NPPB is a novel candidate biomarker expressed by cancer-associated fibroblasts in epithelial ovarian cancer.
ABSTRACT: Most solid tumors contain cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) that support tumorigenesis and malignant progression. However, the cellular origins of CAFs in epithelial ovarian cancers (EOCs) remain poorly understood, and their utility as a source of clinical biomarkers for cancer diagnosis has not been explored in great depth. Here, we report establishing in vitro and in vivo models of CAFs in ovarian cancer development. Normal ovarian fibroblasts and mesenchymal stem cells cultured in the presence of EOC cells acquired a CAF-like phenotype, and promoted EOC cell migration in vitro. CAFs also promoted ovarian cancer growth in vivo in both subcutaneous and intraperitoneal murine xenograft assays. Molecular profiling of CAFs identified gene expression signatures that were highly enriched for extracellular and secreted proteins. We identified novel candidate CAF-specific biomarkers for ovarian cancer including NPPB, which was expressed in the stroma of 60% primary ovarian cancer tissues (n?=?145) but not in the stroma of normal ovaries (n?=?4). NPPB is a secreted protein that was also elevated in the blood of 50% of women with ovarian cancer (n?=?8). Taken together, these data suggest that the tumor stroma is a novel source of biomarkers, including NPPB, that may be of clinical utility for detection of EOC.
Project description:The Cancer Genome Atlas network has revealed that the 'mesenchymal' epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) subtype represents the poorest outcome, indicating a crucial role of stromal cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in disease progression. The cooperative role of CAFs in EOC metastasis has long been recognized, but the mechanisms of stromal CAFs activation are still obscure. Therefore, we carried out an integrative analysis to identify the regulator genes that are responsible for CAFs activation in microdissected tumor stroma profiles. Here, we determined that myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate (MARCKS) was highly expressed in ovarian stroma, and was required for the differentiation and tumor promoting function of CAFs. Suppression of MARCKS resulted in the loss of CAF features, and diminished role of CAFs in supporting tumor cell growth in 3D organotypic cultures and in murine xenograft model. Mechanistically, we found that MARCKS maintained CAF activation through suppression of cellular senescence and activation of the AKT/Twist1 signaling. Moreover, high MARCKS expression was associated with poor patient survival in EOC. Collectively, our findings identify the potential of MARCKS inhibition as a novel stroma-oriented therapy in EOC.
Project description:Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) constitutes a major gynecological malignancy, with a reported incidence rate of 3-12/100 000 woman annually. As early symptoms of ovarian cancer are often clinically atypical or absent, the majority of ovarian cancer patients are diagnosed at a late stage, when the five-year survival rate is extremely low. This condition underscores the urgency of early detection of these patients and establishment of new therapeutic targets for successful intervention. Considering that the predominant biological characteristic that differentiates malignant from benign tumors is the ability to metastasize, it is necessary to identify novel metastasis-related molecules for ovarian cancer. In this study, we found that CAFs could significantly increase the metastatic potential of ovarian cancer cells compared with non-cancer associated fibroblasts(NAFs), which is associated with over-expression of CXCL14 in CAFs. We examined the impact of CAF-secreted CXCL14 on the lncRNA expression profiles in ovarian cancer during metastasis. We treated A2780s ovarian cancer cell line with recombinant CXCL14 protein and control respectively and subjected them to Arraystar Human LncRNA microarray v3.0 to profile differential lncRNAs in ovarian cancer upon treatment of CXCL14
Project description:Adrenergic signaling is known to promote tumor growth and metastasis, but the effects on tumor stroma are not well understood. An unbiased bioinformatics approach analyzing tumor samples from patients with known biobehavioral profiles identified a prominent stromal signature associated with cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in those with a high biobehavioral risk profile (high Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale [CES-D] score and low social support). In several models of epithelial ovarian cancer, daily restraint stress resulted in significantly increased CAF activation and was abrogated by a nonspecific β-blocker. Adrenergic signaling-induced CAFs had significantly higher levels of collagen and extracellular matrix components than control tumors. Using a systems-based approach, we found INHBA production by cancer cells to induce CAFs. Ablating inhibin β A decreased CAF phenotype both in vitro and in vivo. In preclinical models of breast and colon cancers, there were increased CAFs and collagens following daily restraint stress. In an independent data set of renal cell carcinoma patients, there was an association between high depression (CES-D) scores and elevated expression of ACTA2, collagens, and inhibin β A. Collectively, our findings implicate adrenergic influences on tumor stroma as important drivers of CAFs and establish inhibin β A as an important regulator of the CAF phenotype in ovarian cancer.
Project description:Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are a prominent stromal cell type in solid tumors and molecules secreted by CAFs play an important role in tumor progression and metastasis. CAFs coexist as heterogeneous populations with potentially different biological functions. Although CAFs are a major component of the breast cancer stroma, molecular and phenotypic heterogeneity of CAFs in breast cancer is poorly understood. In this study, we investigated CAF heterogeneity in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) using a syngeneic mouse model, BALB/c-derived 4T1 mammary tumors. Using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), we identified six CAF subpopulations in 4T1 tumors including: 1) myofibroblastic CAFs, enriched for ?-smooth muscle actin and several other contractile proteins; 2) 'inflammatory' CAFs with elevated expression of inflammatory cytokines; and 3) a CAF subpopulation expressing major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II proteins that are generally expressed in antigen-presenting cells. Comparison of 4T1-derived CAFs to CAFs from pancreatic cancer revealed that these three CAF subpopulations exist in both tumor types. Interestingly, cells with inflammatory and MHC class II-expressing CAF profiles were also detected in normal breast/pancreas tissue, suggesting that these phenotypes are not tumor microenvironment-induced. This work enhances our understanding of CAF heterogeneity, and specifically targeting these CAF subpopulations could be an effective therapeutic approach for treating highly aggressive TNBCs.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) shows a rich stroma where cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) represent the major cell type. CAFs are master secretors of proteins with pro-tumor features. CAF targeting remains a promising challenge for PDA, a devastating disease where treatments focusing on cancer cells have failed. We previously introduced a novel pharmacological CAF-targeting approach using the somatostatin analog SOM230 (pasireotide) that inhibits protein synthesis in CAFs, and subsequent chemoprotective features of CAF secretome. Using primary cultures of CAF isolated from human PDA resections, we here report that CAF secretome stimulates in vitro cancer cell survival, migration and invasive features, that are abolished when CAFs are treated with SOM230. Mechanistically, SOM230 inhibitory effect on CAFs depends on the somatostatin receptor subtype sst1 expressed in CAFs but not in non-activated pancreatic fibroblasts, and on protein synthesis shutdown through eiF4E-Binding Protein-1 (4E-BP1) expression decrease. We identify interleukin-6 as a SOM230-inhibited CAF-secreted effector, which stimulates cancer cell features through phosphoinositide 3-kinase activation. In vivo, mice orthotopically co-xenografted with the human pancreatic cancer MiaPaCa-2 cells and CAFs develop pancreatic tumors, on which SOM230 treatment does not inhibit growth but abrogates metastasis. Consistently, CAF secretome stimulates epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in cancer cells, which is reversed upon CAF treatment with SOM230. Our results highlight a novel promising anti-metastatic potential for SOM230 indirectly targeting pancreatic cancer cell invasion through pharmacological inhibition of stromal CAFs.
Project description:Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) differentiate into cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) that produce desmoplastic stroma, thereby modulating disease progression and therapeutic response in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA). However, it is unknown whether CAFs uniformly carry out these tasks or if subtypes of CAFs with distinct phenotypes in PDA exist. We identified a CAF subpopulation with elevated expression of ?-smooth muscle actin (?SMA) located immediately adjacent to neoplastic cells in mouse and human PDA tissue. We recapitulated this finding in co-cultures of murine PSCs and PDA organoids, and demonstrated that organoid-activated CAFs produced desmoplastic stroma. The co-cultures showed cooperative interactions and revealed another distinct subpopulation of CAFs, located more distantly from neoplastic cells, which lacked elevated ?SMA expression and instead secreted IL6 and additional inflammatory mediators. These findings were corroborated in mouse and human PDA tissue, providing direct evidence for CAF heterogeneity in PDA tumor biology with implications for disease etiology and therapeutic development.
Project description:Interactions between cancer cells and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play an important role in tumour development and progression. In this study we investigated the functional role of CAFs in oesophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC). We used immunochemistry to analyse a cohort of 183 EAC patients for CAF markers related to disease mortality. We characterized CAFs and normal oesophageal fibroblasts (NOFs) using western blotting, immunofluorescence and gel contraction. Transwell assays, 3D organotypic culture and xenograft models were used to examine the effects on EAC cell function and to dissect molecular mechanisms regulating invasion. Most EACs (93%) contained CAFs with a myofibroblastic (α-SMA-positive) phenotype, which correlated significantly with poor survival [p = 0.016; HR 7. 1 (1.7-29.4)]. Primary CAFs isolated from EACs have a contractile, myofibroblastic phenotype and promote EAC cell invasion in vitro (Transwell assays, p ≤ 0.05; organotypic culture, p < 0.001) and in vivo (p ≤ 0.05). In vitro, this pro-invasive effect is modulated through the matricellular protein periostin. Periostin is secreted by CAFs and acts as a ligand for EAC cell integrins αvβ3 and αvβ5, promoting activation of the PI3kinase-Akt pathway. In patient samples, periostin expression at the tumour cell-stromal interface correlates with poor overall and disease-free survival. Our study highlights the importance of the tumour stroma in EAC progression. Paracrine interaction between CAF-secreted periostin and EAC-expressed integrins results in PI3 kinase-Akt activation and increased tumour cell invasion. Most EACs contain a myofibroblastic CAF-rich stroma; this may explain the aggressive, highly infiltrative nature of the disease, and suggests that stromal targeting may produce therapeutic benefit in EAC patients.
Project description:The stromal microenvironment has key roles in prostate development and cancer, and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) stimulate tumourigenesis via several mechanisms including the expression of pro-tumourigenic factors. Mesenchyme (embryonic stroma) controls prostate organogenesis, and in some circumstances can re-differentiate prostate tumours. We have applied next-generation Tag profiling to fetal human prostate, normal human prostate fibroblasts (NPFs) and CAFs to identify molecules expressed in prostatic stroma. Comparison of gene expression profiles of a patient-matched pair of NPFs vs CAFs identified 671 transcripts that were enriched in CAFs and 356 transcripts whose levels were decreased, relative to NPFs. Gene ontology analysis revealed that CAF-enriched transcripts were associated with prostate morphogenesis and CAF-depleted transcripts were associated with cell cycle. We selected mRNAs to follow-up by comparison of our data sets with published prostate cancer fibroblast microarray profiles as well as by focusing on transcripts encoding secreted and peripheral membrane proteins, as well as mesenchymal transcripts identified in a previous study from our group. We confirmed differential transcript expression between CAFs and NPFs using QrtPCR, and defined protein localization using immunohistochemistry in fetal prostate, adult prostate and prostate cancer. We demonstrated that ASPN, CAV1, CFH, CTSK, DCN, FBLN1, FHL1, FN, NKTR, OGN, PARVA, S100A6, SPARC, STC1 and ZEB1 proteins showed specific and varied expression patterns in fetal human prostate and in prostate cancer. Colocalization studies suggested that some stromally expressed molecules were also expressed in subsets of tumour epithelia, indicating that they may be novel markers of EMT. Additionally, two molecules (ASPN and STC1) marked overlapping and distinct subregions of stroma associated with tumour epithelia and may represent new CAF markers.
Project description:As a significant component in ovarian cancer microenvironment, cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) contribute to cancer progression through interaction with cancer cells. Recent studies demonstrate that interleukin-8 (IL-8) is overexpressed in multiple cancer types and is essential for tumor development. Nonetheless, the underlying mechanism that the CAF-derived IL-8 promotes ovarian tumorigenesis is unknown. Here, we show that IL-8 secreted from CAFs could activate normal ovarian fibroblasts (NFs) through multiple signaling and that IL-8 stimulated malignant growth of ovarian cancer cells in animals and increased the IC<sub>50</sub> of cisplatin (CDDP) in ovarian cancer cells. Further study showed that IL-8 induced cancer cell stemness via the activation of Notch3 and that the high level of IL-8 in ascites was positively correlated with the expression of Notch3 in ovarian cancer tissues. Collectively, IL-8 secreted from CAFs and cancer cells promotes stemness in human ovarian cancer via the activation of the Notch3-mediated signaling, which may provide a novel strategy for ovarian cancer treatment.
Project description:Multiple juxtacrine and paracrine interactions occur between cancer cells and non-cancer cells of the tumor microenvironment (TME) that direct tumor progression. Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs) are an integral component of the TME, and the majority of breast tumor stroma is comprised of CAFs. Heterotypic interactions between cancer cells and non-cancer cells of the TME occur via soluble agents, including cytokines, hormones, growth factors, and secreted microRNAs. We previously identified a microRNA signature indicative of hyperactive MAPK signaling (hMAPK-miRNA signature) that significantly associated with reduced recurrence-free and overall survival. Here we report that the hMAPK-miRNA signature associates with a high metric of stromal cell infiltrate, and we investigate the role of microRNAs, particularly hMAPK-microRNAs, secreted by CAFs on estrogen receptor (ER) expression in breast cancer cells. ER-positive MCF-7/ltE2- cells were treated with conditioned media (CM) from CAFs derived from breast cancers of different PAM50 subtypes (CAFBAS, CAFHER2, and CAFLA). CAF CM isolated specifically from ER-negative primary breast tumors led to ER repression in vitro. Nanoparticle tracking analysis and transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of CAF-secreted exosomes in CM and the uptake of these exosomes by the ER+ MCF-7/ltE2- cells. Differentially expressed microRNAs in CAF CM as well as in MCF-7/ltE2- cells treated with this CM were identified. Knockdown of miR-221/222 in CAFBAS resulted in knockdown of miR221/222 levels in the conditioned media and the CM from CAFBAS; miR221/222 knockdown rescued ER repression in ER-positive cell lines treated with CAFBAS-CM. Collectively, our results demonstrate that CAF-secreted microRNAs are directly involved in ER-repression, and may contribute to the MAPK-induced ER repression in breast cancer cells.