B7-H3 is a member of B7 family of immunoregulatory transmembrane glycoproteins expressed by T cells. While B7-H3 overexpression is associated with poor outcomes in multiple cancers, it also has immune-independent roles outside T cells and its precise mechanistic contributions to cancer are unclear. In this study, we investigated the role of B7-H3 in metabolic reprogramming of cancer cells in vitro and in vivo.We found that B7-H3 promoted the Warburg effect, evidenced by increased glucose uptake and lactate production in B7-H3-expressing cells. B7-H3 also increased the protein levels of HIF1a and its downstream targets, LDHA and PDK1, key enzymes in the glycolytic pathway. Furthermore, B7-H3 promoted reactive oxygen species-dependent stabilization of HIF1a by suppressing the activity of the stress-activated transcription factor Nrf2 and its target genes, including the antioxidants SOD1, SOD2, and PRX3. Metabolic imaging of human breast cancer xenografts in mice confirmed that B7-H3 enhanced tumor glucose uptake and tumor growth. Together, our results illuminate the critical immune-independent contributions of B7-H3 to cancer metabolism, presenting a radically new perspective on B7 family immunoregulatory proteins in malignant progression.
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©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.