Skewed signaling through the receptor for advanced glycation end-products alters the proinflammatory profile of tumor-associated macrophages
Tumors are complex tissues composed of variable amounts of both non-cellular components (matrix proteins) and a multitude of stromal cell types, which are under an active cross-talk with tumor cells. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the major leukocyte population among the tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Once they are infiltrated into tumor stroma they undergo a polarized activation, where the M1 and M2 phenotypes represent the two extreme of the polarization heterogeneity spectrum. It is known that TAMs acquire a specific phenotype (M2), oriented toward tumor growth, angiogenesis and immune-suppression. A growing body of evidences supports the presence of tuning mechanisms in order to skew or restraint the inflammatory response of TAMs and thus forces them to function as active tumor-promoting immune cells. The receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) is a member of the immunoglobulin protein family of cell surface molecules, being activated by several danger signals and thus signaling to promote the production of many pro-inflammatory molecules. Interestingly, this receptor is paradoxically expressed in both M1 and M2 macrophages phenotypes. This review addresses how RAGE signaling has been drifted away in M2 macrophages, and thus taking advantage of the abundance of RAGE ligands at tumor microenvironment, particularly HMGB1, to reinforce the supportive M2 macrophages strategy to support tumor growth.