Collagen Remodeling in the Hypoxic Tumor-Mesothelial Niche Promotes Ovarian Cancer Metastasis.
ABSTRACT: Peritoneal metastases are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Accumulating evidence suggests that mesothelial cells are an important component of the metastatic microenvironment in HGSOC. However, the mechanisms by which mesothelial cells promote metastasis are unclear. Here, we report that the HGSOC tumor-mesothelial niche was hypoxic, and hypoxic signaling enhanced collagen I deposition by mesothelial cells. Specifically, hypoxic signaling increased expression of lysyl oxidase (LOX) in mesothelial and ovarian cancer cells to promote collagen crosslinking and tumor cell invasion. The mesothelial niche was enriched with fibrillar collagen in human and murine omental metastases. Pharmacologic inhibition of LOX reduced tumor burden and collagen remodeling in murine omental metastases. These findings highlight an important role for hypoxia and mesothelial cells in the modification of the extracellular matrix and tumor invasion in HGSOC. SIGNIFICANCE: This study identifies HIF/LOX signaling as a potential therapeutic target to inhibit collagen remodeling and tumor progression in HGSOC.Graphical Abstract: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/79/9/2271/F1.large.jpg.
Project description:Tumor cell metastasis is facilitated by "premetastatic niches" formed in destination organs by invading bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs). Lysyl oxidase (LOX) is critical for premetastatic niche formation. LOX secreted by hypoxic breast tumor cells accumulates at premetastatic sites, crosslinks collagen IV in the basement membrane, and is essential for CD11b+ myeloid cell recruitment. CD11b+ cells adhere to crosslinked collagen IV and produce matrix metalloproteinase-2, which cleaves collagen, enhancing the invasion and recruitment of BMDCs and metastasizing tumor cells. LOX inhibition prevents CD11b+ cell recruitment and metastatic growth. CD11b+ cells and LOX also colocalize in biopsies of human metastases. Our findings demonstrate a critical role for LOX in premetastatic niche formation and support targeting LOX for the treatment and prevention of metastatic disease.
Project description:Ascitic multicellular aggregates (MCAs) promote peritoneal metastasis of ovarian cancer. The aim of the present study was to elucidate the role of cancer?associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in MCA formation and metastasis in patients with high?grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC). Immunohistochemistry was used to identify the cell phenotypes and the presence of CAFs in ascitic MCAs. The role of CAFs in tumor?cell MCA formation was assessed by co?culture in suspension. Primary ascitic tumor cells and omental CAFs were used to generate ex vivo MCAs in hanging drops, and the invasiveness of MCAs was evaluated by mesothelial clearance and adhesion assays in vitro and in vivo. MCAs containing CAFs and tumor cells were identified in the ascitic fluid. CAFs facilitated tumor cell aggregation and compaction to form MCAs, and enhanced the mesothelial clearance and adhesion abilities of tumor?cell MCAs. These findings suggest that ascitic CAFs promote peritoneal metastasis by forming heterotypic aggregates with tumor cells, and that they may serve as potential targets for the treatment of HGSOC.
Project description:Ovarian cancer (OvCa) metastasizes to organs in the abdominal cavity, such as the omentum, which are covered by a single layer of mesothelial cells. Mesothelial cells are generally thought to be "bystanders" to the metastatic process and simply displaced by OvCa cells to access the submesothelial extracellular matrix. Here, using organotypic 3D cultures, we found that primary human mesothelial cells secrete fibronectin in the presence of OvCa cells. Moreover, we evaluated the tumor stroma of 108 human omental metastases and determined that fibronectin was consistently overexpressed in these patients. Blocking fibronectin production in primary mesothelial cells in vitro or in murine models, either genetically (fibronectin 1 floxed mouse model) or via siRNA, decreased adhesion, invasion, proliferation, and metastasis of OvCa cells. Using a coculture model, we determined that OvCa cells secrete TGF-?1, which in turn activates a TGF-? receptor/RAC1/SMAD-dependent signaling pathway in the mesothelial cells that promotes a mesenchymal phenotype and transcriptional upregulation of fibronectin. Additionally, blocking ?5 or ?1 integrin function with antibodies reduced metastasis in an orthotopic preclinical model of OvCa metastasis. These findings indicate that cancer-associated mesothelial cells promote colonization during the initial steps of OvCa metastasis and suggest that mesothelial cells actively contribute to metastasis.
Project description:The tumor microenvironment (TME) plays a pivotal role in cancer progression, and, in ovarian cancer (OvCa), the primary TME is the omentum. Here, we show that the diabetes drug metformin alters mesothelial cells in the omental microenvironment. Metformin interrupts bidirectional signaling between tumor and mesothelial cells by blocking OvCa cell TGF-? signaling and mesothelial cell production of CCL2 and IL-8. Inhibition of tumor-stromal crosstalk by metformin is caused by the reduced expression of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) enzyme succinyl CoA ligase (SUCLG2). Through repressing this TCA enzyme and its metabolite, succinate, metformin activated prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs), resulting in the degradation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1? (HIF1?) in mesothelial cells. Disruption of HIF1?-driven IL-8 signaling in mesothelial cells by metformin results in reduced OvCa invasion in an organotypic 3D model. These findings indicate that tumor-promoting signaling between mesothelial and OvCa cells in the TME can be targeted using metformin.
Project description:Tumor microenvironmental hypoxia induces hypoxia inducible factor-1? (HIF-1?) overexpression, leading to the release of lysyl oxidase (LOX), which crosslinks collagen at distant sites to facilitate environmental changes that allow cancer cells to easily metastasize. Our previous study showed that activation of the P2Y2 receptor (P2Y2R) by ATP released from MDA-MB-231 cells increased MDA-MB-231 cell invasion through endothelial cells. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the role of P2Y2R in breast cancer cell metastasis to distant sites. ATP or UTP released from hypoxia-treated MDA-MB-231 cells induced HIF-1? expression and LOX secretion by the activation of P2Y2R, and this phenomenon was significantly reduced in P2Y2R-depleted MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, P2Y2R-mediated LOX release induced collagen crosslinking in an in vitro model. Finally, nude mice injected with MDA-MB-231 cells showed high levels of LOX secretion, crosslinked collagen and CD11b+ BMDC recruitment in the lung; however, mice that were injected with P2Y2R-depleted MDA-MB-231 cells did not exhibit these changes. These results demonstrate that P2Y2R plays an important role in activation of the HIF-1?-LOX axis, the induction of collagen crosslinking and the recruitment of CD11b+ BMDCs. Furthermore, P2Y2R activation by nucleotides recruits THP-1 monocytes, resulting in primary tumor progression and pre-metastatic niche formation.
Project description:Background: Transcoelomic spread is the major route of metastasis of ovarian high-grade serous carcinoma (HGSC) with the omentum as the major metastatic site. Its unique tumor microenvironment with its large populations of adipocytes, mesothelial cells and immune cells establishes an intercellular signaling network that is instrumental for metastatic growth yet poorly understood. Methods: Based on transcriptomic analysis of tumor cells, tumor-associated immune and stroma cells we defined intercellular signaling pathways for 284 cytokines and growth factors and their cognate receptors after bioinformatic adjustment for contaminating cell types. The significance of individual components of this network was validated by analyzing clinical correlations and potentially pro-metastatic functions, including tumor cell migration, pro-inflammatory signal transduction and TAM expansion. Results: The data show an unexpected prominent role of host cells, and in particular of omental adipocytes, mesothelial cells and fibroblasts (CAF), in sustaining this signaling network. These cells, rather than tumor cells, are the major source of most cytokines and growth factors in the omental microenvironment (n=176 versus n=13). Many of these factors target tumor cells, are linked to metastasis and are associated with a short survival. Likewise, tumor stroma cells play a major role in both extracellular-matrix-triggered and lipid-mediated signaling. We have verified the functional significance of our observations for three exemplary instances. We show that the omental microenvironment (i) stimulates tumor cell migration via WNT4 which is highly expressed by CAF; (ii) induces pro-tumorigenic TAM proliferation in conjunction with high CSF1 expression by omental stroma cells and (iii) triggers pro-inflammatory signaling, at least in part via a HSP70 – NFkB pathway. Conclusions: The intercellular signaling network of omental metastases is majorly dependent on factors secreted by immune and stroma cells to provide an environment that supports ovarian HGSC progression. Clinically relevant pathways within this network represent novel options for therapeutic intervention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Abdominal surgery and disease cause persistent abdominal adhesions, pelvic pain, infertility and occasionally, bowel obstruction. Current treatments are ineffective and the aetiology is unclear, although excessive collagen deposition is a consistent feature. Lysyl oxidase (Lox) is a key enzyme required for crosslinking and deposition of insoluble collagen, so we investigated whether targeting Lox might be an approach to reduce abdominal adhesions.<h4>Methods</h4>Female C57Bl/6 mice were treated intraperitoneally with multiwalled carbon nanotubes (NT) to induce fibrosis, together with chemical (ß-aminoproprionitrile-BAPN) or miRNA Lox inhibitors, progesterone or dexamethasone. Fibrotic lesions on the diaphragm, and expression of fibrosis-related genes in abdominal wall peritoneal mesothelial cells (PMC) were measured. Effects of BAPN and dexamethasone on collagen fibre alignment were observed by TEM. Isolated PMC were cultured with interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1?) and progesterone to determine effects on Lox mRNA in vitro.<h4>Results</h4>NT-induced fibrosis and collagen deposition on the diaphragm was ameliorated by BAPN, Lox miRNA, or steroids. BAPN and dexamethasone disrupted collagen fibres. NT increased PMC Lox, Col1a1, Col3a1 and Bmp1 mRNA, which was inhibited by steroids. Progesterone significantly inhibited IL-1? induced Lox expression by PMC in vitro.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our results provide proof-of-concept that targeting peritoneal Lox could be an effective approach in ameliorating fibrosis and adhesion development.