The anti-tumor role and mechanisms of Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotropic cannabinoid compound, are not well studied especially in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In the present study, we analyzed CBD’s anti-tumorigenic activity against highly aggressive breast cancer cell lines including TNBC subtype. We show here -for the first time- that CBD significantly inhibits epidermal growth factor (EGF)-induced proliferation and chemotaxis of breast cancer cells. Further studies revealed that CBD inhibits EGF-induced activation of EGFR, ERK, AKT and NF-kB signaling pathways as well as MMP2 and MMP9 secretion. In addition, we demonstrated that CBD inhibits tumor growth and metastasis in different mouse model systems. Analysis of molecular mechanisms revealed that CBD significantly inhibits the recruitment of tumor-associated macrophages in primary tumor stroma and secondary lung metastases. Similarly, our in vitro studies showed a significant reduction of the number of migrated RAW 264.7 cells towards the conditioned medium of CBD-treated cancer cells. The conditioned medium of CBD-treated cancer cells also showed lower levels of GM-CSF and CCL3 cytokines which are important for macrophage recruitment and activation. In summary, our study shows -for the first time- that CBD inhibits breast cancer growth and metastasis through novel mechanisms by inhibiting EGF/EGFR signaling and modulating the tumor microenvironment. These results also indicate that CBD can be used as a novel therapeutic option to inhibit growth and metastasis of highly aggressive breast cancer subtypes including TNBC, which currently have limited therapeutic options and are associated with poor prognosis and low survival rates.
RAGE is a multi-functional receptor implicated in diverse processes including inflammation and cancer. In this study, we report that RAGE expression is upregulated widely in aggressive triple-negative breast cancer cells, both in primary tumors and lymph node metastases. In evaluating the functional contributions of RAGE in breast cancer, we found RAGE-deficient mice displayed a reduced propensity for breast tumor growth. In an established model of lung metastasis, systemic blockade by injection of a RAGE neutralizing antibody inhibited metastasis development. Mechanistic investigations revealed that RAGE bound to the pro-inflammatory ligand S100A7 and mediated its ability to activate ERK, NF-κB and cell migration. In an S100A7 transgenic mouse model of breast cancer (mS100a7a15 mice), administration of either RAGE neutralizing antibody or soluble RAGE was sufficient to inhibit tumor progression and metastasis. In this model, we found that RAGE/S100A7 conditioned the tumor microenvironment by driving the recruitment of MMP9-positive tumor-associated macrophages. Overall, our results highlight RAGE as a candidate biomarker for triple-negative breast cancers and they reveal a functional role for RAGE/S100A7 signaling in linking inflammation to aggressive breast cancer development.
IntroductionAlthough C-X-C motif chemokine 12 (CXCL12) has been shown to bind to C-X-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CXCR7), the exact molecular mechanism regulations by CXCL12/CXCR7 axis in breast tumor growth and metastasis are not well understood. CXCR7 expression has been shown to be upregulated during pathological processes such as inflammation and cancer.MethodsBreast cancer cell lines were genetically silenced or pharmacologically inhibited for CXCR7 and/or its downstream target signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). 4T1 or 4T1 downregulated for CXCR7 and 4T1.2 breast cancer cell lines were injected in mammary gland of BALB/c mice to form tumors, and the molecular pathways regulating tumor growth and metastasis were assessed.ResultsIn this study, we observed that CXCL12 enhances CXCR7-mediated breast cancer migration. Furthermore, genetic silencing or pharmacologic inhibition of CXCR7 reduced breast tumor growth and metastasis. Further elucidation of mechanisms revealed that CXCR7 mediates tumor growth and metastasis by activating proinflammatory STAT3 signaling and angiogenic markers. Furthermore, enhanced breast tumorigenicity and invasiveness were associated with macrophage infiltration. CXCR7 recruits tumor-promoting macrophages (M2) to the tumor site through regulation of the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF)/macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (MCSF-R) signaling pathway. In addition, CXCR7 regulated breast cancer metastasis by enhancing expression of metalloproteinases (MMP-9, MMP-2) and vascular cell-adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1). We also observed that CXCR7 is highly expressed in invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) and metastatic breast tissue in human patient samples. In addition, high CXCR7 expression in tumors correlates with worse prognosis for both overall survival and lung metastasis-free survival in IDC patients.ConclusionThese observations reveal that CXCR7 enhances breast cancer growth and metastasis via a novel pathway by modulating the tumor microenvironment. These findings identify CXCR7-mediated STAT3 activation and modulation of the tumor microenvironment as novel regulation of breast cancer growth and metastasis. These studies indicate that new strategies using CXCR7 inhibitors could be developed for antimetastatic therapy.
Folates are members of the B-class of vitamins, which are required for the synthesis of purines and pyrimidines, and for the methylation of essential biological substances, including phospholipids, DNA, and neurotransmitters. Folates cannot be synthesized de novo by mammals; hence, an efficient intestinal absorption process is required. Intestinal folate transport is carrier-mediated, pH-dependent and electroneutral, with similar affinity for oxidized and reduced folic acid derivatives. The various transporters, i.e. reduced folate carrier, proton-coupled folate transporter, folate-binding protein, and organic anion transporters, are involved in the folate transport process in various tissues. Any impairment in uptake of folate can lead to a state of folate deficiency, the most prevalent vitamin deficiency in world, affecting 10% of the population in the USA. Such impairments in folate transport occur in a variety of conditions, including chronic use of ethanol, some inborn hereditary disorders, and certain diseases. Among these, ethanol ingestion has been the major contributor to folate deficiency. Ethanolassociated folate deficiency can develop because of dietary inadequacy, intestinal malabsorption, altered hepatobiliary metabolism, enhanced colonic metabolism, and increased renal excretion. Ethanol reduces the intestinal and renal uptake of folate by altering the binding and transport kinetics of folate transport systems. Also, ethanol reduces the expression of folate transporters in both intestine and kidney, and this might be a contributing factor for folate malabsorption, leading to folate deficiency. The maintenance of intracellular folate homeostasis is essential for the one-carbon transfer reactions necessary for DNA synthesis and biological methylation reactions. DNA methylation is an important epigenetic determinant in gene expression, in the maintenance of DNA integrity and stability, in chromosomal modifications, and in the development of mutations. Ethanol, a toxin that is consumed regularly, has been found to affect the methylation of DNA. In addition to its effect on DNA methylation due to folate deficiency, ethanol could directly exert its effect through its interaction with one-carbon metabolism, impairment of methyl group synthesis, and affecting the enzymes regulating the synthesis of S-adenosylmethionine, the Abbreviations 5,10-CH 2
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), a deadly disease, commonly arises in the setting of chronic inflammation. C-C motif chemokine ligand2 (CCL2/MCP1), a chemokine that recruits CCR2-positive immune cells to promote inflammation, is highly upregulated in HCC patients. Here, we examined the therapeutic efficacy of CCL2-CCR2 axis inhibitors against hepatitis and HCC in the miR-122 knockout (aka KO) mouse model. This mouse model displays upregulation of hepatic CCL2 expression, which correlates with hepatitis that progress to HCC with age. Therapeutic potential of CCL2-CCR2 axis blockade was determined by treating KO mice with a CCL2 neutralizing antibody (nab). This immunotherapy suppressed chronic liver inflammation in these mice by reducing the population of CD11highGr1+ inflammatory myeloid cells, and inhibiting expression of IL-6 and TNF-α in KO livers. Furthermore, treatment of tumor-bearing KO mice with CCL2 nab for 8 weeks significantly reduced liver damage, HCC incidence and, tumor burden. Phospho-STAT3 (Y705) and c-MYC, the downstream targets of IL-6, as well as NF-κB, the downstream target of TNF-α, were downregulated upon CCL2 inhibition, which correlated with suppression of tumor growth. Additionally, CCL2 nab enhanced hepatic NK cell cytotoxicity and IFN-γ production, which is likely to contribute to the inhibition of tumorigenesis. Collectively, these results demonstrate that CCL2 immunotherapy could be an effective therapeutic approach against inflammatory liver disease and HCC.
JWH-015, a cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2) agonist has tumor regressive property in various cancer types. However, the underlying mechanism by which it acts in lung cancer is still unknown. Tumor associated macrophage (TAM) intensity has positive correlation with tumor progression. Also, macrophages recruited at the tumor site promote tumor growth by enhancing epithelial to mesenchymal (EMT) progression. In this study, we analyzed the role of JWH-015 on EMT and macrophage infiltration by regulation of EGFR signaling. JWH-015 inhibited EMT in NSCLC cells A549 and also reversed the mesenchymal nature of CALU-1 cells by downregulation of EGFR signaling targets like ERK and STAT3. Also, in vitro co-culture experiments of A549 with M2 polarized macrophages provided evidence that JWH-015 decreased migratory and invasive abilities which was proved by reduced expression of FAK, VCAM1, and MMP2. Furthermore, it decreased macrophage induced EMT in A549 by attenuating the mesenchymal character by downregulating EGFR and its targets. These results were confirmed in an in vivo subcutaneous syngenic mouse model where JWH-015 blocks tumor growth and also inhibits macrophage recruitment and EMT at the tumor site which was regulated by EGFR pathway. Finally, JWH-015 reduced lung tumor lesions in an in vivo tumorigenicity mouse model. These data confer the impact of this cannabinoid on anti-proliferative and anti-tumorigenic effects, thus enhancing our understanding of its therapeutic efficacy in NSCLC. Our findings open new avenues for cannabinoid receptor CB2 agonist-JWH-015 as a novel and potential therapeutic target based on EGFR downregulation mechanisms in NSCLC. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Esophageal cancer (EC) is a disease often marked by aggressive growth and poor prognosis. Lack of targeted therapies, resistance to chemoradiation therapy, and distant metastases among patients with advanced disease account for the high mortality rate. The tumor microenvironment (TME) contains several cell types, including fibroblasts, immune cells, adipocytes, stromal proteins, and growth factors, which play a significant role in supporting the growth and aggressive behavior of cancer cells. The complex and dynamic interactions of the secreted cytokines, chemokines, growth factors, and their receptors mediate chronic inflammation and immunosuppressive TME favoring tumor progression, metastasis, and decreased response to therapy. The molecular changes in the TME are used as biological markers for diagnosis, prognosis, and response to treatment in patients. This review highlighted the novel insights into the understanding and functional impact of deregulated cytokines and chemokines in imparting aggressive EC, stressing the nature and therapeutic consequences of the cytokine-chemokine network. We also discuss cytokine-chemokine oncogenic potential by contributing to the Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT), angiogenesis, immunosuppression, metastatic niche, and therapeutic resistance development. In addition, it discusses the wide range of changes and intracellular signaling pathways that occur in the TME. Overall, this is a relatively unexplored field that could provide crucial insights into tumor immunology and encourage the effective application of modulatory cytokine-chemokine therapy to EC.
Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is a very aggressive disease with a poor prognosis for advanced-stage tumors. Recent clinical, genomic, and cellular studies have revealed the highly heterogeneous and immunosuppressive nature of HNSCC. Despite significant advances in multimodal therapeutic interventions, failure to cure and recurrence are common and account for most deaths. It is becoming increasingly apparent that tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a critical role in HNSCC tumorigenesis, promotes the evolution of aggressive tumors and resistance to therapy, and thereby adversely affects the prognosis. A complete understanding of the TME factors, together with the highly complex tumor–stromal interactions, can lead to new therapeutic interventions in HNSCC. Interestingly, different molecular and immune landscapes between HPV+ve and HPV−ve (human papillomavirus) HNSCC tumors offer new opportunities for developing individualized, targeted chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) regimen. This review highlights the current understanding of the complexity between HPV+ve and HPV−ve HNSCC TME and various tumor–stromal cross-talk modulating processes, including epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT), anoikis resistance, angiogenesis, immune surveillance, metastatic niche, therapeutic resistance, and development of an aggressive tumor phenotype. Furthermore, we summarize the recent developments and the rationale behind CIT strategies and their clinical applications in HPV+ve and HPV−ve HNSCC.
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