The aim of this study was to investigate the prognostic value of chemokine receptor CCR7 expression and intratumoral FOXP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) in gastric cancer. CCR7(+) tumor cells and FOXP3(+) Tregs were assessed by immunohistochemistry in tissue microarrays containing gastric cancer from 133 patients. Prognostic effects of low or high CCR7 and FOXP3 expression were evaluated by Cox regression and Kaplan-Meier analysis, as well as the correlation between CCR7 positive score and intratumoral FOXP3(+) cell number in a longitudinal assessment. The analysis showed that the high expression levels of CCR7 and FOXP3 were detected in 69.9% and 65.4% of cases, respectively. High CCR7 expression in gastric cancer cells was significantly associated with poor overall survival (OS) (P = 0.010) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.009), and was an independent factor for worse OS (P = 0.023) by multivariate analysis. High numbers of intratumoral FOXP3(+) Tregs significantly correlated with shorter OS (P = 0.021) and lymph node metastasis (P = 0.024), and was also an independent factor for adverse OS (P = 0.035). Furthermore, there was a significantly positive correlation between CCR7 positive score and intratumoral FOXP3(+) cell number (r = 0.949, P<0.001). These results revealed that CCR7 expression in gastric cancer cells and intratumoral FOXP3(+) Tregs could be considered as a co-indicator of clinical prognosis of gastric cancer.
CCL21 is known to attract dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells that may reverse tumor-mediated immune suppression. The massive infiltration of tumors by regulatory T cells (Tregs) prevents the development of a successful helper immune response. In this study, we investigated whether elimination of CD4(+) CD25(+) Tregs in the tumor microenvironment using anti-CD25 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) was capable of enhancing CCL21-mediated antitumor immunity in a mouse hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) model. We found that CCL21 in combination with anti-CD25 mAbs (PC61) resulted in improved antitumor efficacy and prolonged survival, not only inhibited tumor angiogenesis and cell proliferation, but also led to significant increases in the frequency of CD4(+), CD8(+) T cells and CD11c(+) DCs within the tumor, coincident with marked induction of tumor-specific CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) at the local tumor site. The intratumoral immune responses were accompanied by the enhanced elaboration of IL-12 and IFN-?, but reduced release of the immunosuppressive mediators IL-10 and TGF-?1. The results indicated that depletion of Tregs in the tumor microenvironment could enhance CCL21-mediated antitumor immunity, and CCL21 combined with anti-CD25 mAbs may be a more effective immunotherapy to promote tumor rejection.
Our pilot study using miRNA arrays found that miRNA-29c (miR-29c) is differentially expressed in the paired low-metastatic lung cancer cell line 95C compared to the high-metastatic lung cancer cell line 95D. Bioinformatics analysis shows that integrin ?1 and matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2) could be important target genes of miR-29c. Therefore, we hypothesized that miR-29c suppresses lung cancer cell adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) and metastasis by targeting integrin ?1 and MMP2. The gain-of-function studies that raised miR-29c expression in 95D cells by using its mimics showed reductions in cell proliferation, adhesion to ECM, invasion and migration. In contrasts, loss-of-function studies that reduced miR-29c by using its inhibitor in 95C cells promoted proliferation, adhesion to ECM, invasion and migration. Furthermore, the dual-luciferase reporter assay demonstrated that miR-29c inhibited the expression of the luciferase gene containing the 3-UTRs of integrin ?1 and MMP2 mRNA. Western blotting indicated that miR-29c downregulated the expression of integrin ?1 and MMP2 at the protein level. Gelatin zymography analysis further confirmed that miR-29c decreased MMP2 enzyme activity. Nude mice with xenograft models of lung cancer cells confirmed that miR-29c inhibited lung cancer metastasis in vivo, including bone and liver metastasis. Taken together, our results demonstrate that miR-29c serves as a tumor metastasis suppressor, which suppresses lung cancer cell adhesion to ECM and metastasis by directly inhibiting integrin ?1 and MMP2 expression and by further reducing MMP2 enzyme activity. The results show that miR-29c may be a novel therapeutic candidate target to slow lung cancer metastasis.
Angiogenesis is essential for the growth and metastasis of cancer. Although anti-angiogenic agents, particularly vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors, have exhibited single-agent activity, there is considerable interest in combining these novel drugs with conventional chemotherapy reagents to achieve an optimal clinical efficacy. The objective of this study was to evaluate the benefits of the combination therapy of vascular endothelial growth factor trap (VEGF-Trap) with gemcitabine in a lung tumor model.
Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a cellular process during which epithelial polarized cells become motile mesenchymal-appearing cells, which in turn promotes carcinoma invasion and metastasis. Resveratrol (trans-3,4,5-trihydroxystilbene) is a natural polyphenolic compound found in grapes, red wine and several other plants. Numerous reports in the literature indicate that resveratrol can suppress cancer invasion and metastasis. However, the underlying mechanisms of inhibiting metastasis by resveratrol are complex, not fully elucidated and the subject of intense scientific debate. Despite evidence indicating that EMT can be a target for resveratrol, little is known about the effect of resveratrol on lung cancer cells. Our previous studies demonstrated that TGF-?1 induces EMT to promote lung adenocarcinoma invasion and metastasis. To understand the repressive role of resveratrol in lung cancer invasion and metastasis, we sought to investigate the potential use of resveratrol as an inhibitor of TGF-?1-induced EMT development in A549 lung cancer cells in vitro. Here we show that when A549 cells are treated with TGF-?1 and resveratrol, the latter inhibits the initiation of TGF-?1-induced EMT. Our results show that 20 ?M resveratrol increases expression of the epithelial phenotype marker E-cadherin and represses the expression of the mesenchymal phenotype markers, Fibronectin and Vimentin during the initiation of TGF-?1-induced EMT. Resveratrol also inhibits expression of EMT-inducing transcription factors Snail1 and Slug, although the expression of the Twist1 transcription factor remained unchanged. Resveratrol inhibits the TGF-?1-induced increase in cell adhesion, migration and invasion of A549 lung cancer cells. Taken together, our findings provide new evidence that resveratrol suppresses lung cancer invasion and metastasis in vitro through inhibiting TGF-?1-induced EMT.
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