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Title: Extracellular-regulated protein kinase 5-mediated control of p21 expression promotes macrophage proliferation associated with tumor growth and metastasis
Authors: Giurisato, Emanuele 
Lonardi, Silvia
Telfer, Brian
Lussoso, Sarah
Risa, Blanca
Zhang, Jingwei
Russo, Ilaria
Wang, Jinhua
Santucci, Annalisa 
Finegan, Katherine G.
Gray, Nathanael S.
Vermi, William
Cathy Tournier, And
Keywords: ERK5, MAPK, macrophages, tumors, immunity, metastasis
Issue Date: 2020
Project: None 
The presence of immunosuppressive macrophages that become activated in the tumor microenvironment constitutes a major factor responsible for tumor growth and malignancy. In line with this knowledge, we report here that macrophage proliferation is a significant feature of advanced stages of cancer. Moreover, we have found that a high proportion of proliferating macrophages in human tumors express extracellular-regulated protein kinase 5 (ERK5). ERK5 was required for supporting the proliferation of macrophages in tumor grafts in mice. Furthermore, myeloid ERK5 deficiency negatively impacted proliferation of both resident and infiltrated macrophages. ERK5 maintained the capacity of macrophages to proliferate by suppressing p21 expression to halt their differentiation program. Collectively, these data provide insight into the mechanism underpinning macrophage proliferation to support malignant tumor development, thereby strengthening the value of ERK5-targeted therapies to restore anti-tumor immunity through the blockade of pro-tumorigenic macrophage activation.
ISSN: 1538-7445
DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-2416
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