Gene Summary

Gene:CCL20; chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20
Aliases: CKb4, LARC, ST38, MIP3A, Exodus, MIP-3a, SCYA20, MIP-3-alpha
Summary:This antimicrobial gene belongs to the subfamily of small cytokine CC genes. Cytokines are a family of secreted proteins involved in immunoregulatory and inflammatory processes. The CC cytokines are proteins characterized by two adjacent cysteines. The protein encoded by this gene displays chemotactic activity for lymphocytes and can repress proliferation of myeloid progenitors. Two transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2014]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:C-C motif chemokine 20
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (10)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Chemokine CCL20
  • Down-Regulation
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cell Movement
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Cytokines
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • RT-PCR
  • Chromosome 2
  • Papillomavirus Infections
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Base Sequence
  • TNF
  • NF-kappa B
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Inflammation
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Staging
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenograft Models
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Tumor Microenvironment
  • Transfection
  • Lung Cancer
  • Cultured Cells
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Chemokines
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Receptors, CCR6
  • MicroRNAs
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CCL20 (cancer-related)

Wu HH, Hwang-Verslues WW, Lee WH, et al.
Targeting IL-17B-IL-17RB signaling with an anti-IL-17RB antibody blocks pancreatic cancer metastasis by silencing multiple chemokines.
J Exp Med. 2015; 212(3):333-49 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer has an extremely high mortality rate due to its aggressive metastatic nature. Resolving the underlying mechanisms will be crucial for treatment. Here, we found that overexpression of IL-17B receptor (IL-17RB) strongly correlated with postoperative metastasis and inversely correlated with progression-free survival in pancreatic cancer patients. Consistently, results from ex vivo experiments further validated that IL-17RB and its ligand, IL-17B, plays an essential role in pancreatic cancer metastasis and malignancy. Signals from IL-17B-IL-17RB activated CCL20/CXCL1/IL-8/TFF1 chemokine expressions via the ERK1/2 pathway to promote cancer cell invasion, macrophage and endothelial cell recruitment at primary sites, and cancer cell survival at distant organs. Treatment with a newly derived monoclonal antibody against IL-17RB blocked tumor metastasis and promoted survival in a mouse xenograft model. These findings not only illustrate a key mechanism underlying the highly aggressive characteristics of pancreatic cancer but also provide a practical approach to tackle this disease.

Ha YJ, Kim CW, Roh SA, et al.
Epigenetic regulation of KLHL34 predictive of pathologic response to preoperative chemoradiation therapy in rectal cancer patients.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 91(3):650-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Prediction of individual responsiveness to preoperative chemoradiation therapy (CRT) is urgently needed in patients with poorly responsive locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC).
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Candidate methylation genes associated with radiosensitivity were identified using a 3-step process. In the first step, genome-wide screening of methylation genes was performed in correlation with histopathologic tumor regression grade in 45 patients with LARC. In the second step, the methylation status of selected sites was analyzed by pyrosequencing in 67 LARC patients, including 24 patients analyzed in the first step. Finally, colorectal cancer cell clones with stable KLHL34 knockdown were generated and tested for cellular sensitivity to radiation.
RESULTS: Genome-wide screening identified 7 hypermethylated CpG sites (DZIP1 cg24107021, DZIP1 cg26886381, ZEB1 cg04430381, DKK3 cg041006961, STL cg00991794, KLHL34 cg01828474, and ARHGAP6 cg07828380) associated with preoperative CRT responses. Radiosensitivity in patients with hypermethylated KLHL34 cg14232291 was confirmed by pyrosequencing in additional cohorts. Knockdown of KLHL34 significantly reduced colony formation (KLHL34 sh#1: 20.1%, P=.0001 and KLHL34 sh#2: 15.8%, P=.0002), increased the cytotoxicity (KLHL34 sh#1: 14.8%, P=.019 and KLHL34 sh#2: 17.9%, P=.007) in LoVo cells, and increased radiation-induced caspase-3 activity and the sub-G1 population of cells.
CONCLUSIONS: The methylation status of KLHL34 cg14232291 may be a predictive candidate of sensitivity to preoperative CRT, although further validation is needed in large cohorts using various cell types.

Mrizak D, Martin N, Barjon C, et al.
Effect of nasopharyngeal carcinoma-derived exosomes on human regulatory T cells.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(1):363 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Regulatory T cells (Treg) and tumor-exosomes are thought to play a role in preventing the rejection of malignant cells in patients bearing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
METHODS: Treg recruitment by exosomes derived from NPC cell lines (C15/C17-Exo), exosomes isolated from NPC patients' plasma (Patient-Exo), and CCL20 were tested in vitro using Boyden chamber assays and in vivo using a xenograft SCID mouse model (n = 5), both in the presence and absence of anti-CCL20 monoclonal antibodies (mAb). Impact of these NPC exosomes (NPC-Exo) on Treg phenotype and function was determined using adapted assays (FACS, Q-PCR, ELISA, and MLR). Experiments were performed in comparison with exosomes derived from plasma of healthy donors (HD-Exo). The Student's t test was used for group comparisons. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: CCL20 allowed the intratumoral recruitment of human Treg. NPC-Exo also facilitated Treg recruitment (3.30 ± 0.34 fold increase, P < .001), which was statistically significantly inhibited (P < .001) by an anti-CCL20 blocking mAb. NPC-Exo also recruited conventional CD4(+)CD25(-) T cells and mediated their conversion into inhibitory CD4(+)CD25(high) cells. Moreover, NPC-Exo enhanced (P = .0048) the expansion of human Treg, inducing the generation of Tim3(Low) Treg with increased expression of CD25 and FOXP3. Finally, NPC-Exo induced an overexpression of cell markers associated with Treg phenotype, properties and recruitment capacity. For example, GZMB mean fold change was 21.45 ± 1.75 (P < .001). These results were consistent with a stronger suppression of responder cells' proliferation and the secretion of immunosuppressive cytokines (IL10, TGFB1).
CONCLUSION: Interactions between NPC-Exo and Treg represent a newly defined mechanism that may be involved in regulating peripheral tolerance by tumors and in supporting immune evasion in human NPC.

Zeng W, Chang H, Ma M, Li Y
CCL20/CCR6 promotes the invasion and migration of thyroid cancer cells via NF-kappa B signaling-induced MMP-3 production.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2014; 97(1):184-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
CCL20, an important member of the CC-chemokine family, is the only ligand that activates CCR6. The levels of CCL20 and CCR6 are elevated in many human cancers, and CCL20/CCR6 interaction participates in the development and progression of cancer. In this present study, we found that CCR6 was overexpressed in thyroid cancer cells. Activation of CCR6 by CCL20 promoted the invasion and migration of human thyroid cancer SW1736 cells, while knockdown of CCR6 repressed the effect of CCL20. Furthermore, CCL20/CCR6 interaction induced the activation of NF-κB, and stimulated the expression and secretion of MMP-3. In addition, BAY117082, a special inhibitor of NF-κB, suppressed the expression and secretion of MMP-3 stimulated by CCL20/CCR6. Together, these results suggest that CCL20/CCR6 enhances thyroid cancer cell invasion and migration. The possible molecular mechanisms involved NF-κB activation and NF-κB-dependent MMP-3 upregulation. Thus, molecular therapies that aim at CCL20 and CCR6 may offer promising intervention strategies for thyroid cancer.

Hashikawa K, Yasumoto S, Nakashima K, et al.
Microarray analysis of gene expression by microdissected epidermis and dermis in mycosis fungoides and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(3):1200-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The characteristic histopathological feature of mycosis fungoides (MF) and adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is epidermotropism. To identify the mechanism for epidermotropism of lymphoma cells, total RNAs were obtained from skin biopsies of epidermis and dermis of MF and ATLL patients by means of laser capture microdissection, and used for subsequent complementary DNA (cDNA) microarray experiments. This procedure has made it possible for us to observe and evaluate the regional environment of MF and ATLL. Hierarchical cluster analysis revealed that the cDNAs could be clearly differentiated into MF and ATLL. CCL27 was expressed in the dermis generated from keratinocytes, CCR4/CCR6/CCR7/CCR10/cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) lymphoma cells in the dermis, and CCL21 in the extracellular matrix (stroma). Lymphotoxin (LT) β and CCL21 expression was significantly higher and that of CCR10 relatively for MF, while CCR4 and CLA expression was relatively higher for ATLL. In the epithelium, keratinocytes expressed CCL20/CCL27, and lymphoma cells CCR4/CCR6/CCR10, while CCR4, CCR6, CCL20 and CCL27 expression was relatively higher for ATLL than MF. The dermis of MF, but not that of ATLL, showed correlation between CCR7 and CCL21. These findings support the suggestion that chemokines and chemokine receptors are involved in the pathogenesis of MF and ATLL, indicate that cutaneous homing seems to be different for MF and ATLL, and point to the possibility that cutaneous T-cell lymphomas originate in regulatory T cells, especially in the case of ATLL.

Satoh T, Wada R, Yajima N, et al.
Tumor microenvironment and RIG-I signaling molecules in Epstein Barr virus-positive and -negative classical Hodgkin lymphoma of the elderly.
J Clin Exp Hematop. 2014; 54(1):75-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) is a B-cell neoplasm characterized by Hodgkin and Reed-Sternberg (HRS) cells. Its prevalence exhibits a bimodal pattern of peaking in young adults and the elderly. There is an association with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in about 50% of cases of CHL of the elderly, and the outcome of these patients is unfavorable. It is not well known how the latent infection of EBV is involved in the pathophysiology of CHL of the elderly. To address this issue, we examined the tumor microenvironment (TME) and the expression of molecules related to EBV infection in HRS cells in 10 EBV-positive CHL and 7 EBV-negative CHL patients older than 50 years. In EBV-positive CHL, we found an increased population of FOXP3(+) cells, while that of granzyme B(+) cells was reduced, compared with those in EBV-negative CHL. The expression of inhibitory chemokine CCL20 was increased in EBV-positive HRS cells compared with that in EBV-negative HRS cells. In addition, despite increased expression of a pattern recognition receptor, RIG-I, in intracellular innate immunity, there was no evidence of interferon regulatory factor 3 activation or interferon-ß induction in EBV-positive HRS cells in CHL of the elderly. The disease recurred frequently (50%) in EBV-positive CHL. The current study thus suggests the possibility that the latent infection of EBV alters the expression of chemokines and the innate immunity response in HRS cells and modulates TME to an immunosuppressive state, which may account for the unfavorable disease course in CHL of the elderly.

Wagner M, Vicinus B, Frick VO, et al.
MicroRNA target prediction: theory and practice.
Mol Genet Genomics. 2014; 289(6):1085-101 [PubMed] Related Publications
The present study is one of the few that includes tissue samples in the evaluation of target prediction algorithms designed to detect microRNA (miRNA) sequences that might interact with particular messenger RNA (mRNA) sequences. Twelve different target prediction tools were used to find miRNA sequences that might interact with CCL20 gene expression. Different algorithms predicted controversial miRNA sequences for CCL20 regulation due to a different weighting of parameters. Hsa-miR-21 and hsa-miR-145 suggested by four or more programs were chosen for further investigation. Possible real interaction of these miRNA sequences with CCL20 gene expression was monitored using luciferase assays and expression analyses of tissue samples of colorectal adenocarcinoma by either qRT-PCR or ELISA. Folding status of seed-binding sites in complete mRNA and 3'UTR of CCL20 was predicted. Prediction of miRNA expression was attempted based on CCL20 expression data. Eight of the target prediction tools forecasted a role for hsa-miR-21 and four mentioned hsa-miR-145 in CCL20 gene regulation. Laboratory experimentation showed that CCL20 may serve as a target of hsa-miR-21 but not hsa-miR-145. Expression of the molecules resulted in no clear assertion. Folding of seed-binding sites was predicted to be relatively constant for the complete mRNA and 3'UTR. Predicting miRNA expression based on target gene expression was impossible. This might be attributable to the fact that effects of miRNA activity may oscillate between gene product repression and activation. Additional systematic studies are needed to address this issue.

Kryczek I, Lin Y, Nagarsheth N, et al.
IL-22(+)CD4(+) T cells promote colorectal cancer stemness via STAT3 transcription factor activation and induction of the methyltransferase DOT1L.
Immunity. 2014; 40(5):772-84 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
Little is known about how the immune system impacts human colorectal cancer invasiveness and stemness. Here we detected interleukin-22 (IL-22) in patient colorectal cancer tissues that was produced predominantly by CD4(+) T cells. In a mouse model, migration of these cells into the colon cancer microenvironment required the chemokine receptor CCR6 and its ligand CCL20. IL-22 acted on cancer cells to promote activation of the transcription factor STAT3 and expression of the histone 3 lysine 79 (H3K79) methytransferase DOT1L. The DOT1L complex induced the core stem cell genes NANOG, SOX2, and Pou5F1, resulting in increased cancer stemness and tumorigenic potential. Furthermore, high DOT1L expression and H3K79me2 in colorectal cancer tissues was a predictor of poor patient survival. Thus, IL-22(+) cells promote colon cancer stemness via regulation of stemness genes that negatively affects patient outcome. Efforts to target this network might be a strategy in treating colorectal cancer patients.

Meng X, Wang R, Huang Z, et al.
Human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 expression in locally advanced rectal cancer: association with response to neoadjuvant therapy and prognosis.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(7):818-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to determine whether pretreatment status of human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER-2) could predict pathologic response to neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (nCRT) and outcomes for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). A total of 119 patients diagnosed with LARC received standardized multimodal treatment. Their HER-2 status was determined in pretreatment biopsies by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and FISH. Tumor response was assessed in resected regimens using the tumor regression grade system and TNM staging system. Twenty-two cases in 119 patients assessed as IHC3+ or IHC2+ plus gene-amplified were determined as HER-2 positive. Positive HER-2 status was not associated with any pretreatment clinicopathologic parameters (P > 0.05). HER-2 status could not predict pathologic response to nCRT based on downstaging (P = 0.210) and tumor regression grade (P = 0.085) but it provides us with a trend that HER-2-positive tumors may be resistant to nCRT. Positive HER-2 status was significantly associated with poor 5-year disease-free survival (P = 0.015) and 5-year overall survival (P = 0.026). It can act as a worse prognostic factor for LARC patients.

Abdul-Jalil KI, Sheehan KM, Toomey S, et al.
The frequencies and clinical implications of mutations in 33 kinase-related genes in locally advanced rectal cancer: a pilot study.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21(8):2642-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC: T3/4 and/or node-positive) is treated with preoperative/neoadjuvant chemoradiotherapy (CRT), but responses are not uniform. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), MAP kinase (MAPK), and related pathways are implicated in rectal cancer tumorigenesis. Here, we investigated the association between genetic mutations in these pathways and LARC clinical outcomes.
METHODS: We genotyped 234 potentially clinically relevant nonsynonymous mutations in 33 PI3K and MAPK pathway-related genes, including PIK3CA, PIK3R1, AKT, STK11, KRAS, BRAF, MEK, CTNNB1, EGFR, MET, and NRAS, using the Sequenom platform. DNA samples were extracted from pretreatment LARC biopsy samples taken from 201 patients who were then treated with long-course neoadjuvant CRT followed by surgical resection.
RESULTS: Sixty-two mutations were detected in 15 genes, with the highest frequencies occurring in KRAS (47 %), PIK3CA (14 %), STK11 (6.5 %), and CTNNB1 (6 %). Mutations were detected in BRAF, NRAS, AKT1, PIK3R1, EGFR, GNAS, MEK1, PDGFRA, ALK, and TNK2, but at frequencies of <5 %. As expected, a pathologic complete response (pCR) was associated with improved 5-year recurrence-free survival (RFS; hazard ratio, 0.074; 95 % CI 0.01-0.54; p = 0.001). Mutations in PI3K pathway-related genes (odds ratio, 5.146; 95 % CI 1.17-22.58; p = 0.030), but not MAPK pathway-related genes (p = 0.911), were associated with absence of pCR after neoadjuvant CRT. In contrast, in patients who did not achieve pCR, mutations in PI3K pathway-related genes were not associated with recurrence-free survival (p = 0.987). However, in these patients, codon 12 (G12D/G12 V/G12S) and 13 mutations in KRAS were associated with poor recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio, 1.579; 95 % confidence ratio, 1.00-2.48; p = 0.048).
CONCLUSIONS: Mutations in kinase signaling pathways modulate treatment responsiveness and clinical outcomes in LARC and may constitute rational targets for novel therapies.

Liu GY, Jia QY, Li ZJ, et al.
Adenovirus-mediated CCL20/IL-15 gene transfer enhances antitumor immunity in mice.
Immunobiology. 2014; 219(6):475-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The CCL20 chemokine has potent antitumor activities through chemoattracting immature dentritic cells. But the maturation status of tumoral dentritic cells is important limiting factors in DC-based immunity. The endogenous availability of IL-15 was effective in inducing the dentritic cells maturation and IL-15 also shows tumor-specific antitumor activities. We constructed a CCL20/IL-15 bicistronic adenovirus (Ad-CCL20-IL-15) and confirmed its combined antitumor effect in vitro and in vivo. Intratumoral injection of Ad-CCL20-IL-15 into both CT-26 and B16F10 cells resulted in marked reduction of tumor growth in our model. Splenocytes treated by Ad-CCL20-IL-15 developed tumor-specific cytotoxic T cells and IFN-γ secretion could protect mice from rechallenging. This study suggests that CCL20/IL-15 can induce a strong antitumor immune response in tumor tissues and it is a suitable candidate for cancer immunotherapy.

Meng X, Huang Z, Wang R, Yu J
Prediction of response to preoperative chemoradiotherapy in patients with locally advanced rectal cancer.
Biosci Trends. 2014; 8(1):11-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
Preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) combined with surgery has become a standard treatment strategy for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). The pathological response is an important prognostic factor for LARC. The variety of tumor responses has increased the need to find a useful predictive model for the response to CRT to identify patients who will really benefit from this multimodal treatment. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography-computed tomography (PET-CT), serum carcinoembryogenic antigen (CEA), molecular biomarkers analyzed by immunohistochemistry and gene expression profiling are the most used predictive models in LARC. The majority of predictors have yielded encouraging results, but there is still controversy. Diffusion-weighted MRI may be the best model to detect the dynamic changes of rectal cancer and predict the response at an early stage. Gene expression profiling and single nucleotide polymorphisms hold considerable promise to unveil the underlying complex genetics of response to CRT. Because each parameter has its own inherent shortcomings, combined models may be the future trend to predict the response.

Gomez-Millan J, Perez L, Aroca I, et al.
Preoperative chemoradiotherapy in rectal cancer induces changes in the expression of nuclear β-catenin: prognostic significance.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:192 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Preoperative chemoradiotherapy (CRT) is the cornerstone of treatment for locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC). Although high local control is achieved, overall rates of distant control remain suboptimal. Colorectal carcinogenesis is associated with critical alterations of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway involved in proliferation and survival. The aim of this study was to assess whether CRT induces changes in the expression of β-catenin/E-cadherin, and to determine whether these changes are associated with survival.
METHODS: The Immunohistochemical expression of nuclear β-catenin and membranous E-cadherin was prospectively analysed in tumour blocks from 98 stage II/III rectal cancer patients treated with preoperative CRT. Tumour samples were collected before and after CRT treatment. All patients were treated with pelvic RT (46-50 Gy in 2 Gy fractions) and 5-fluorouracil (5FU) intravenous infusion (225 mg/m2) or capecitabine (825 mg/m2) during RT treatment, followed by total mesorectal excision (TME). Disease-free survival (DFS) was analysed using the Kaplan-Meier method and a multivariate Cox regression model was employed for the Multivariate analysis.
RESULTS: CRT induced significant changes in the expression of nuclear β-catenin (49% of patients presented an increased expression after CRT, 17% a decreased expression and 34% no changes; p = 0.001). After a median follow-up of 25 months, patients that overexpressed nuclear β-catenin after CRT showed poor survival compared with patients that experienced a decrease in nuclear β-catenin expression (3-year DFS 92% vs. 43%, HR 0.17; 95% CI 0.03 to 0.8; p = 0.02). In the multivariate analysis for DFS, increased nuclear β-catenin expression after CRT almost reached the cut-off for significance (p = 0.06).
CONCLUSIONS: In our study, preoperative CRT for LARC induced significant changes in nuclear β-catenin expression, which had a major impact on survival. Finding a way to decrease CRT resistance would significantly improve LARC patient survival.

Takata K, Tanino M, Ennishi D, et al.
Duodenal follicular lymphoma: comprehensive gene expression analysis with insights into pathogenesis.
Cancer Sci. 2014; 105(5):608-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Follicular lymphoma (FL) of the gastrointestinal tract, particularly duodenal follicular lymphoma (DFL), is a rare variant of FL with indolent clinical behavior, and this disease is included in the 2008 World Health Organization classification system. In contrast to nodal follicular lymphoma (NFL), DFL occurs most frequently in the second part of the duodenum, lacks follicular dendritic cell meshworks and has memory B-cell characteristics. However, its molecular pathogenesis is still unclear. In the present study, we examined 10 DFL, 18 NFL and 10 gastric MALT lymphoma samples using gene expression analysis. Quantitative RT-PCR experiments and immunohistochemical analysis for 72 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from an independent series, including 32 DFL, 19 gastric MALT lymphoma and 27 NFL samples, were performed for validation of microarray data. Gene expression profiles of the three lymphoma types were compared using 2918 differentially expressed genes (DEG) and results suggested that DFL shares characteristics of MALT lymphoma. Among these DEG, CCL20 and MAdCAM-1 were upregulated in DFL and MALT but downregulated in NFL. In contrast, protocadherin gamma subfamily genes were upregulated in DFL and NFL. Quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemical studies demonstrated concordant results. Double immunofluorescence studies revealed that CCL20 and CCR6 were co-expressed in both DFL and MALT. We hypothesize that increased expression of CCL20 and MAdCAM-1 and co-expression of CCL20 and CCR6 may play an important role in tumorigenesis.

Rubie C, Kruse B, Frick VO, et al.
Chemokine receptor CCR6 expression is regulated by miR-518a-5p in colorectal cancer cells.
J Transl Med. 2014; 12:48 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Recently, involvement of the chemokine/receptor system CCL20/CCR6 in colorectal cancer (CRC) progression was shown. Here, we analyzed the functional interaction of miRNA-518-5p (miR-518a-5p) with CCR6 and its impact on CCR6 expression in CRC cells.
METHODS: MiR-518a-5p was identified by computer software to potentially interact with CCR6. Hence, functional implications of miR-518a-5p with the 3'UTR of CCR6 were analyzed using the Dual Luciferase Reporter assay system. Confirmation of the predicted target site for miR-518a-5p was achieved by site-directed mutagenesis of the seed sequence in the 3'UTR of CCR6 and subsequent application of the mutated seed sequence in a luciferase assay with miR-518a-5p mimics. Accordingly, two CRC cell lines (Caco-2 and HT-29) were transfected with miR-518a-5p miRNA mimics and gene and protein expression of CCR6 was monitored using qRT PCR and immunocytochemistry, respectively.
RESULTS: Addition of miR-518a-5p led to significant down-regulation of luciferase activity (P < 0.05), which was significantly reversed in a reporter test system containing the mutated seed sequences in the 3'UTR of CCR6. Following transfection of CRC cell lines with miR-518a-5p mimics and subsequent monitoring of CCR6 expression showed significant down-regulation of CCR6 mRNA and CCR6 protein expression in both CRC cell lines under investigation (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: We have shown that miR-518a-5p functionally interacts with CCR6 and that transfection of CRC cells with miR-518a-5p leads to significant CCR6 down-regulation. Consequently, CCR6 expression is regulated by miR-518a-5p in CRC cells indicating that regulation of CCR6 expression by miR-518a-5p might be a regulatory mechanism involved in CRC pathogenesis.

Huang MY, Wu CH, Huang CM, et al.
DPYD, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2 genetic expressions as response markers in locally advanced rectal cancer patients treated with fluoropyrimidine-based chemoradiotherapy.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:931028 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
This study is to investigate multiple chemotherapeutic agent- and radiation-related genetic biomarkers in locally advanced rectal cancer (LARC) patients following fluoropyrimidine-based concurrent chemoradiotherapy (CCRT) for response prediction. We initially selected 6 fluoropyrimidine metabolism-related genes (DPYD, ORPT, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2) and 3 radiotherapy response-related genes (GLUT1, HIF-1α, and HIF-2α) as targets for gene expression identification in 60 LARC cancer specimens. Subsequently, a high-sensitivity weighted enzymatic chip array was designed and constructed to predict responses following CCRT. After CCRT, 39 of 60 (65%) LARC patients were classified as responders (pathological tumor regression grade 2 ~ 4). Using a panel of multiple genetic biomarkers (chip), including DPYD, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2, at a cutoff value for 3 positive genes, a sensitivity of 89.7% and a specificity of 81% were obtained (AUC: 0.915; 95% CI: 0.840-0.991). Negative chip results were significantly correlated to poor CCRT responses (TRG 0-1) (P = 0.014, hazard ratio: 22.704, 95% CI: 3.055-235.448 in multivariate analysis). Disease-free survival analysis showed significantly better survival rate in patients with positive chip results (P = 0.0001). We suggest that a chip including DPYD, TYMS, TYMP, TK1, and TK2 genes is a potential tool to predict response in LARC following fluoropyrimidine-based CCRT.

Ibrahim SA, Hassan H, Vilardo L, et al.
Syndecan-1 (CD138) modulates triple-negative breast cancer stem cell properties via regulation of LRP-6 and IL-6-mediated STAT3 signaling.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(12):e85737 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
Syndecan-1 (CD138), a heparan sulfate proteoglycan, acts as a coreceptor for growth factors and chemokines and is a molecular marker associated with epithelial-mesenchymal transition during development and carcinogenesis. Resistance of Syndecan-1-deficient mice to experimentally-induced tumorigenesis has been linked to altered Wnt-responsive precursor cell pools, suggesting a potential role of Syndecan-1 in breast cancer cell stem function. However, the precise molecular mechanism is still elusive. Here, we decipher the functional impact of Syndecan-1 knockdown using RNA interference on the breast cancer stem cell phenotype of human triple-negative MDA-MB-231 and hormone receptor-positive MCF-7 cells in vitro employing an analytical flow cytometric approach. Successful Syndecan-1 siRNA knockdown was confirmed by flow cytometry. Side population measurement by Hoechst dye exclusion and Aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 activity revealed that Syndecan-1 knockdown in MDA-MB-231 cells significantly reduced putative cancer stem cell pools by 60% and 27%, respectively, compared to controls. In MCF-7 cells, Syndecan-1 depletion reduced the side population by 40% and Aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 by 50%, repectively. In MDA-MB-231 cells, the CD44(+)CD24(-/low) phenotype decreased significantly by 6% upon siRNA-mediated Syndecan-1 depletion. Intriguingly, IL-6, its receptor sIL-6R, and the chemokine CCL20, implicated in regulating stemness-associated pathways, were downregulated by >40% in Syndecan-1-silenced MDA-MB-231 cells, which showed a dysregulated response to IL-6-induced shifts in E-cadherin and vimentin expression. Furthermore, activation of STAT-3 and NFkB transcription factors and expression of a coreceptor for Wnt signaling, LRP-6, were reduced by >45% in Syndecan-1-depleted cells compared to controls. At the functional level, Syndecan-1 siRNA reduced the formation of spheres and cysts in MCF-7 cells grown in suspension culture. Our study demonstrates the viability of flow cytometric approaches in analyzing cancer stem cell function. As Syndecan-1 modulates the cancer stem cell phenotype via regulation of the Wnt and IL-6/STAT3 signaling pathways, it emerges as a promising novel target for therapeutic approaches.

Ito M, Teshima K, Ikeda S, et al.
MicroRNA-150 inhibits tumor invasion and metastasis by targeting the chemokine receptor CCR6, in advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2014; 123(10):1499-511 [PubMed] Related Publications
In this study, we show that microRNA-150 (miR-150) is significantly downregulated in advanced cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL), and that this downregulation is strongly associated with tumor invasion/metastasis. Inoculation of CTCL cell lines into nonobese diabetic/Shi-scid interleukin 2γ (IL-2γ) null mice led to CTCL cell migration to multiple organs; however, prior transfection of the cells with miR-150 substantially reduced the invasion/metastasis by directly downregulating CCR6, a specific receptor for the chemokine CCL20. We also found that IL-22 and its specific receptor subunit, IL22RA1, were aberrantly overexpressed in advanced CTCL, and that production of IL-22 and CCL20 was increased in cultured CTCL cells. IL22RA1 knockdown specifically reduced CCL20 production in CTCL cells, suggesting that IL-22 upregulation may activate the production of CCL20 and its binding to CCR6, thereby enhancing the multidirectional migration potential of CTCL cells. CTCL cells also exhibited nutrition- and CCL20-dependent chemotaxis, which were inhibited by miR-150 transfection or CCR6 knockdown. From these findings, we conclude that, in the presence of continuous CCR6 upregulation accompanied by miR-150 downregulation, IL-22 activation leads to continuous CCL20-CCR6 interaction in CTCL cells and, in turn, autocrine metastasis to distal organs. This suggests miR-150, CCL20, and CCR6 could be key targets for the treatment of advanced CTCL.

Zhan Z, Xie X, Cao H, et al.
Autophagy facilitates TLR4- and TLR3-triggered migration and invasion of lung cancer cells through the promotion of TRAF6 ubiquitination.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(2):257-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Autophagy contributes to the pathogenesis of cancer, whereas toll-like receptors (TLRs) also play an important role in cancer development and immune escape. However, little is known about the potential interaction between TLR signaling and autophagy in cancer cells. Here we show that autophagy induced by TLR4 or TLR3 activation enhances various cytokine productions through promoting TRAF6 (TNF receptor-associated factor 6, E3 ubiquitin protein ligase) ubiquitination and thus facilitates migration and invasion of lung cancer cells. Stimulation of TLR4 and TLR3 with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid [poly(I:C)] respectively triggered autophagy in lung cancer cells. This was mediated by the adaptor protein, toll-like receptor adaptor molecule 1 (TICAM1/TRIF), and was required for TLR4- and TLR3-induced increases in the production of IL6, CCL2/MCP-1 [chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2], CCL20/MIP-3α [chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 20], VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor A), and MMP2 [matrix metallopeptidase 2 (gelatinase A, 72 kDa gelatinase, 72 kDa type IV collagenase)]. These cytokines appeared to be necessary for enhanced migration and invasion of lung cancer cells upon TLR activation. Remarkably, inhibition of autophagy by chemical or genetic approaches blocked TLR4- or TLR3-induced Lys63 (K63)-linked ubiquitination of TRAF6 that was essential for activation of MAPK and NFKB (nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells) pathways, both of which were involved in the increased production of the cytokines. Collectively, these results identify induction of autophagy by TLR4 and TLR3 as an important mechanism that drives lung cancer progression, and indicate that inhibition of autophagy may be a useful strategy in the treatment of lung cancer.

Tan X, Carretero J, Chen Z, et al.
Loss of p53 attenuates the contribution of IL-6 deletion on suppressed tumor progression and extended survival in Kras-driven murine lung cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e80885 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is involved in lung cancer tumorigenesis, tumor progression, metastasis, and drug resistance. Previous studies show that blockade of IL-6 signaling can inhibit tumor growth and increase drug sensitivity in mouse models. Clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) reveal that IL-6 targeted therapy relieves NSCLC-related anemia and cachexia, although other clinical effects require further study. We crossed IL-6(-/-) mice with Kras(G12D) mutant mice, which develop lung tumors after activation of mutant Kras(G12D), to investigate whether IL-6 inhibition contributes to tumor progression and survival time in vivo. Kras(G12D); IL-6(-/-) mice exhibited increased tumorigenesis, but slower tumor growth and longer survival, than Kras(G12D) mice. Further, in order to investigate whether IL-6 deletion contributes to suppression of lung cancer metastasis, we generated Kras(G12D); p53(flox/flox); IL-6(-/-) mice, which developed lung cancer with a trend for reduced metastases and longer survival than Kras(G12D); p53(flox/flox) mice. Tumors from Kras(G12D); IL-6(-/-) mice showed increased expression of TNFα and decreased expression of CCL-19, CCL-20 and phosphorylated STAT3(pSTAT3) than Kras(G12D) mice; however, these changes were not present between tumors from Kras(G12D); p53(flox/flox); IL-6(-/-) and Kras(G12D); p53(flox/flox) mice. Upregulation of pSTAT3 and phosphorylated AKT(pAKT) were observed in Kras(G12D) tumors with p53 deletion. Taken together, these results indicate that IL-6 deletion accelerates tumorigenesis but delays tumor progression and prolongs survival time in a Kras-driven mouse model of lung cancer. However, these effects can be attenuated by p53 deletion.

Shah G, Zhang G, Chen F, et al.
iNOS expression and NO production contribute to the direct effects of BCG on urothelial carcinoma cell biology.
Urol Oncol. 2014; 32(1):45.e1-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: Evidence suggests that oxidative stress occurring as a consequence of inducible nitric oxide synthase/nitric oxide (iNOS/NO) contributes to the biologic effects of bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG). Objective of this study is to examine iNOS expression, NO production, and the biologic effect of NO on established intermediate end points for the human urothelial carcinoma cell response to BCG.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and real-time measurement of NO was used to assess iNOS and NO production, respectively, in 2 human urothelial carcinoma (UC) cell lines, in response to BCG. The effect of blocking NO production using the specific iNOS inhibitor 1400W was determined for multiple intermediate end points characterizing BCG's direct effects on tumor cell biology. Activation of nuclear factor kappa B and nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 signaling pathways, transactivation of genes, including p21, CD54, IL6, IL8, CXCL1, CXCL3, CCL20, and cytotoxicity, as measured by vital dye exclusion, lactate dehydrogenase release, and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay were measured in response to BCG with and without iNOS inhibition.
RESULTS: Exposure of UC cells to BCG significantly increased both iNOS expression and NO production. Inhibition of iNOS activity with 1400W significantly inhibited BCG's direct biologic effect on UC cells for all of the end points evaluated.
CONCLUSIONS: iNOS expression, NO production, and the associated oxidative stress play a central role in the response of UC cells to BCG exposure. Manipulation of oxidative stress may afford an opportunity to enhance the antitumor effects of BCG.

Chung GT, Lou WP, Chow C, et al.
Constitutive activation of distinct NF-κB signals in EBV-associated nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2013; 231(3):311-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
As a distinct type of head and neck cancer, non-keratinizing nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is closely associated with EBV infection and massive lymphoid infiltration. The unique histological features suggest that local inflammation plays an important role in NPC tumourigenesis. We comprehensively characterized NF-κB signalling, a key inflammatory pathway which might contribute to the tumourigenesis of this EBV-associated cancer. By EMSA, western blotting, and immunohistochemical staining, constitutive activation of distinct NF-κB complexes, either p50/p50/Bcl3 or p50/RelB, was found in almost all EBV-positive NPC tumours. siRNA or chemical inhibition of NF-κB signalling significantly inhibited the growth of EBV-positive NPC cells C666-1. Gene expression profiling identified a number of NF-κB target genes involved in cell proliferation, apoptosis, immune response, and transcription. We further confirmed that p50 signals modulate the expression of multiple oncogenes (MYB, BCL2), chemokines, and chemokine receptors (CXCL9, CXCL10, CX3CL1, and CCL20). The findings support a crucial role of these constitutively activated NF-κB signals in NPC tumourigenesis and local inflammation. In addition to expression of the viral oncoprotein LMP1, genetic alteration of several NF-κB regulators (eg TRAF3, TRAF2, NFKBIA, A20) also contributes to the aberrant NF-κB activation in EBV-associated NPC. Except for LMP1-expressing C15 cells, all NPC tumour lines harbour at least one of these genetic alterations. Importantly, missense mutations of TRAF3, TRAF2, and A20 were also detected in 3/33 (9.1%) primary tumours. Taken together with the reported LTBR amplification in 7.3% of primary NPCs, genetic alterations in NF-κB pathways occurred in at least 16% of cases of this cancer. The findings indicate that distinct NF-κB signals are constitutively activated in EBV-positive NPC cells by either multiple genetic changes or EBV latent genes.

Vicinus B, Rubie C, Stegmaier N, et al.
miR-21 and its target gene CCL20 are both highly overexpressed in the microenvironment of colorectal tumors: significance of their regulation.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 30(3):1285-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, we reported a functional interaction between miR-21 and its identified chemokine target CCL20 in colorectal cancer (CRC) cell lines. Here, we investigated whether such functional interactions are permitted at the cellular level which would require an inverse correlation of expression and also co-expression of miR-21 and CCL20 in the same cell. Expression profiling was performed using qPCR, and ELISA, in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were applied for the presentation of their cellular localization. We demonstrated that miR-21 as well as CCL20 were both significantly upregulated in CRC tissues; thus, showing no antidromic expression pattern. This provided an initial clue that miR-21 and CCL20 may not be expressed in the same cell. In addition, we located miR-21 expression at the cellular level predominantly in stromal cells such as tumor-associated fibroblasts and to a minor degree in immune cells such as macrophages and lymphocytes. Likewise, CCL20 expression was primarily detected in tumor-infiltrating immune cells. Thus, investigating the cellular localization of miR-21 and its target CCL20 revealed that both molecules are expressed predominantly in the microenvironment of CRC tumors.

Yamazaki T, Hannani D, Poirier-Colame V, et al.
Defective immunogenic cell death of HMGB1-deficient tumors: compensatory therapy with TLR4 agonists.
Cell Death Differ. 2014; 21(1):69-78 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
Immunogenic cell death induced by anticancer chemotherapy is characterized by a series of molecular hallmarks that include the exodus of high-mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) from dying cells. HMGB1 is a nuclear nonhistone chromatin-binding protein. It is secreted at the late stages of cellular demise and engages Toll-like receptor4 (TLR4) on dendritic cells (DCs) to accelerate the processing of phagocytic cargo in the DC and to facilitate antigen presentation by DC to T cells. The absence of HMGB1 expression by dying tumor cells exposed to anthracyclines or oxaliplatin compromises DC-dependent T-cell priming by tumor-associated antigens. Here, we show that transplantable tumors exhibiting weak expression of nuclear HMGB1 respond to chemotherapy more effectively if the treatment is combined with the local or systemic administration of a highly purified and physiochemically defined and standardized lipopolysaccharide solution, which acts as a high-potency and exclusive TLR4 agonist, called Dendrophilin (DEN). The synergistic antitumor effects mediated by the combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy relied upon the presence of the MyD88 (myeloid differentiation primary response gene) adapter of TLR4 (but not that of the TIR-domain-containing adapter-inducing interferon-β adapter), in line with the well-characterized action of DEN on the MyD88 signaling pathway. DEN and anthracyclines synergized to induce intratumoral accumulation of interferon-γ-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes. Moreover, DEN could restore the immunogenicity of dying tumor cells from which HMGB1 had been depleted by RNA interference. These findings underscore the potential clinical utility of combination regimens involving immunogenic chemotherapy and certain TLR4 agonists in advanced HMGB1-deficient cancers.

Frick VO, Rubie C, Kölsch K, et al.
CCR6/CCL20 chemokine expression profile in distinct colorectal malignancies.
Scand J Immunol. 2013; 78(3):298-305 [PubMed] Related Publications
Originally, chemokines and their G-protein-coupled receptors were described to regulate multiple physiological functions, particularly tissue architecture and compartment-specific migration of white blood cells. Now, it is established that the chemokine/chemokine receptor system is also used by cancer cells for migration and metastatic spread. Here, we examined the relative levels of CC-chemokine CCL20 and its corresponding receptor CCR6 in resection specimens from patients with different malignant and non-malignant colorectal diseases as well as in colorectal liver metastases (CRLM). CCL20/CCR6 mRNA and protein expression profiles were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and immunohistochemistry (IHC) in resection specimens from patients with ulcerative colitis (UC, n = 15), colorectal adenoma (CRA, n = 15), colorectal adenocarcinoma (CRC, n = 61) and colorectal liver metastases (CRLM, n = 16). Corresponding non-diseased tissues served as control. In contrast to UC tissues, the CCL20/CCR6 system showed a distinct upregulation in CRA, CRC and CRLM related to corresponding non-affected tissues (P < 0.05, respectively). Furthermore, CRA, CRC and CRLM tissue samples displayed significantly higher protein amounts of CCL20 in comparison with UC specimens (P < 0.05, respectively). Our results strongly suggest an association between CCL20/CCR6 expression and the induction of CRA, CRC and the development of CRLM. Therefore, CCL20 and CCR6 may provide potential targets for novel treatment strategies of CRC.

Acosta JC, Banito A, Wuestefeld T, et al.
A complex secretory program orchestrated by the inflammasome controls paracrine senescence.
Nat Cell Biol. 2013; 15(8):978-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
Oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) is crucial for tumour suppression. Senescent cells implement a complex pro-inflammatory response termed the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). The SASP reinforces senescence, activates immune surveillance and paradoxically also has pro-tumorigenic properties. Here, we present evidence that the SASP can also induce paracrine senescence in normal cells both in culture and in human and mouse models of OIS in vivo. Coupling quantitative proteomics with small-molecule screens, we identified multiple SASP components mediating paracrine senescence, including TGF-β family ligands, VEGF, CCL2 and CCL20. Amongst them, TGF-β ligands play a major role by regulating p15(INK4b) and p21(CIP1). Expression of the SASP is controlled by inflammasome-mediated IL-1 signalling. The inflammasome and IL-1 signalling are activated in senescent cells and IL-1α expression can reproduce SASP activation, resulting in senescence. Our results demonstrate that the SASP can cause paracrine senescence and impact on tumour suppression and senescence in vivo.

Arab S, Mojarrad M, Motamedi M, et al.
Tumour regression induced by co-administration of MIP-3α and CpG in an experimental model of colon carcinoma.
Scand J Immunol. 2013; 78(1):28-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
CCL20/macrophage inflammatory protein-3α (MIP-3α) represents one of the potent chemoattractive proteins for dendritic cells (DCs). Herein, we investigated whether in vivo genetic modification of tumour cells aimed at intratumoural production of MIP-3α might lead to accumulation of DCs in tumour tissue. Mice injected with CT26, received recombinant adenovirus (Ad) vectors (AdMIP-3α) expressing MIP-3α protein. This was complemented by injections of CpG. Interestingly, MIP-3α gene therapy combined with CpG injections resulted in specific cytotoxicity. This was associated with significant suppression of tumour growth rate. These findings demonstrate the potential of strategies that utilize in vivo overexpression of chemokines.

Chen Q, Zheng T, Lan Q, et al.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in genes encoding for CC chemokines were not associated with the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013; 22(7):1332-5 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 09/09/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemokines play a pivotal role in immune regulation and response, and previous studies suggest an association between immune deficiency and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).
METHODS: We evaluated the association between NHL and polymorphisms in 18 genes (CCL1, CCL2, CCL5, CCL7, CCL8, CCL11, CCL13, CCL18, CCL20, CCL24, CCL26, CCR1, CCR3, CCR4, CCR6, CCR7, CCR8, and CCR9) encoding for the CC chemokines using data from a population-based case-control study of NHL conducted in Connecticut women.
RESULTS: CCR8 was associated with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL; P = 0.012), and CCL13 was associated with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL; P = 0.003) at gene level. After adjustment for multiple comparisons, none of the genes or single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) were associated with risk of overall NHL or NHL subtypes.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that the genes encoding for CC chemokines are not significantly associated with the risk of NHL, and further studies are needed to verify these findings.
IMPACT: Our data indicate that CC chemokine genes were not associated with NHL risk.

Marsigliante S, Vetrugno C, Muscella A
CCL20 induces migration and proliferation on breast epithelial cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2013; 228(9):1873-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
The communication between the tumor cells and the surrounding cells helps drive the process of tumor progression. Since the microenvironment of breast cancer includes CCL20 chemokine, the purpose of this study was to determine whether CCL20 modulates the physiology of healthy breast epithelial cells in areas adjacent to the tumor. Therefore, primary cultures of mammary cells taken from normal peritumoral areas were used. We assessed that breast cells expressed CCR6 CCL20 receptor. Using molecular (siRNA) and pharmacological (inhibitors) techniques, we found multiple signaling kinases to be activated by CCR6 and involved in CCL20-induced breast cell proliferation and migration. The binding of 10 ng/ml CCL20 to CCR6 induced cell migration whilst higher concentrations (from 15 to 25 ng/ml) led to cell proliferation. CCL20 controlled cell migration and MMP-9 expression by PKC-alpha that activated Src, which caused the activation of downstream Akt, JNK, and NF-kB pathways. Furthermore, higher CCL20 concentrations increased cycE and decreased p27Kip expression ending in enhanced cell proliferation. Cell proliferation occurred through PKC-epsilon activation that transactivated EGFR and ERK1/2/MAPK pathway. Although activated by different CCL20 concentrations, these pathways function in parallel and crosstalk to some extent, inasmuch as Akt activation was responsible for ERK1/2 nuclear translocation and enhanced the transcription of of c-fos and c-myc, involved in cell proliferation. In summary, tumor cells exchange signals with the surrounding healthy cells modifying the extracellular matrix through enzyme secretion; thus, CCL20 might be a factor involved in the ontogeny of breast carcinoma.

Zhang G, Chen F, Cao Y, et al.
HMGB1 release by urothelial carcinoma cells in response to Bacillus Calmette-Guérin functions as a paracrine factor to potentiate the direct cellular effects of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin.
J Urol. 2013; 190(3):1076-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Prior study demonstrated that HMGB1 release by urothelial carcinoma cells in response to bacillus Calmette-Guérin is required for an in vivo antitumor effect. We evaluated the direct effects of HMGB1 on the in vitro response of urothelial carcinoma cells to bacillus Calmette-Guérin.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two human urothelial carcinoma cell lines were used to study the effect of exogenous HMGB1 alone and combined with bacillus Calmette-Guérin on the tumor cell response to bacillus Calmette-Guérin. Antibody mediated blockade of receptors for HMGB1 or HMGB1 protein was used to determine the contribution of paracrine HMGB1 release to bacillus Calmette-Guérin biological effects. Response end points evaluated included the activation of intracellular signaling pathways, gene transactivation and cytotoxicity.
RESULTS: Urothelial carcinoma cells expressed the receptor for HMGB1 signaling. Antibody blockade of the RAGE receptor confirmed the dependence of signaling in response to HMGB1 on RAGE function. Exogenous HMGB1 activated cell signaling pathways for NFκB, NRF2 and CEBP. Quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction on a panel of bacillus Calmette-Guérin responsive genes revealed peak expression resulting from the combination of bacillus Calmette-Guérin and HMGB1. Blockade of paracrine HMGB1 released in response to bacillus Calmette-Guérin using HMGB1 and/or RAGE receptor blocking antibodies showed a significant decrease in gene expression relative to that of bacillus Calmette-Guérin alone. HMGB1 potentiated the cytotoxic effects of bacillus Calmette-Guérin.
CONCLUSIONS: HMGB1 released by urothelial carcinoma cells after bacillus Calmette-Guérin treatment functions as a paracrine factor to potentiate the urothelial carcinoma cell response to bacillus Calmette-Guérin. This paracrine activity likely contributes to the dependence of an in vivo tumor response on HMGB1 release.

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