Pathophysiological role of microRNA-29 in pancreatic cancer stroma.
ABSTRACT: Dense fibrotic stroma associated with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a major obstacle for drug delivery to the tumor bed and plays a crucial role in pancreatic cancer progression. Current, anti-stromal therapies have failed to improve tumor response to chemotherapy and patient survival. Furthermore, recent studies show that stroma impedes tumor progression, and its complete ablation accelerates PDAC progression. In an effort to understand the molecular mechanisms associated with tumor-stromal interactions, using in vitro and in vivo models and PDAC patient biopsies, we show that the loss of miR-29 is a common phenomenon of activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs)/fibroblasts, the major stromal cells responsible for fibrotic stromal reaction. Loss of miR-29 is correlated with a significant increase in extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, a major component in PDAC stroma. Our in vitro miR-29 gain/loss-of-function studies document the role of miR-29 in PSC-mediated ECM stromal protein accumulation. Overexpression of miR-29 in activated stellate cells reduced stromal deposition, cancer cell viability, and cancer growth in co-culture. Furthermore, the loss of miR-29 in TGF-?1 activated PSCs is SMAD3 dependent. These results provide insights into the mechanistic role of miR-29 in PDAC stroma and its potential use as a therapeutic agent to target PDAC.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a gastrointestinal malignancy with a dismal clinical outcome. Accumulating evidence suggests that activated pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs), the major producers of extracellular matrix (ECM), drive the severe stromal/desmoplastic reaction in PDAC. Furthermore, the crosstalk among PSCs, pancreatic cancer cells (PCCs) as well as other stroma cells can establish a growth-supportive tumor microenvironment (TME) of PDAC, thereby enhancing tumor growth, metastasis, and chemoresistance <i>via</i> various pathways. Recently, targeting stroma has emerged as a promising strategy for PDAC therapy, and several novel strategies have been proposed. The aim of our study is to give a profound review of the role of PSCs in PDAC progression and recent advances in stroma-targeting strategies.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by a prominent desmoplastic/stromal reaction, which contributes to the poor clinical outcome of this disease. Therefore, greater understanding of the stroma development and tumor-stroma interactions is highly required. Pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) are myofibroblast-like cells located in exocrine areas of the pancreas, which as a result of inflammation produced by PDAC migrate and accumulate in the tumor mass, secreting extracellular matrix components and producing the dense PDAC stroma. Currently, only a few orthotopic or ectopic animal tumor models, where PDAC cells are injected into the pancreas or subcutaneous tissue layer, or genetically engineered animals offer tumors that encompass some stromal component. Herein, we report generation of a simple 3D PDAC in vitro micro-tumor model without an addition of external extracellular matrix, which encompasses a rich, dense and active stromal compartment. We have achieved this in vitro model by incorporating PSCs into 3D PDAC cell culture using a modified hanging drop method. It is now known that PSCs are the principal source of fibrosis in the stroma and interact closely with cancer cells to create a tumor facilitatory environment that stimulates local and distant tumor growth. The 3D micro-stroma models are highly reproducible with excellent uniformity, which can be used for PDAC-stroma interaction analysis and high throughput automated drug-screening assays. Additionally, the increased expression of collagenous regions means that molecular based perfusion and cytostaticity of gemcitabine is decreased in our Pancreatic adenocarcinoma stroma spheroids (PDAC-SS) model when compared to spheroids grown without PSCs. We believe this model will allow an improved knowledge of PDAC biology and has the potential to provide an insight into pathways that may be therapeutically targeted to inhibit PSC activation, thereby inhibiting the development of fibrosis in PDAC and interrupting PSC-PDAC cell interactions so as to inhibit cancer progression.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a type of highly lethal malignant tumor. PDAC is locally invasive and is surrounded by a dense desmoplasia or fibrosis, which can involve adjacent vital structures. Previously, the effect of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) of stroma in the progression of PDAC has received more attention, and most in vitro and in vivo studies revealed that PSCs appear to confer biological aggressiveness. However, clinical trials targeting desmoplasia or PSCs showed disappointing results. Recent studies found that stromal components, especially activated PSCs, are able to inhibit the occurrence and progression of PDAC. Inhibition of the stroma or desmoplasia through genetic regulations or drugs accelerates the formation and progression of PDAC. Thus, we hypothesized that in various times and spaces, there is a balance between the tumor epithelia and stroma; once the balance is upset, the tumor traits may undergo certain changes. Therefore, finding the key changing points of this relationship to corrupt or influence it, instead of blindly inhibiting the stroma motivation or simply maintaining stroma activation, will destroy the cooperation or promote the competition and antagonism among cells. This approach may render tumors more vulnerable and thus unable to resist anti-cancer therapies.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by abundant stroma and a hypoxic microenvironment. Pancreatic stellate cells (PSC) are activated by hypoxia and promote excessive desmoplasia, further contributing to the development of hypoxia. We aimed to explore how hypoxia and stroma interact to contribute to invasive growth in PDAC. [18F]HX4 PET/CT was found to be a feasible non-invasive method to assess tumor hypoxia in 42 patients and correlated with HIF1? immunohistochemistry in matched surgical specimens. [18F]HX4 uptake and HIF1? were strong prognostic markers for overall survival. Co-culture and medium transfer experiments demonstrated that hypoxic PSCs and their supernatant induce upregulation of mesenchymal markers in tumor cells, and that hypoxia-induced stromal factors drive invasive growth in hypoxic PDACs. Through stepwise selection, stromal MMP10 was identified as the most likely candidate responsible for this. In conclusion, hypoxia-activated PSCs promote the invasiveness of PDAC through paracrine signaling. The identification of PSC-derived MMP10 may provide a lead to develop novel stroma-targeting therapies.
Project description:In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the tumor stroma constitutes most of the cell mass and contributes to therapy resistance and progression. Here we show a hitherto unknown metabolic cooperation between pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) and tumor cells through Interleukin 17B/Interleukin 17B receptor (IL-17B/IL-17RB) signaling. Tumor-derived IL-17B carrying extracellular vesicles (EVs) activated stromal PSCs and induced the expression of IL-17RB. PSCs increased oxidative phosphorylation while reducing mitochondrial turnover. PSCs activated tumor cells in a feedback loop. Tumor cells subsequently increased oxidative phosphorylation and decreased glycolysis partially via IL-6. In vivo, IL-17RB overexpression in PSCs accelerated tumor growth in a co-injection xenograft mouse model. Our results demonstrate a tumor-to-stroma feedback loop increasing tumor metabolism to accelerate tumor growth under optimal nutritional conditions.
Project description:Pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) are important players in pancreatic fibrosis and are major contributors to the extracellular matrix proteins observed with the stromal response characteristic of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Pancreatic stellate cells are also believed to secrete soluble factors that promote tumor progression; however, no comprehensive analysis of the PSC proteome in either the quiescent or the activated state has been reported.Using 2-dimensional tandem mass spectrometry and the RLT-PSC cell line, we present the first comprehensive study describing and comparing the quiescent and activated human PSC-secreted proteomes.Very few proteins are secreted in the quiescent state. In stark contrast, activated PSCs secreted a vast array of proteins. Many of these proteins differed from those secreted by PDAC-derived cell lines. Proteins associated with wound healing, proliferation, apoptosis, fibrosis, and invasion were characterized. Selected proteins were verified in human tissue samples from PDAC, dysplastic pancreas, and normal pancreas using Western blot analysis and immunohistochemical staining.Our study represents the first comprehensive analysis of proteins secreted by PSCs. These findings lay the foundation for characterizing PSC-derived proteins involved in stroma-tumor interactions and the promotion of pancreatitis and PDAC.
Project description:Activation of pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) initiates pancreatic fibrosis in chronic pancreatitis and furnishes a niche that enhances the malignancy of pancreatic cancer cells (PCCs) in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). Resveratrol (RSV), a natural polyphenol, exhibits potent antioxidant and anticancer effects. However, whether and how RSV influences the biological properties of activated PSCs and the effects of these changes on tumor remain unknown. In the present study, we found that RSV impeded hydrogen peroxide-driven reactive oxygen species- (ROS-) induced activation, invasion, migration, and glycolysis of PSCs. In addition, miR-21 expression in activated PSCs was downregulated after RSV treatment, whereas the PTEN protein level increased. miR-21 silencing attenuated ROS-induced activation, invasion, migration, and glycolysis of PSCs, whereas the overexpression of miR-21 rescued the responses of PSCs treated with RSV. Moreover, RSV or N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) administration or miR-21 knockdown in PSCs reduced the invasion and migration of PCCs in coculture, and the effects of RSV were partly reversed by miR-21 upregulation. Collectively, RSV inhibits PCC invasion and migration through suppression of ROS/miR-21-mediated activation and glycolysis in PSCs. Therefore, targeting miR-21-mediated glycolysis by RSV in tumor stroma may serve as a new strategy for clinical PDAC prevention or treatment.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by an extremely dense fibrotic stroma, which contributes to tumor growth, metastasis, and drug resistance. During tumorigenesis, quiescent pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs) are activated and become major contributors to fibrosis, by increasing growth factor signaling and extracellular matrix deposition. The p53 tumor suppressor is known to restrict tumor initiation and progression through cell autonomous mechanisms including apoptosis, cell cycle arrest, and senescence. There is growing evidence that stromal p53 also exerts anti-tumor activity by paracrine mechanisms, though a role for stromal p53 in PDAC has not yet been described. Here, we demonstrate that activation of stromal p53 exerts anti-tumor effects in PDAC. We show that primary cancer-associated PSCs (caPSCs) isolated from human PDAC express wild-type p53, which can be activated by the Mdm2 antagonist Nutlin-3a. Our work reveals that p53 acts as a major regulator of PSC activation and as a modulator of PDAC fibrosis. In vitro, p53 activation by Nutlin-3a induces profound transcriptional changes, which reprogram activated PSCs to quiescence. Using immunofluorescence and lipidomics, we have also found that p53 activation induces lipid droplet accumulation in both normal and tumor-associated fibroblasts, revealing a previously undescribed role for p53 in lipid storage. In vivo, treatment of tumor-bearing mice with the clinical form of Nutlin-3a induces stromal p53 activation, reverses caPSCs activation, and decreases fibrosis. All together our work uncovers new functions for stromal p53 in PDAC.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by an abundance of stroma. Multiple molecular classification efforts have identified a mesenchymal tumor subtype that is consistently characterized by high-grade growth and poor clinical outcome. The relation between PDAC stroma and tumor subtypes is still unclear. Here, we aimed to identify how PDAC cells instruct the main cellular component of stroma, the pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs). We found in primary tissue that high-grade PDAC had reduced collagen deposition compared to low-grade PDAC. Xenografts and organotypic co-cultures established from mesenchymal-like PDAC cells featured reduced collagen and activated PSC content. Medium transfer experiments using a large set of PDAC cell lines revealed that mesenchymal-like PDAC cells consistently downregulated ACTA2 and COL1A1 expression in PSCs and reduced proliferation. We identified colony-stimulating factor 1 as the mesenchymal PDAC-derived ligand that deactivates PSCs, and inhibition of its receptor CSF1R was able to counteract this effect. In conclusion, high-grade PDAC features stroma that is low in collagen and activated PSC content, and targeting CSF1R offers direct options to maintain a tumor-restricting microenvironment.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is characterized by an abundance of stroma. Multiple molecular classification efforts have identified a mesenchymal tumor subtype that is consistently characterized by high-grade growth and poor clinical outcome. The relation between PDAC stroma and tumor subtypes is still unclear. Here, we aimed to identify how PDAC cells instruct the main cellular component of stroma, the pancreatic stellate cells (PSCs). We found in primary tissue that high-grade PDAC has reduced collagen deposition compared to low-grade PDAC. Xenografts and organotypic co-cultures established from mesenchymal-like PDAC cells features reduced collagen and activated PSC content. Medium transfer experiments using a large set of PDAC cell lines revealed that mesenchymal-like PDAC cells consistently downregulate ACTA2 and COL1A1 expression in PSCs and reduce proliferation. We identified colony stimulating factor 1 as the mesenchymal PDAC-derived ligand that deactivates PSCs, and inhibition of its receptor CSF1R is able to counteract this effect. In conclusion, high-grade PDAC features stroma that is low in collagen and activated PSC content, and targeting CSF1R offers direct options to maintain a tumor-restricting microenvironment.