Milk Fat Globule-EGF Factor 8 Contributes to Progression of Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) is an anti-inflammatory glycoprotein that mediates a wide spectrum of pathophysiological processes. MFG-E8 has been studied as a key regulator of cancer cell invasion, migration, and proliferation in different tissues and organs. However, potential roles of MFG-E8 in the growth and progression of liver cancer have not been investigated to date. Here, we analyzed 33 human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) samples and found that levels of MFG-E8 expression were significantly higher in HCC cells than in normal liver tissues. In addition, our in vitro gain-of-function study in three different HCC cell lines revealed that overexpression of MFG-E8 promoted the proliferation and migration of HCC cells, as determined by RT-qPCR, MTT assays, and wound healing analyses. Conversely, an MFG-E8 loss-of function study showed that proliferation capacity was significantly reduced by MFG-E8 knockdown in HCC cells. Additionally, MFG-E8 activity-neutralizing antibodies profoundly inhibited both migration and proliferation of HCC cells, attenuating their tumorigenic properties. These reductions in migration and proliferation were rescued by treatment of HCC cells with recombinant MFG-E8 protein. Furthermore, an in vivo HCC xenograft study showed that the number of proliferating HCC cells and tumor volume/weight were all significantly increased by MFG-E8 overexpression, compared to control mice. These results clearly show that MFG-E8 plays an important role in HCC progression and may provide a basis for future mechanistic studies and new strategies for the treatment of liver cancer.
Project description:Current serum hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) biomarkers are insufficient for early diagnosis. We aimed to clarify whether serum MFG-E8 can serve as a diagnostic or prognostic biomarker of HCC. Serum MFG-E8 levels of 282 HCC patients, who underwent primary hepatectomy, were examined by ELISA. We also quantified serum MFG-E8 levels in patients with chronic hepatitis (CH), liver cirrhosis (LC), as well as in healthy volunteers (HVs). Serum MFG-E8 levels were significantly lower in HCC patients than in HVs regardless of the etiology of liver disease (3.6?±?0.1 vs 5.8?±?0.2?ng/mL, p?<?0.0001), and recovered after treatment of HCC. Serum MFG-E8 levels in CH and LC patients were comparable to those in HVs. Serum MFG-E8 could detect HCCs, even ?-fetoprotein (AFP)-negative or des-?-carboxy prothrombin (DCP)-negative HCCs, in CH and LC patients. Our new HCC prediction model using MFG-E8 and DCP (Logit(p)?=?2.619?-?0.809?×?serum MFG-E8?+?0.0226?×?serum DCP) distinguished HCC patients from CH and LC patients with an area under the curve of 0.923, a sensitivity of 81.1%, and a specificity of 89.8%. Futhermore, low preoperative serum MFG-E8 was an independent predictor of poor overall survival. Thus, serum MFG-E8 could serve as a feasible diagnostic and prognostic biomarker for HCC.
Project description:Milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8)/lactadherin participates in several cell surface-mediated regulatory events. Although its mRNA is present in the gut, the physiological roles of MFG-E8 in the intestinal mucosa have not been explored. Here we show that MFG-E8 was expressed in intestinal lamina propria macrophages from mice. Using a wound-healing assay, MFG-E8 was shown to promote the migration of intestinal epithelial cells through a PKCepsilon-dependent mechanism. MFG-E8 bound to phosphatidylserine and triggered reorientation of the actin cytoskeleton in intestinal epithelial cells at the wound edge. Depleting MFG-E8 in mice by administration of anti-MFG-E8 antibody or targeted deletion of the MFG-E8 gene resulted in a slowing of enterocyte migration along the crypt-villus axis and focal mucosal injury. Moreover, in septic mice, intestinal MFG-E8 expression was downregulated, which correlated with intestinal injury, interrupted enterocyte migration, and impaired restitution. Treatment with recombinant MFG-E8 restored enterocyte migration, whereas deletion of MFG-E8 impeded mucosal healing in mice with sepsis. These results suggest that a decrease in intestinal MFG-E8 impairs intestinal mucosal repair in sepsis. Together, our data indicate that MFG-E8 plays an important role in the maintenance of intestinal epithelial homeostasis and the promotion of mucosal healing and suggest that recombinant MFG-E8 may be beneficial for the treatment of bowel injuries.
Project description:Tumor cells secrete factors that modulate macrophage activation and polarization into M2 type tumor-associated macrophages, which promote tumor growth, progression, and metastasis. The mechanisms that mediate this polarization are not clear. Macrophages are phagocytic cells that participate in the clearance of apoptotic cells, a process known as efferocytosis. Milk fat globule- EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) is a bridge protein that facilitates efferocytosis and is associated with suppression of proinflammatory responses. This study investigated the hypothesis that MFG-E8-mediated efferocytosis promotes M2 polarization. Tissue and serum exosomes from prostate cancer patients presented higher levels of MFG-E8 compared with controls, a novel finding in human prostate cancer. Coculture of macrophages with apoptotic cancer cells increased efferocytosis, elevated MFG-E8 protein expression levels, and induced macrophage polarization into an alternatively activated M2 phenotype. Administration of antibody against MFG-E8 significantly attenuated the increase in M2 polarization. Inhibition of STAT3 phosphorylation using the inhibitor Stattic decreased efferocytosis and M2 macrophage polarization in vitro, with a correlating increase in SOCS3 protein expression. Moreover, MFG-E8 knockdown tumor cells cultured with wild-type or MFG-E8-deficient macrophages resulted in increased SOCS3 expression with decreased STAT3 activation. This suggests that SOCS3 and phospho-STAT3 act in an inversely dependent manner when stimulated by MFG-E8 and efferocytosis. These results uncover a unique role of efferocytosis via MFG-E8 as a mechanism for macrophage polarization into tumor-promoting M2 cells.
Project description:Hepatic ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury is a serious clinical complication that may compromise liver function because of extensive hepatocyte loss. Therefore, the development of novel and effective therapies for hepatic I/R is critical for the improvement of patient outcome. It has been previously shown that administration of milk fat globule-EGF factor VIII (MFG-E8), a membrane-associated secretory glycoprotein, exerts significant beneficial effects under acute inflammatory conditions through multiple physiological processes associated with tissue remodeling.To determine whether administration of recombinant human (rh) MFG-E8 attenuates liver injury in an animal model of hepatic I/R, male adult rats were subjected to 70% hepatic ischemia for 90 min, followed by reperfusion. At the beginning of reperfusion, rats were treated intravenously with normal saline (vehicle) or rhMFG-E8 (160 ?g/kg) over a period of 30 min. MFG-E8 levels and various measurements were assessed 4 h after reperfusion. In addition, survival study was conducted in MFG-E8(-/-) and rhMFG-E8-treated wild-type (WT) mice using a total hepatic ischemia model.Liver and plasma MFG-E8 protein levels were significantly decreased after hepatic I/R. Administration of rhMFG-E8 significantly improved liver injury, suppressed apoptosis, attenuated inflammation and oxidative stress, and downregulated NF-?B pathway. We also noticed that rhMFG-E8 treatment restored the downregulated PPAR-? expression after hepatic I/R. MFG-E8(-/-) mice showed deterioration on survival and, in contrast, rhMFG-E8-treated WT mice showed a significant improvement of survival compared with vehicle-treated WT mice.MFG-E8-mediated multiple physiological events may represent an effective therapeutic option in tissue injury following an episode of hepatic I/R.
Project description:Excessive neutrophil infiltration to the lungs is a hallmark of acute lung injury (ALI). Milk fat globule epidermal growth factor-factor 8 (MFG-E8) was originally identified for phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. Subsequent studies revealed its diverse cellular functions. However, whether MFG-E8 can regulate neutrophil function to alleviate inflammation is unknown. We therefore aimed to reveal MFG-E8 roles in regulating lung neutrophil infiltration during ALI. To induce ALI, C57BL/6J wild-type (WT) and Mfge8(-/-) mice were intratracheally injected with LPS (5 mg/kg). Lung tissue damage was assessed by histology, and the neutrophils were counted by a hemacytometer. Apoptotic cells in lungs were determined by TUNEL, whereas caspase-3 and myeloperoxidase activities were assessed spectrophotometrically. CXCR2 and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 expressions in neutrophils were measured by flow cytometry. Following LPS challenge, Mfge8(-/-) mice exhibited extensive lung damage due to exaggerated infiltration of neutrophils and production of TNF-?, MIP-2, and myeloperoxidase. An increased number of apoptotic cells was trapped into the lungs of Mfge8(-/-) mice compared with WT mice, which may be due to insufficient phagocytosis of apoptotic cells or increased occurrence of apoptosis through the activation of caspase-3. In vitro studies using MIP-2-mediated chemotaxis revealed higher migration of neutrophils of Mfge8(-/-) mice than those of WT mice via increased surface exposures to CXCR2. Administration of recombinant murine MFG-E8 reduces neutrophil migration through upregulation of GRK2 and downregulation of surface CXCR2 expression. Conversely, these effects could be blocked by anti-?(v) integrin Abs. These studies clearly indicate the importance of MFG-E8 in ameliorating neutrophil infiltration and suggest MFG-E8 as a novel therapeutic potential for ALI.
Project description:The phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells is essential to prevent chronic inflammation and autoimmunity. The phosphatidylserine-binding protein milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) is a major opsonin for apoptotic cells, and MFG-E8(-/-) mice spontaneously develop a lupus-like disease. Similar to human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the murine disease is associated with an impaired clearance of apoptotic cells. SLE is routinely treated with glucocorticoids (GCs), whose anti-inflammatory effects are consentaneously attributed to the transrepression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Here, we show that the GC-mediated transactivation of MFG-E8 expression and the concomitantly enhanced elimination of apoptotic cells constitute a novel aspect in this context. Patients with chronic inflammation receiving high-dose prednisone therapy displayed substantially increased MFG-E8 mRNA levels in circulating monocytes. MFG-E8 induction was dependent on the GC receptor and several GC response elements within the MFG-E8 promoter. Most intriguingly, the inhibition of MFG-E8 induction by RNA interference or genetic knockout strongly reduced or completely abolished the phagocytosis-enhancing effect of GCs in vitro and in vivo. Thus, MFG-E8-dependent promotion of apoptotic cell clearance is a novel anti-inflammatory facet of GC treatment and renders MFG-E8 a prospective target for future therapeutic interventions in SLE.
Project description:Abnormal features of the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)-derived neutrophils, promoted aberrant immune response, have inspired new studies of the induction of autoimmunity and the development of organ damage in SLE. In this study, we explore the effect of milk fat globule-EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8) on the aberrant nitrification features in pristane-induced lupus. SLE patients and mice with pristane-induced lupus develop autoantibodies associated with MFG-E8 overproduction. However, the deletion of MFG-E8 leads to uncontrolled early pulmonary and peritoneal inflammation and tissue damage in mice with pristane-induced lupus. Consistent with these findings, MFG-E8-deficient mice that are exposed to pristane show enhanced neutrophil accumulation and increased neutrophil death, including apoptosis, necrosis and NETosis, as well as impaired phagocytosis of macrophages. The consequences are the expansion of diffuse pulmonary hemorrhage, increased anti-nuclear antibody, anti-dsDNA antibody and anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody levels, and enhanced immune complexes deposition and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) formation in the lung and kidney tissues of MFG-E8-deficient mice exposed to pristane. In patients with SLE and mice with pristane-induced lupus, neutrophil accumulation is elevated, which depends on higher expression of the surface receptor CXCR2. After pretreatment with recombinant MFG-E8, the surface expression of CXCR2 on neutrophil is downregulated, and the MFG-E8 deletion increase CXCR2 expression by ~40%. These studies indicate that MFG-E8 reduces neutrophil migration and NETosis via downregulating surface CXCR2 expression in parallel with its role in the phagocytosis of apoptotic neutrophils, suggesting that MFG-E8 may serve as a therapeutic agent for attenuating the early inflammatory responses of SLE and protect patients from lupus-related damage.
Project description:During the involution of mammary glands, epithelial cells undergo apoptosis and are cleared for the next cycle of lactation. The clearance of apoptotic epithelial cells is mediated by neighboring epithelial cells and by macrophages that migrate into the mammary glands. Here, we report that milk fat globule EGF factor 8 (MFG-E8), a secreted glycoprotein that binds to apoptotic cells by recognizing phosphatidylserine, was expressed by epithelial cells and macrophages in mammary glands and was involved in engulfment of apoptotic cells. A deficiency of MFG-E8 caused the accumulation of a large number of milk fat globules (MFGs) in the mammary ducts during involution, indicating that the excess MFGs were cleared by an MFG-E8-dependent mechanism. The MFG-E8(-/-) mice developed mammary duct ectasia with periductal mastitis, and the redevelopment of the mammary gland for their second litter was impaired. These results demonstrate that MFG-E8-mediated phagocytosis of apoptotic epithelial cells and MFGs is important for efficient involution of mammary glands.
Project description:The milk fat globule-EGF-factor 8 protein (MFG-E8) has been identified in various tissues, where it has an important role in intercellular interactions, cellular migration, and neovascularization. Previous studies showed that MFG-E8 is expressed in different cell types under normal and pathophysiological conditions, but its expression in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during hematopoiesis has not been reported. In the present study, we investigated MFG-E8 expression in multiple hematopoietic tissues at different stages of mouse embryogenesis. Using immunohistochemistry, we showed that MFG-E8 was specifically expressed in CD34(+) HSCs at all hematopoietic sites, including the yolk sac, aorta-gonad-mesonephros region, placenta and fetal liver, during embryogenesis. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting and polymerase chain reaction analyses demonstrated that CD34(+) cells, purified from the fetal liver, expressed additional HSC markers, c-Kit and Sca-1, and that these CD34(+) cells, but not CD34(-) cells, highly expressed MFG-E8. We also found that MFG-E8 was not expressed in HSCs in adult mouse bone marrow, and that its expression was confined to F4/80(+) macrophages. Together, this study demonstrates, for the first time, that MFG-8 is expressed in fetal HSC populations, and that MFG-E8 may have a role in embryonic hematopoiesis.
Project description:Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury causes acute renal failure, and the hallmarks of renal ischemia-reperfusion injury are inflammation, apoptosis, necrosis, and capillary dysfunction. Milk fat globule-epidermal growth factor-factor VIII (MFG-E8), a membrane-associated secretory glycoprotein, is produced by immune cells and reported to participate in multiple physiologic processes associated with tissue remodeling. We have recently shown that MFG-E8 treatment attenuates organ injury, inflammatory responses, and survival after sepsis through the enhancement of phagocytosis of apoptotic cells. The purpose of this study was to determine whether administration of MFG-E8 attenuates renal ischemia-reperfusion injury.Prospective, controlled, and randomized animal study.: A research institute laboratory.Male C57BL/6J mice (20-25 g).: Renal ischemia-reperfusion injury with bilateral renal pedicle clamping for 45 mins, followed by reperfusion. A recombinant murine MFG-E8 (0.4 ?g/20 g) was given intraperitoneally at the beginning of reperfusion.MFG-E8 levels, organ injury variables, inflammatory responses, histology, apoptosis, and capillary functions were assessed at 1.5 and 20 hrs after reperfusion. A 60-hr survival study was conducted in MFG-E8 and recombinant murine MFG-E8-treated wild-type mice. After renal ischemia-reperfusion injury, MFG-E8 mRNA and protein expressions were significantly decreased in the kidneys and spleen. Treatment with recombinant murine MFG-E8 recovered renal dysfunction, significantly suppressed inflammatory responses, apoptosis, necrosis, and improved capillary functions in the kidneys. In the survival study, MFG-E8 mice showed a significant deterioration and, in contrast, recombinant murine MFG-E8-treated wild-type mice showed a significant improvement of survival compared with vehicle-treated wild-type mice.MFG-E8 can be developed as novel treatment for renal ischemia-reperfusion injury. This protective effect appears to be mediated through the enhancement of apoptotic cell clearance and improvement of capillary functions in the kidneys.