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REVIEW: Why do Cancer Cells Produce Serum Amyloid A Acute-Phase Protein?

S. A. Moshkovskii

Institute of Biomedical Chemistry, Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, ul. Pogodinskaya 10, 119121 Moscow, Russia; fax: (499) 245-0857; E-mail: smosh@mail.ru

Received December 16, 2011; Revision received December 23, 2011
The level of acute-phase serum amyloid A (SAA) protein in human blood dramatically grows in cancer, often at its early stage, when acute inflammatory signs are not observed. This fact was registered both by immunochemistry and by proteomics methods in different common cancers, such as lung, ovarian, renal, uterine, and nasopharyngeal cancer and in melanoma. It was proposed that SAA is produced by liver in such cases, as in inflammation, high levels of SAA being a part of nonspecific response to tumor. However, that was not always true, because, in many cancers, the protein of interest is produced directly by cancer cells. What is the biological significance of this observation? What preferences do cancer cells obtain due to SAA overexpression? Recent data on melanoma patients have shown that serum amyloid A is able to stimulate immunosuppressive neutrophils to produce interleukin-10 cytokine that suppressed cell immunity. The ability of cancer cells to produce SAA that is acquired during cancer mutagenesis is likely to enhance their resistance to T-cell immunity due to activation of immunosuppressive granulocytes.
KEY WORDS: acute-phase serum amyloid A (SAA), biomarker, proteomics, cancer, malignancy, myeloid derived suppressor cell (MDSC)

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297912040037