Gene Summary

Gene:IL11; interleukin 11
Aliases: AGIF, IL-11
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the gp130 family of cytokines. These cytokines drive the assembly of multisubunit receptor complexes, all of which contain at least one molecule of the transmembrane signaling receptor IL6ST (gp130). This cytokine is shown to stimulate the T-cell-dependent development of immunoglobulin-producing B cells. It is also found to support the proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and megakaryocyte progenitor cells. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jun 2012]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (17)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 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.

  • Uterus
  • RNA Interference
  • Interleukin-11
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Receptors, Interleukin-11
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Interleukin-11 Receptor alpha Subunit
  • STAT3 Transcription Factor
  • Tumor Burden
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Messenger RNA
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Chromosome 19
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Coculture Techniques
  • RT-PCR
  • Cytokines
  • Signal Transduction
  • MicroRNAs
  • Up-Regulation
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Adenocarcinoma
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Promoter Regions
  • Cytokine Receptor gp130
  • siRNA
  • Bone Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Interleukin-6
  • Cell Movement
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Thyroid Cancer
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: IL11 (cancer-related)

Echizen K, Hirose O, Maeda Y, Oshima M
Inflammation in gastric cancer: Interplay of the COX-2/prostaglandin E2 and Toll-like receptor/MyD88 pathways.
Cancer Sci. 2016; 107(4):391-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and its downstream product prostaglandin E2 (PGE2 ) play a key role in generation of the inflammatory microenvironment in tumor tissues. Gastric cancer is closely associated with Helicobacter pylori infection, which stimulates innate immune responses through Toll-like receptors (TLRs), inducing COX-2/PGE2 pathway through nuclear factor-κB activation. A pathway analysis of human gastric cancer shows that both the COX-2 pathway and Wnt/β-catenin signaling are significantly activated in tubular-type gastric cancer, and basal levels of these pathways are also increased in other types of gastric cancer. Expression of interleukin-11, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 1 (CXCL1), CXCL2, and CXCL5, which play tumor-promoting roles through a variety of mechanisms, is induced in a COX-2/PGE2 pathway-dependent manner in both human and mouse gastric tumors. Moreover, the COX-2/PGE2 pathway plays an important role in the maintenance of stemness with expression of stem cell markers, including CD44, Prom1, and Sox9, which are induced in both gastritis and gastric tumors through a COX-2/PGE2 -dependent mechanism. In contrast, disruption of Myd88 results in suppression of the inflammatory microenvironment in gastric tumors even when the COX-2/PGE2 pathway is activated, indicating that the interplay of the COX-2/PGE2 and TLR/MyD88 pathways is needed for inflammatory response in tumor tissues. Furthermore, TLR2/MyD88 signaling plays a role in maintenance of stemness in normal stem cells as well as gastric tumor cells. Accordingly, these results suggest that targeting the COX-2/PGE2 pathway together with TLR/MyD88 signaling, which would suppress the inflammatory microenvironment and maintenance of stemness, could be an effective preventive or therapeutic strategy for gastric cancer.

Wu J, Wang Y, Xu X, et al.
Transcriptional activation of FN1 and IL11 by HMGA2 promotes the malignant behavior of colorectal cancer.
Carcinogenesis. 2016; 37(5):511-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, and metastasis is the principle reason for its poor prognosis. Overexpression of high-mobility gene group A2 (HMGA2) contributes to the aggressiveness of CRC. However, the underlying molecular mechanism of its overexpression is still elusive. In this study, we showed that ectopic expression of HMGA2 significantly enhanced cell migration and invasion in vitro and promoted tumor growth and distant metastasis in vivo In contrast, the silencing of HMGA2 produced the opposite effects in vitro and in vivo Chromatin immunoprecipitation-PCR and luciferase assays revealed that HMGA2 bound directly to the promoters of FN1 and IL11 and significantly induced their transcriptional activities. Moreover, as the direct downstream target of HMGA2, IL11 modulated cell migration and invasion through a pSTAT3-dependent signaling pathway. Furthermore, a strong positive correlation between HMGA2 and IL11 expression was identified in 122 CRC tissues. High IL11 expression was associated with poor differentiation, a large tumor size, lymph node metastasis and low overall survival in CRC patients. Collectively, our data reveal novel insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying HMGA2-mediated CRC metastasis and highlight the possibility of targeting HMGA2 and IL11 for treating CRC patients with metastasis.

Banerjee K, Resat H
Constitutive activation of STAT3 in breast cancer cells: A review.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(11):2570-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is constitutively activated in numerous cancer types, including more than 40% of breast cancers. In contrast to tight regulation of STAT3 as a latent transcription factor in normal cells, its signaling in breast cancer oncogenesis is multifaceted. Signaling through the IL-6/JAK/STAT3 pathway initiated by the binding of IL-6 family of cytokines (i.e., IL-6 and IL-11) to their receptors have been implicated in breast cancer development. Receptors with intrinsic kinase activity such as EGFR and VEGFR directly or indirectly induce STAT3 activation in various breast cancer types. Aberrant STAT3 signaling promotes breast tumor progression through deregulation of the expression of downstream target genes which control proliferation (Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Survivin, Cyclin D1, c-Myc and Mcl-1), angiogenesis (Hif1α and VEGF) and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (Vimentin, TWIST, MMP-9 and MMP-7). These multiple modes of STAT3 regulation therefore make it a central linking point for a multitude of signaling processes. Extensive efforts to target STAT3 activation in breast cancer had no remarkable success in the past because the highly interconnected nature of STAT3 signaling introduces lack of selectivity in pathway identification for STAT3 targeted molecular therapies or because its role in tumorigenesis may not be as critical as it was thought. This review provides a full spectrum of STAT3's involvement in breast cancer by consolidating the knowledge about its role in breast cancer development at multiple levels: its differential regulation by different receptor signaling pathways, its downstream target genes, and modification of its transcriptional activity by its coregulatory transcription factors.

Yu D, Zhong Y, Li X, et al.
ILs-3, 6 and 11 increase, but ILs-10 and 24 decrease stemness of human prostate cancer cells in vitro.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(40):42687-703 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are associated with cancer recurrence and metastasis. Prostate cancer cells often metastasize to the bone with a complex microenvironment of cytokines favoring cell survival. In this study, the cell stemness influence of a group of interleukins including IL-3, 6, 10, 11 and 24 on human prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP and PC-3 was explored in vitro. Sulforhodamine B(SRB) and 5-ethynyl-2'-deoxyuridine (EdU) assays were applied to examine the effect on cell proliferation, and wound healing and transwell assays were used for migration and invasion studies, in addition to colony formation, Western blotting and flowcytometry for the expression of stemness factors and chemotherapy sensitivity. We observed that ILs-3, 6 and 11 stimulated while ILs-10 and 24 inhibited the growth, invasion and migration of both cell lines. Interestingly, ILs-3, 6 and 11 significantly promoted colony formation and increased the expression of SOX2, CD44 and ABCG2 in both prostate cancer cell lines. However, ILs-10 and 24 showed the opposite effect on the expression of these factors. In line with the above findings, treatment with either IL-3 or IL-6 or IL-11 decreased the chemosensitivity to docetaxel while treatment with either IL-10 or IL-24 increased the sensitivity of docetaxel chemotherapy. In conclusion, our results suggest that ILs-3, 6 and 11 function as tumor promoters while ILs-10 and 24 function as tumor suppressors in the prostate cancer cell lines PC-3 and LNCaP in vitro, and such differences may attribute to their different effect on the stemness of PCa cells.

Ma J, Hou X, Li M, et al.
Genome-wide methylation profiling reveals new biomarkers for prognosis prediction of glioblastoma.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2015; 11 Suppl 2:C212-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To identify a specific hypermethylated molecular biomarker for human malignant glioblastoma prognosis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Genome-wide methylation profiling was performed on 33 tumors and 3 normal glioblastoma samples using the Infinium HumanMethylation450 microarray. Cluster analysis was carried out in these samples according to the differentiated methylated genes. DNA methylation of selected significant candidates was subsequently validated to analyze the association of methylation status of these genes with overall survival as well as gene expression.
RESULTS: We found 217 hypermethylated CpG sites located in 210 respective genes with significant differences in short- and long-term survival (STS and LTS) samples (P < 0.01). Cluster analysis revealed fine clustering of genes with LTS and STS. Of these, we selected 10 most hypermethylated genes, including IL11, RRAD, MS4A6A, SNAPC2, ALDH1A3, ADCY1, MMS19L, NDUFB8, POMC, and THSD4, to perform cluster analysis. It came out with the same fine classification and with survival time of these patients. The top ranking genes were further examined to compare their methylation status with the overall survival rate of patients, as well as with gene expression levels.
CONCLUSION: We obtained a featured global profiling of DNA methylation in glioblastoma. Our findings strongly indicate that epigenetic silencing of IL11, RRAD, MS4A6A, SNAPC2, and ALDH1A3 are common events in glioblastoma which could be used as novel biomarkers for the prognosis of glioblastoma.

Agajanian M, Runa F, Kelber JA
Identification of a PEAK1/ZEB1 signaling axis during TGFβ/fibronectin-induced EMT in breast cancer.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015; 465(3):606-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
Transforming Growth Factor beta (TGFβ) is the archetypal member of the TGFβ superfamily of ligands and has pleiotropic functions during normal development, adult tissue homeostasis and pathophysiological processes such as cancer. In epithelial cancers TGFβ signaling can either suppress tumor growth or promote metastasis via the induction of a well-characterized epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program. We recently reported that PEAK1 kinase mediates signaling cross talk between TGFβ receptors and integrin/Src/MAPK pathways and functions as a critical molecular regulator of TGFβ-induced breast cancer cell proliferation, migration, EMT and metastasis. Here, we examined the breast cancer cell contexts in which TGFβ induces both EMT and PEAK1, and discovered this event to be unique to oncogene-transformed mammary epithelial cells and triple-negative breast cancer cells. Using the Cancer BioPortal database, we identified PEAK1 co-expressors across multiple malignancies that are also common to the TGFβ response gene signature (TBRS). We then used the ScanSite database to identify predicted protein-protein binding partners of PEAK1 and the PEAK1-TBRS co-expressors. Analysis of the Cytoscape interactome and Babelomics-derived gene ontologies for a novel gene set including PEAK1, CRK, ZEB1, IL11 and COL4A1 enabled us to hypothesize that PEAK1 may be regulating TGFβ-induced EMT via its interaction with or regulation of these other genes. In this regard, we have demonstrated that PEAK1 is necessary for TGFβ to induce ZEB1-mediated EMT in the context of fibronectin/ITGB3 activation. These studies and future mechanistic studies will pave the way toward identifying the context in which TGFβ blockade may significantly improve breast cancer patient outcomes.

Johnstone CN, Chand A, Putoczki TL, Ernst M
Emerging roles for IL-11 signaling in cancer development and progression: Focus on breast cancer.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2015; 26(5):489-98 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin (IL)-11 is a member of the IL-6 family of cytokines that is defined by the shared use of the GP130 signal transducing receptor subunit. In addition of its long recognized activities as a hemopoietic growth factor, IL-11 has an emerging role in epithelial cancer biology. Through the activation of the GP130-Janus kinase signaling cascade and associated transcription factor STAT3, IL-11 can confer many of the tumor intrinsic 'hallmark' capabilities to neoplastic cells, if they express the ligand-specific IL-11Rα receptor subunit. Accordingly, IL-11 signaling has recently been identified as a rate-limiting step for the growth tumors arising from the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract. However, there is less appreciation for a potential role of IL-11 to support breast cancer progression, apart from its well documented capacity to facilitate bone metastasis. Here we review evidence that IL-11 expression in breast cancer correlates with poor disease outcome and discuss some of the molecular mechanisms that are likely to underpin these observations. These include the capacity of IL-11 to stimulate survival and proliferation of cancer cells alongside angiogenesis of the primary tumor and of metastatic progenies at distant organs. We review current strategies to interfere with IL-11 signaling and advocate that inhibition of IL-11 signaling may represent an emerging therapeutic opportunity for numerous cancers.

Buchert M, Burns CJ, Ernst M
Targeting JAK kinase in solid tumors: emerging opportunities and challenges.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(8):939-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Various human malignancies are characterized by excessive activation of the Janus family of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases (JAK) and their associated transcription factors STAT3 and STAT5. In the majority of solid tumors, this occurs in response to increased abundance of inflammatory cytokines in the tumor microenvironment prominently produced by infiltrating innate immune cells. Many of these cytokines share common receptor subunits and belong to the interleukin (IL)-6/IL-11, IL-10/IL-22 and IL-12/IL-23 families. Therapeutic inhibition of the JAK/STAT3 pathway potentially offers considerable benefit owing to the capacity of JAK/STAT3 signaling to promote cancer hallmarks in the tumor and its environment, including proliferation, survival, angiogenesis, tumor metabolism while suppressing antitumor immunity. This is further emphasized by the current successful clinical applications of JAK-specific small molecule inhibitors for the treatment of inflammatory disorders and hematopoietic malignancies. Here we review current preclinical applications for JAK inhibitors for the treatment of solid cancers in mice, with a focus on the most common malignancies emanating from oncogenic transformation of the epithelial mucosa in the stomach and colon. Emerging data with small molecule JAK-specific adenosine triphosphate-binding analogs corroborate genetic findings and suggest that interference with the JAK/STAT3 pathway may suppress the growth of the most common forms of sporadic colon cancers that arise from mutations of the APC tumor suppressor gene. Likewise inhibition of cytokine-dependent activation of the JAK/STAT3 pathway may also afford orthogonal treatment opportunities for other oncogene-addicted cancer cells that have gained drug resistance.

Zhou C, Ji J, Cai Q, et al.
MTA2 enhances colony formation and tumor growth of gastric cancer cells through IL-11.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:343 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We have preliminarily reported MTA2 expression in gastric cancer and its biological functions by using knockdown cell models, while the molecular mechanisms of MTA2 in regulating malignant behaviors are still unclear.
METHODS: MTA2 overexpression models were established by transfection assay in gastric cancer cells BGC-823 and MKN28. Cell proliferation assay, colony formation in soft agar, wound-healing assay and transwell migration assay were performed with MTA2 overexpression and negative control (NC) cells. Subcutaneous xenografts and pulmonary metastasis models by BGC-823/MTA2 and BGC-823/NC cells were used to observe the capacity of growth and metastasis in vivo. Differential gene expression in MTA2 knockdown and overexpression cells was analyzed by microarrays. IL-11, which demonstrated as differential expression in microarray, was detected by real-time PCR, western blot, ELISA and immunohistochemistry staining. Recombinant human IL-11 (rhIL-11) was administrated in cell proliferation and colony formation as rescue assay.
RESULTS: The numbers of colonies in soft agar were significantly more in BGC-823/MTA2 and MKN28/MTA2 cells, comparing with those in their NC cells. Capabilities of cell proliferation, wound-healing and cell migration were not significantly changed in MTA2 overexpression cells. The sizes of subcutaneous xenografts and pulmonary metastases of BGC-832/MTA2 cells were significantly larger than those in BGC-823/NC group. Differential expression of IL-11 was identified by genome expression microarray both in MTA2 knockdown and overexpression cells. IL-11 expression was elevated in BGC-823/MTA2 cells, whereas reduced in SGC-7901/shMTA2 cells. Administration of rhIL-11 recovered colony formation capacity of SGC-7901/shMTA2 cells.
CONCLUSIONS: MTA2 overexpression enhances colony formation and tumor growth of gastric cancer cells, but not plays important role in cancer cell migration and metastasis. IL-11 is one of the downstream effectors of MTA2 in regulating gastric cancer cells growth.

Zhang X, Wu H, Dobson JR, et al.
Expression of the IL-11 Gene in Metastatic Cells Is Supported by Runx2-Smad and Runx2-cJun Complexes Induced by TGFβ1.
J Cell Biochem. 2015; 116(9):2098-108 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
In tumor cells, two factors are abnormally increased that contribute to metastatic bone disease: Runx2, a transcription factor that promotes expression of metastasis related and osteolytic genes; and IL-11, a secreted osteolytic cytokine. Here, we addressed a compelling question: Does Runx2 regulate IL-11 gene expression? We find a positive correlation between Runx2, IL-11 and TGFβ1, a driver of the vicious cycle of metastatic bone disease, in prostate cancer (PC) cell lines representing early (LNCaP) and late (PC3) stage disease. Further, like Runx2 knockdown, IL-11 knockdown significantly reduced expression of several osteolytic factors. Modulation of Runx2 expression results in corresponding changes in IL-11 expression. The IL-11 gene has Runx2, AP-1 sites and Smad binding elements located on the IL-11 promoter. Here, we demonstrated that Runx2-c-Jun as well as Runx2-Smad complexes upregulate IL-11 expression. Functional studies identified a significant loss of IL-11 expression in PC3 cells in the presence of the Runx2-HTY mutant protein, a mutation that disrupts Runx2-Smad signaling. In response to TGFβ1 and in the presence of Runx2, we observed a 30-fold induction of IL-11 expression, accompanied by increased c-Jun binding to the IL-11 promoter. Immunoprecipitation and in situ co-localization studies demonstrated that Runx2 and c-Jun form nuclear complexes in PC3 cells. Thus, TGFβ1 signaling induces two independent transcriptional pathways - AP-1 and Runx2. These transcriptional activators converge on IL-11 as a result of Runx2-Smad and Runx2-c-Jun interactions to amplify IL-11 gene expression that, together with Runx2, supports the osteolytic pathology of cancer induced bone disease.

Bian H, Zhang S, Wu H, Wang Y
Interpretation of immunohistochemistry data of tumor should consider microenvironmental factors.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(6):4467-77 [PubMed] Related Publications
The influence of tumor surrounding microenvironment is often neglected when immunohistochemistry is performed to investigate tumor properties and search biomarkers of cancer. This study was designed to evaluate whether the influence of tumor microenvironment on biological features of tumor cells should be taken into account for interpretation of the immunohistochemistry data of tumor specimens. In this study, we showed an example by using three tumor cell lines (HeLa, WSU-HN6, and Tca83) to establish tumor-caused bone destruction models in nude mice and then to investigate the influence of bone marrow microenvironment (BMM) on biological features of tumor cells. Immunohistochemistry results showed that, compared with tumor cells located outside of BMM, tumor cells located inside of BMM presented huge differences in the expression of inflammation-related proteins including tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), TNF receptor-associated factor protein-6 (TRAF-6), phosphorylated-NF-κB p65 (p-p65), interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-11, matrix metalloproteinases including MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-13; and osteogenesis-related proteins including runt-related transcription factor 2 (RUNX2), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and osteocalcin (OCN) in all the models. However, when we compared the cell line pair derived from different sites (outside and inside of BMM, respectively) of the same HeLa tumor sample by real-time PCR, Western blot, and immunocytochemistry, the differences aforementioned in tumor tissues were not found. In addition, we verified that normal human bone marrow could not cause the above changes detected in vivo. Our results suggested that tumor-modified microenvironment could give the new biological features of the invaded tumor cells. Therefore, we should consider the influence of the surrounding microenvironment on tumor cells when we analyze tumor properties using immunohistochemistry.

Taipaleenmäki H, Browne G, Akech J, et al.
Targeting of Runx2 by miR-135 and miR-203 Impairs Progression of Breast Cancer and Metastatic Bone Disease.
Cancer Res. 2015; 75(7):1433-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Progression of breast cancer to metastatic bone disease is linked to deregulated expression of the transcription factor Runx2. Therefore, our goal was to evaluate the potential for clinical use of Runx2-targeting miRNAs to reduce tumor growth and bone metastatic burden. Expression analysis of a panel of miRNAs regulating Runx2 revealed a reciprocal relationship between the abundance of Runx2 protein and two miRNAs, miR-135 and miR-203. These miRNAs are highly expressed in normal breast epithelial cells where Runx2 is not detected, and absent in metastatic breast cancer cells and tissue biopsies that express Runx2. Reconstituting metastatic MDA-MB-231-luc cells with miR-135 and miR-203 reduced the abundance of Runx2 and expression of the metastasis-promoting Runx2 target genes IL11, MMP-13, and PTHrP. In addition, tumor cell viability was decreased and migration suppressed in vitro. Orthotopic implantation of MDA-MB-231-luc cells delivered with miR-135 or miR-203, followed by an intratumoral administration of the synthetic miRNAs, reduced the tumor growth and spontaneous metastasis to bone. Furthermore, intratibial injection of these miRNA-delivered cells impaired tumor growth in the bone environment and inhibited bone resorption. Importantly, reconstitution of Runx2 in MDA-MB-231-luc cells delivered with miR-135 and miR-203 reversed the inhibitory effect of the miRNAs on tumor growth and metastasis. Thus, we have identified that aberrant expression of Runx2 in aggressive tumor cells is related to the loss of specific Runx2-targeting miRNAs and that a clinically relevant replacement strategy by delivery of synthetic miRNAs is a candidate for a therapeutic approach to prevent metastatic bone disease by this route.

Buzzelli JN, Pavlic DI, Chalinor HV, et al.
IL-1RT1 signaling antagonizes IL-11 induced STAT3 dependent cardiac and antral stomach tumor development through myeloid cell enrichment.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(2):679-95 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
IL-1 is key driver of gastric tumorigenesis and is a downstream target of IL-11 signaling. Recently, IL-1 cytokines, particularly IL-1β, have been flagged as therapeutic targets for gastric cancer treatment. Here, we assess the requirement for IL-1 signaling in gastric tumorigenesis. gp130757FF xIL-1RT1-/- mice were generated to determine the pathological consequence of ablated IL-1 signaling in the IL-11 dependent gp130757FF mouse model of gastric tumorigenesis. Gastric lesions in gp130757FF xIL-1RT1-/- mice were increased in incidence and size compared to gp130757FF mice. Proximal gastric lesions originated from the cardiac region and were associated with elevated STAT3 activation, loss of specialized gastric cells and a modulated immune response including increased expression of TNF-α and MDSC associated genes. Administration of IL-11 to IL-1RT1-/- mice showed similar changes to gp130757FF xIL-1RT1-/- mice. Spleens from IL-11 treated wildtype mice showed an enrichment of MDSC and gp130757FF xIL-1RT1-/- mice had increased MDSCs in the stomach compared to gp130757FF mice. Furthermore, crossing TNF-α-/- to gp130757FF mice resulted in reduced lesion size. We conclude that IL-1 signaling antagonizes IL-11/STAT3 mediated pathology and the genetic deletion of IL-1RT1 results in increased tumor burden. We provide evidence that a likely mechanism is due to IL-11/STAT3 dependent enrichment of MDSCs.

Liu T, Ma Q, Zhang Y, et al.
Interleukin-11 receptor α is overexpressed in human osteosarcoma, and near-infrared-labeled IL-11Rα imaging agent could detect osteosarcoma in mouse tumor xenografts.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(4):2369-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
IL-11Rα is an important cytokine receptor that links oxidative stress and compensatory proliferation. Mounting evidence has demonstrated that IL-11Rα regulates autoimmune demyelination and the invasion and proliferation of cancer cells, making it an important therapeutic target for molecular targeted therapy. Moreover, overexpression of IL-11Rα indicates a poor long-term prognosis in cancer patients. However, the expression status and its potential as a biomarker for diagnosis, tumor imaging, and prognosis in osteosarcoma remain to be determined. We report here that IL-11Rα is highly expressed in osteosarcoma and near-infrared (NIR)-labeled IL-11Rα imaging agent could detect osteosarcoma in mouse tumor xenografts. In a panel of human osteosarcoma specimens, IL-11Rα protein was positively stained in most cases by immunohistochemistry. Western blot analysis and flow cytometry showed that IL-11Rα was overexpressed in osteosarcoma SOSP-9607 cells. Cell-binding assay demonstrated specific binding of the IL-11Rα targeted imaging agent to osteosarcoma SOSP-9607 cells in vitro. In addition, administration of an IL-11Rα targeted imaging agent in a nude mice orthotopic model resulted in selective accumulation of NIR fluorescent signals in the bone tumor as well as several metabolic organs. These results indicate that IL-11Rα is a potential target for the development of molecular targeted therapy and noninvasive tumor imaging in human osteosarcoma. Furthermore, NIR-labeled IL-11Rα imaging agent is a promising lead for the development of a tumor in vivo imaging method at the molecular level in the management of human osteosarcoma.

Kovacheva M, Zepp M, Berger SM, Berger MR
Sustained conditional knockdown reveals intracellular bone sialoprotein as essential for breast cancer skeletal metastasis.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(14):5510-22 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Increased bone sialoprotein (BSP) serum levels are related to breast cancer skeletal metastasis, but their relevance is unknown. We elucidated novel intracellular BSP functions by a conditional knockdown of BSP. Conditional MDA-MB-231 subclones were equipped with a novel gene expression cassette containing a tet-reg-ulated miRNA providing knockdown of BSP production. These clones were used to assess the effect of BSP on morphology, proliferation, migration, colony formation and gene expression in vitro, and on soft tissue and osteolytic le-sions in a xenograft model by three imaging methods. BSP knockdown caused significant anti-proliferative, anti-migratory and anti-clonogenic effects in vitro (p<0.001). In vivo, significant de-creases of soft tissue and osteolytic lesions (p<0.03) were recorded after 3 weeks of miRNA treatment, leading to complete remission within 6 weeks. Microarray data revealed that 0.3% of genes were modulated in response to BSP knockdown. Upregulated genes included the endoplasmic reticulum stress genes ATF3 and DDIT3, the tumor suppressor gene EGR1, ID2 (related to breast epithelial differentiation), c-FOS and SERPINB2, whereas the metastasis associated genes CD44 and IL11 were downregulated. Also, activation of apoptotic pathways was demonstrated. These results implicate that intracellular BSP is essential for breast cancer skeletal metastasis and a target for treating these lesions.

Lewis VO
IL-11Rα: a novel target for the treatment of osteosarcoma.
Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014; 804:285-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recent advances have shown that cell surface receptors are expressed differentially in normal and pathological conditions. Novel organ specific and disease specific proteins expressed on tumor vasculature have been identified by in vivo phage display technology and the diversity of the tumor-associated vasculature has provided the basis for the development of targeted therapeutics. Investigators recently screened a phage display library in a human cancer patient. An IL-11 mimic phage displaying the cyclic peptide CGRRAGGSC (single letter amino acid code) specifically bound to immobilized IL-11Rα. It has been demonstrated that the expression of the IL-11Rα is increased in several other types of tumors including osteosarcoma. The ability to selectively target the IL-11Rα may provide an alternative treatment of for a disease where new treatment options are truly needed.

Li W, Kang Y
A new Lnc in metastasis: long noncoding RNA mediates the prometastatic functions of TGF-β.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 25(5):557-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
TGF-β signaling promotes metastasis by controlling the expression of downstream target genes. In this issue of Cancer Cell, Yuan and colleagues discover a novel TGF-β-induced lncRNA, lncRNA-ATB, which stimulates EMT through sequestering miR-200s and facilitates colonization by stabilizing IL-11 mRNA, thus promoting both early and late steps of cancer metastasis.

Yuan JH, Yang F, Wang F, et al.
A long noncoding RNA activated by TGF-β promotes the invasion-metastasis cascade in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 25(5):666-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of TGF-β-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in cancer cell dissemination is well established, but the involvement of lncRNAs in TGF-β signaling is still unknown. In this study, we observed that the lncRNA-activated by TGF-β (lncRNA-ATB) was upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) metastases and associated with poor prognosis. lncRNA-ATB upregulated ZEB1 and ZEB2 by competitively binding the miR-200 family and then induced EMT and invasion. In addition, lncRNA-ATB promoted organ colonization of disseminated tumor cells by binding IL-11 mRNA, autocrine induction of IL-11, and triggering STAT3 signaling. Globally, lncRNA-ATB promotes the invasion-metastasis cascade. Thus, these findings suggest that lncRNA-ATB, a mediator of TGF-β signaling, could predispose HCC patients to metastases and may serve as a potential target for antimetastatic therapies.

Taniguchi K, Karin M
IL-6 and related cytokines as the critical lynchpins between inflammation and cancer.
Semin Immunol. 2014; 26(1):54-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammatory responses play pivotal roles in cancer development, including tumor initiation, promotion, progression, and metastasis. Cytokines are now recognized as important mediators linking inflammation and cancer, and are therefore potential therapeutic and preventive targets as well as prognostic factors. The interleukin (IL)-6 family of cytokines, especially IL-6 and IL-11, is highly up-regulated in many cancers and considered as one of the most important cytokine families during tumorigenesis and metastasis. This review discusses molecular mechanisms linking the IL-6 cytokine family to solid malignancies and their treatment.

Yang G, Ma F, Zhong M, et al.
Interleukin-11 induces the expression of matrix metalloproteinase 13 in gastric cancer SCH cells partly via the PI3K-AKT and JAK-STAT3 pathways.
Mol Med Rep. 2014; 9(4):1371-5 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin (IL)-11 is expressed in the majority of gastric carcinomas and has been associated with an aggressive phenotype and poor prognosis of gastric adenocarcinoma. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 has been detected in numerous invasive malignant tumor types and exhibits a broad spectrum of activities on connective tissue components. In this study, we investigated whether IL-11 affects the expression of MMP-13 in human gastric cancer cells, as well as the underlying mechanism. Using western blot assays, we investigated the effect of recombinant human (rh) IL-11 on the expression of MMP-13 in gastric carcinoma cell lines. Using the PI3K inhibitor wortmannin and RNA interference to target the STAT3 gene, we investigated the effects of PI3K inhibition and/or STAT3 depletion on the expression of the MMP-13 protein. Results showed that IL-11 induced MMP-13 expression in a time- and concentration-dependent manner in SCH cells. IL-11 activated PI3K-AKT and JAK-STAT3 signal transduction. Wortmannin and depletion of STAT3 by means of small interfering RNA (siRNA) synergistically reduced the expression of MMP-13. These findings suggested that IL-11 induces the expression of MMP-13 in gastric cancer SCH cells partly via the PI3K-AKT and JAK-STAT3 pathways.

Luis-Ravelo D, Antón I, Zandueta C, et al.
A gene signature of bone metastatic colonization sensitizes for tumor-induced osteolysis and predicts survival in lung cancer.
Oncogene. 2014; 33(43):5090-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Bone metastasis of lung adenocarcinoma (AC) is a frequent complication of advanced disease. The purpose of this study was to identify key mediators conferring robust prometastatic activity with clinical significance. We isolated highly metastatic subpopulations (HMS) using a previously described in vivo model of lung AC bone metastasis. We performed transcriptomic profiling of HMS and stringent bioinformatics filtering. Functional validation was assessed by overexpression and lentiviral silencing of single, double and triple combination in vivo and in vitro. We identified HDAC4, PITX1 and ROBO1 that decreased bone metastatic ability after their simultaneous abrogation. These effects were solely linked to defects in osseous colonization. The molecular mechanisms related to bone colonization were mediated by non-cell autonomous effects that include the following: (1) a marked decrease in osteoclastogenic activity in vitro and in vivo, an effect associated with reduced pro-osteoclastogenic cytokines IL-11 and PTHrP expression levels, as well as decreased in vitro expression of stromal rankl in conditions mimicking tumor-stromal interactions; (2) an abrogated response to TGF-β signaling by decreased phosphorylation and levels of Smad2/3 in tumor cells and (3) an impaired metalloproteolytic activity in vitro. Interestingly, coexpression of HDAC4 and PITX1 conferred high prometastatic activity in vivo. Further, levels of both genes correlated with patients at higher risk of metastasis in a clinical lung AC data set and with a poorer clinical outcome. These findings provide functional and clinical evidence that this metastatic subset is an important determinant of osseous colonization. These data suggest novel therapeutic targets to effectively block lung AC bone metastasis.

Yang J, Zhang W
New molecular insights into osteosarcoma targeted therapy.
Curr Opin Oncol. 2013; 25(4):398-406 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Recent translational studies in osteosarcoma are discussed with the purpose to shed light on the new molecular therapeutic targets.
RECENT FINDINGS: The genetic aberrations of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), mammalian target of rapamycin, Wnt signaling pathway, the inactivation of p53, Rb, WWOX genes, and amplification of APEX1, c-myc, RECQL4, RPL8, MDM2, VEGFA might be involved in the pathogenesis of osteosarcoma. The promising therapeutic targets for osteosarcoma patients include: integrin, ezrin, statin, NOTCH/HES1, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), m-calpain, and Src, which are involved in tumor cell invasion and metastasis; aldolase A, fructose-bisphosphate, sulfotransferase family 3A, member 1, BCL2-associated athanogene 3, heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), B-cell lymphoma 2-interacting mediator (BIM), polo-like kinase 1, hypoxia inducible factor 1, alpha subunit, minibrain-related kinase, Bcl-xl, caspase-3, midkine, high mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1), and Beclin1, which are involved in tumor proliferation and apoptosis; met proto-oncogene (hepatocyte growth factor receptor), v-erb-b2 erythroblastic leukemia viral oncogene homolog 2, insulin-like growth factor (IGF)-1R, fms-related tyrosine kinase 4, platelet-derived growth factor receptor, beta polypeptide, IGF-I/II, and c-kit, which are involved in tumor growth; endosialin, VEGF, thrombin, and MMPs, which are involved in tumor angiogenesis; transforming growth factor-α/β, parathyroid hormone-like hormone, interleukin-6, interleukin-11, receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand, nuclear factor of activated T-cells, cytoplasmic, calcineurin-dependent 1, and cathepsin, which are involved in osteoclast function; Myc, HSP90, p-Met, p-Akt, p-STAT3, and cyclin D1, which are transcriptional factors; p-GP, hydroxysteroid (17-beta) dehydrogenase 10, HMGB1, BIM, inorganic phosphate, Bcl-2, PARP, mdm2, p21, Bax, and mitogen-activated protein kinase 1, which are involved in drug sensitivity. Furthermore, microRNAs such as miR-215 are also therapeutic targets.
SUMMARY: These translational studies in osteosarcoma have identified new molecular targets for osteosarcoma.

Onnis B, Fer N, Rapisarda A, et al.
Autocrine production of IL-11 mediates tumorigenicity in hypoxic cancer cells.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(4):1615-29 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
IL-11 and its receptor, IL-11Ra, are expressed in human cancers; however, the functional role of IL-11 in tumor progression is not known. We found that IL11 is a hypoxia-inducible, VHL-regulated gene in human cancer cells and that expression of IL11 mRNA was dependent, at least in part, on HIF-1. A cooperative interaction between HIF-1 and AP-1 mediated transcriptional activation of the IL11 promoter. Additionally, we found that human cancer cells expressed a functional IL-11Ra subunit, which triggered signal transduction either by exogenous recombinant human IL-11 or by autocrine production of IL-11 in cells cultured under hypoxic conditions. Silencing of IL11 dramatically abrogated the ability of hypoxia to increase anchorage-independent growth and significantly reduced tumor growth in xenograft models. Notably, these results were phenocopied by partial knockdown of STAT1 in a human prostate cancer cell line (PC3), suggesting that this pathway may play an important role in mediating the effects of IL-11 under hypoxic conditions. In conclusion, these results identify IL11 as an oxygen- and VHL-regulated gene and provide evidence of a pathway "hijacked" by hypoxic cancer cells that may contribute to tumor progression.

Bockhorn J, Dalton R, Nwachukwu C, et al.
MicroRNA-30c inhibits human breast tumour chemotherapy resistance by regulating TWF1 and IL-11.
Nat Commun. 2013; 4:1393 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Chemotherapy resistance frequently drives tumour progression. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms are poorly characterized. Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition has been shown to correlate with therapy resistance, but the functional link and signalling pathways remain to be elucidated. Here we report that microRNA-30c, a human breast tumour prognostic marker, has a pivotal role in chemoresistance by a direct targeting of the actin-binding protein twinfilin 1, which promotes epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. An interleukin-6 family member, interleukin-11 is identified as a secondary target of twinfilin 1 in the microRNA-30c signalling pathway. Expression of microRNA-30c inversely correlates with interleukin-11 expression in primary breast tumours and low interleukin-11 correlates with relapse-free survival in breast cancer patients. Our study demonstrates that microRNA-30c is transcriptionally regulated by GATA3 in breast tumours. Identification of a novel microRNA-mediated pathway that regulates chemoresistance in breast cancer will facilitate the development of novel therapeutic strategies.

Gao YB, Xiang ZL, Zhou LY, et al.
Enhanced production of CTGF and IL-11 from highly metastatic hepatoma cells under hypoxic conditions: an implication of hepatocellular carcinoma metastasis to bone.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2013; 139(4):669-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The biology underlying bone-specific metastasis (BM) of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is poorly understood. The goal of the present study is to further elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying HCC with BM.
METHODS: The expression of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and interleukin-11 (IL-11) in RNA extracted from 127 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded HCC specimens was examined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. A cellular hypoxic model was established in vitro to investigate CTGF and osteoprotegerin (OPG) expression and roles in hypoxia-induced tumor aggressiveness.
RESULTS: The mean CTGF expression in BM versus non-metastatic samples was 3.63-times higher, and IL-11 expression was detected in 62.5 % (10/16) of BM samples versus only in 18.9 % (21/111) of the non-metastatic ones. Highly metastatic HCC cell lines tended to show strong expression of CTGF and IL-11, but low expression of OPG. Hypoxic stimulation of HCC 97L cells increased the level of CTGF mRNA by 2.80-fold within 1.5 h, and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α mRNA levels in these cells could be increased by stimulation with recombinant CTGF protein. Furthermore, OPG and matrix metalloproteinase-2 and -9 levels were also induced under hypoxic conditions.
CONCLUSIONS: Expression levels of intratumoral CTGF or IL-11 were independent prognostic factors for the development of BM in HCC patients. Tumor hypoxia enhanced the expression of CTGF, which initiates the invasive angiogenesis cascade and enhances expression of many hypoxia-associated genes. Cellular release of OPG may play a role in tumor cell survival. The hypoxia-induced cascade in HCC cells may contribute to invasion and metastasis in vivo.

Gao F, Zhao ZL, Zhao WT, et al.
miR-9 modulates the expression of interferon-regulated genes and MHC class I molecules in human nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2013; 431(3):610-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
The functions of miR-9 in some cancers are recently implicated in regulating proliferation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), invasion and metastasis, apoptosis, and tumor angiogenesis, etc. miR-9 is commonly down-regulated in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), but the exact roles of miR-9 dysregulation in the pathogenesis of NPC remains unclear. Therefore, we firstly used miR-9-expressing CNE2 cells to determine the effects of miR-9 overexpression on global gene expression profile by microarray analysis. Microarray-based gene expression data unexpectedly demonstrated a significant number of up- or down-regulated immune- and inflammation-related genes, including many well-known interferon (IFN)-induced genes (e.g., IFI44L, PSMB8, IRF5, PSMB10, IFI27, PSB9_HUMAN, IFIT2, TRAIL, IFIT1, PSB8_HUMAN, IRF1, B2M and GBP1), major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules (e.g., HLA-B, HLA-C, HLA-F and HLA-H) and interleukin (IL)-related genes (e.g., IL20RB, GALT, IL7, IL1B, IL11, IL1F8, IL1A, IL6 and IL7R), which was confirmed by qRT-PCR. Moreover, the overexpression of miR-9 with the miRNA mimics significantly up- or down-regulated the expression of above-mentioned IFN-inducible genes, MHC class I molecules and IL-related genes; on the contrary, miR-9 inhibition by anti-miR-9 inhibitor in CNE2 and 5-8F cells correspondingly decreased or increased the aforementioned immune- and inflammation-related genes. Taken together, these findings demonstrate, for the first time, that miR-9 can modulate the expression of IFN-induced genes and MHC class I molecules in human cancer cells, suggesting a novel role of miR-9 in linking inflammation and cancer, which remains to be fully characterized.

Bockhorn J, Yee K, Chang YF, et al.
MicroRNA-30c targets cytoskeleton genes involved in breast cancer cell invasion.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013; 137(2):373-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
Metastasis remains a significant challenge in treating cancer. A better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying metastasis is needed to develop more effective treatments. Here, we show that human breast tumor biomarker miR-30c regulates invasion by targeting the cytoskeleton network genes encoding twinfilin 1 (TWF1) and vimentin (VIM). Both VIM and TWF1 have been shown to regulate epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Similar to TWF1, VIM also regulates F-actin formation, a key component of cellular transition to a more invasive mesenchymal phenotype. To further characterize the role of the TWF1 pathway in breast cancer, we found that IL-11 is an important target of TWF1 that regulates breast cancer cell invasion and STAT3 phosphorylation. The miR-30c-VIM/TWF1 signaling cascade is also associated with clinical outcome in breast cancer patients.

Shen Z, Ye Y, Kauttu T, et al.
The novel focal adhesion gene kindlin-2 promotes the invasion of gastric cancer cells mediated by tumor-associated macrophages.
Oncol Rep. 2013; 29(2):791-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Kindlin-2 is a novel focal adhesion gene mediating the cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) adhesion. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) play an important role in linking chronic inflammation to cancer progression. Both kindlin-2 and TAMs have been found to promote the invasion of gastric cancer cells in our previous studies. However, the correlation between kindlin-2 and TAMs remains unclear. Real-time RT-PCR was used to investigate kindlin-2 expression in the AGS, NCI and Hs-746T gastric cancer cell lines co-cultured with TAMs under normal or hypoxic conditions. IL8, IL10, IL11, IL17b, IL18, IL22 and IL24 expressions were measured by real-time RT-PCR in the gastric cancer lines with varying levels of kindlin-2 expression, as well as after downregulation of kindlin-2 mRNA expression by the siRNA method. We found that kindlin-2 was upregulated in all three gastric cancer cell lines when co-cultured with TAMs under normal conditions. Under hypoxic conditions, the induction of kindlin-2 expression induced by macrophages was significantly downregulated in the Hs-746T cell line. IL8, IL11, IL17b, IL22 and IL24 expression was significantly higher in gastric cell lines with high kindlin-2 expression. Downregulation of kindlin-2 mRNA decreased IL10, IL11, IL17b, IL22 and IL24 expression but IL8 and IL18 expression was upregulated. Therefore, the novel focal adhesion gene kindlin-2 may play an important role in promoting the invasion of gastric cancer cells mediated by TAMs through regulating interleukin expression.

Shin SY, Choi C, Lee HG, et al.
Transcriptional regulation of the interleukin-11 gene by oncogenic Ras.
Carcinogenesis. 2012; 33(12):2467-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-11 (IL-11), which belongs to a class of IL6-type cytokines, plays an important role in inflammation, motility and invasion in cancer. The ras mutation is frequently found in human cancer, but little is known regarding the transcriptional activation of the IL-11 gene by the Ras signal pathway in tumour cells. In this study, we investigated the role of Ras in the regulation of IL-11 using two different cell model systems: mouse NIH3T3 cells over-expressing oncogenic Ras with a tet-on system and Capan-1 human pancreatic carcinoma cells harbouring a K-ras mutation. We found that IL-11 expression was up-regulated at the transcriptional level by oncogenic Ras. Activation of the AP-1 response element, located between -153 and -30 in the 5'-regulatory region of the IL-11 gene, was necessary for oncogenic Ras-induced IL-11 promoter activation. AP-1 proteins, including Fra-1 and Fra-2, were up-regulated through the Raf/MEK and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathways by oncogenic Ras. Knockdown of Fra-1 by siRNA in NIH3T3 or Capan-1 cells strongly attenuated oncogenic Ras-induced IL-11 expression. Additionally, inhibition of JNK, p38 and Stat3 abrogated oncogenic Ras-induced IL-11 expression. These results suggest that both the PI3K and Raf pathways are necessary for the expression of IL-11 in oncogenic Ras-mutated cells, and that JNK, p38 and Stat3 also contribute to oncogenic Ras-induced IL-11 expression.

Juárez P, Mohammad KS, Yin JJ, et al.
Halofuginone inhibits the establishment and progression of melanoma bone metastases.
Cancer Res. 2012; 72(23):6247-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/06/2017 Related Publications
TGF-β derived from bone fuels melanoma bone metastases by inducing tumor secretion of prometastatic factors that act on bone cells to change the skeletal microenvironment. Halofuginone is a plant alkaloid derivative that blocks TGF-β signaling with antiangiogenic and antiproliferative properties. Here, we show for the first time that halofuginone therapy decreases development and progression of bone metastasis caused by melanoma cells through the inhibition of TGF-β signaling. Halofuginone treatment of human melanoma cells inhibited cell proliferation, phosphorylation of SMAD proteins in response to TGF-β, and TGF-β-induced SMAD-driven transcription. In addition, halofuginone reduced expression of TGF-β target genes that enhance bone metastases, including PTHrP, CTGF, CXCR4, and IL11. Also, cell apoptosis was increased in response to halofuginone. In nude mice inoculated with 1205 Lu melanoma cells, a preventive protocol with halofuginone inhibited bone metastasis. The beneficial effects of halofuginone treatment were comparable with those observed with other anti-TGF-β strategies, including systemic administration of SD208, a small-molecule inhibitor of TGF-β receptor I kinase, or forced overexpression of Smad7, a negative regulator of TGF-β signaling. Furthermore, mice with established bone metastases treated with halofuginone had significantly less osteolysis than mice receiving placebo assessed by radiography. Thus, halofuginone is also effective in reducing the progression of melanoma bone metastases. Moreover, halofuginone treatment reduced melanoma metastasis to the brain, showing the potential of this novel treatment against cancer metastasis.

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