Sci Rep. 2020 Dec 7;10(1):21360. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-77800-w.
Stimulator of interferon genes (STING) controlled innate immune pathway is essential for host defense against pathogenic infection and effective anti-tumor adaptive immunity initiation. Although macrophages transformed across diverse phenotypes play crucial roles in anti-tumor immune response, events determining this transformation and the host-intrinsic role of STING in this process remain controversial. Here we report how STING signaling acts as a key switch to dominate the gene expression patterns of macrophage transformation for promoting priming and releasing immunosuppression. Furthermore, polyphyllin VII, a potential STING agonist, exerts anti-tumor efficacy upon macrophages priming and subsequent cytotoxic T lymphocytes intratumoral infiltration. Meanwhile, the simultaneous PD-L1 amplification on macrophages in response to PP VII is also ruled by STING, thus PP VII may benefit immune-checkpoint blockade therapy for combining. Moreover, PP VII suppresses carcinogenesis upon restraining the immunosuppressed macrophage transformation. This is due to the boosted STING that negatively regulates a STAT3 propagated crosstalk between immune cells and tumor cells. Overall, PP VII-stimulated STING in macrophages provides a paradigm for anti-tumor, and if possible, anti-infection immunotherapy.