomas Decaens, Gael Roth, Arnaud Millet

Colorectal adenocarcinoma is a leading cause of death worldwide, and immune infiltration in colorectal tumors has been recognized recently as an important pathophysiologic event. In this context, tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) have been related to chemoresistance to 5-fluorouracil (5-FU), the first-line chemotherapeutic agent used in treating colorectal cancers. Nevertheless, the details of this chemoresistance mechanism are still poorly elucidated. In the current study, we report that macrophages specifically overexpress dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) in hypoxia, leading to macrophage-induced chemoresistance to 5-FU via inactivation of the drug. Hypoxia-induced macrophage DPD expression was controlled by HIF2α. TAMs constituted the main contributors to DPD activity in human colorectal primary or secondary tumors, while cancer cells did not express significant levels of DPD. In addition, contrary to humans, macrophages in mice do not express DPD. Together, these findings shed light on the role of TAMs in promoting chemoresistance in colorectal cancers and identify potential new therapeutic targets. Significance: Hypoxia induces HIF2α-mediated overexpression of dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase in TAMs, leading to chemoresistance to 5-FU in colon cancers.