Vitamin E Enhances Cancer Immunotherapy by Reinvigorating Dendritic Cells via Targeting Checkpoint SHP1

Xiangliang Yuan, Yimin Duan, Yi Xiao, Kai Sun, Yutao Qi, Yuan Zhang, Zamal Ahmed, Davide Moiani, Jun Yao, Hongzhong Li, Lin Zhang, Arseniy E. Yuzhalin, Ping Li, Chenyu Zhang, Akosua Badu-Nkansah, Yohei Saito, Xianghua Liu, Wen Ling Kuo, Haoqiang Ying, Shao Cong SunJenny C. Chang, John A. Tainer, Dihua Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Despite the popular use of dietary supplements during conventional cancer treatments, their impacts on the efficacies of prevalent immunotherapies, including immune-checkpoint therapy (ICT), are unknown. Surprisingly, our analyses of electronic health records revealed that ICT-treated patients with cancer who took vitamin E (VitE) had significantly improved survival. In mouse models, VitE increased ICT antitumor efficacy, which depended on dendritic cells (DC). VitE entered DCs via the SCARB1 receptor and restored tumor-associated DC functionality by directly binding to and inhibiting protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP1, a DC-intrinsic checkpoint. SHP1 inhibition, genetically or by VitE treatment, enhanced tumor antigen cross-presentation by DCs and DC-derived extracellular vesicles (DC-EV), triggering systemic antigen-specific T-cell antitumor immunity. Combining VitE with DC-recruiting cancer vaccines or immunogenic chemotherapies greatly boosted ICT efficacy in animals. Therefore, combining VitE supplement or SHP1-inhibited DCs/DC-EVs with DC-enrichment therapies could substantially augment T-cell antitumor immunity and enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies. SIGNIFICANCE: The impacts of nutritional supplements on responses to immunotherapies remain unexplored. Our study revealed that dietary vitamin E binds to and inhibits DC checkpoint SHP1 to increase antigen presentation, prime antitumor T-cell immunity, and enhance immunotherapy efficacy. VitE-treated or SHP1-silenced DCs/DC-EVs could be developed as potent immunotherapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1742-1759
Number of pages18
JournalCancer Discovery
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 6 2022


  • Animals
  • Cancer Vaccines/therapeutic use
  • Dendritic Cells
  • Immunotherapy
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms/drug therapy
  • Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase, Non-Receptor Type 6
  • Vitamin E/metabolism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Vitamin E Enhances Cancer Immunotherapy by Reinvigorating Dendritic Cells via Targeting Checkpoint SHP1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this