Project description:Tumor-infiltrated macrophages were potential targets of the immune therapy for patients with colon cancer. Colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) is a primary chemoattractant and functional regulator for macrophages, and therefore would be a feasible intervention for the macrophage-targeting therapeutics. However, the expression of CSF1 in colon cancer microenvironment and its roles in cancer development is largely unknown. In the present study, we found that CSF1 was over-expressed exclusively in colon cancer cells and was correlated with macrophages infiltration. The high CSF1 expression and macrophages infiltration were related to the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage of colon cancer, and suggested to be positively associated with survival of colon cancer patients. In the in vitro studies based on an indirect Transwell system, we found that co-culture with macrophage promoted CSF1 production in colon cancer cells. Further investigation on regulatory mechanisms suggested that CSF1 production in colon cancer cells was dependent on PKC pathway, which was activated by IL-8, mainly produced by macrophages. Moreover, colon cancer cell-derived CSF1 drove the recruitment of macrophages and re-educated their secretion profile, including the augment of IL-8 production. The mice tumor xenografts study also found that over-expression of CSF1 in colon cancer cells promoted intratumoral infiltration of macrophages, and partially suppressed tumor growth. In all, our results demonstrated that CSF1 was an important factor in the colon cancer microenvironment, involving in the interactions between colon cancer cells and tumor-infiltrated macrophages.
Project description:Interactions between the inflammatory chemokine CCL20 and its receptor CCR6 have been implicated in promoting colon cancer; however, the mechanisms behind this effect are poorly understood. We have previously demonstrated that deficiency of CCR6 is associated with decreased tumor macrophage accumulation in a model of sporadic intestinal tumorigenesis. In this study, we aimed to determine the role of stromal CCR6 expression in a murine syngeneic transplantable colon cancer model. We show that deficiency of host CCR6 is associated with decreased growth of syngeneic CCR6-expressing colon cancers. Colon cancers adoptively transplanted into CCR6-deficient mice have decreased tumor-associated macrophages without alterations in the number of monocytes in blood or bone marrow. CCL20, the unique ligand for CCR6, promotes migration of monocytes in vitro and promotes accumulation of macrophages in vivo. Depletion of tumor-associated macrophages decreases the growth of tumors in the transplantable tumor model. Macrophages infiltrating the colon cancers in this model secrete the inflammatory mediators CCL2, IL-1?, IL-6 and TNF?. Ccl2, Il1? and Il6 are consequently downregulated in tumors from CCR6-deficient mice. CCL2, IL-1? and IL-6 also promote proliferation of colon cancer cells, linking the decreased macrophage migration into tumors mediated by CCL20-CCR6 interactions to the delay in tumor growth in CCR6-deficient hosts. The relevance of these findings in human colon cancer is demonstrated through correlation of CCR6 expression with that of the macrophage marker CD163 as well as that of CCL2, IL1? and TNF?. Our findings support the exploration of targeting the CCL20-CCR6 pathway for the treatment of colon cancer.
Project description:Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a target of colon cancer therapy, but the effects of this therapy on the tumor microenvironment remain poorly understood. Our in vivo studies showed that cetuximab, an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, effectively inhibited AOM/DSS-induced, colitis-associated tumorigenesis, downregulated M2-related markers, and decreased F4/80+/CD206+ macrophage populations. Treatment with conditioned medium of colon cancer cells increased macrophage expression of the M2-related markers arginase-1 (Arg1), CCL17, CCL22, IL-10 and IL-4. By contrast, conditioned medium of EGFR knockout colon cancer cells inhibited expression of these M2-related markers and induced macrophage expression of the M1-related markers inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), IL-12, TNF-? and CCR7. EGFR knockout in colon cancer cells inhibited macrophage-induced promotion of xenograft tumor growth. Moreover, colon cancer-derived insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) increased Arg1 expression, and treatment with the IGF1R inhibitor AG1024 inhibited that increase. These results suggest that inhibition of EGFR signaling in colon cancer cells modulates cytokine secretion (e.g. IGF-1) and prevents M1-to-M2 macrophage polarization, thereby inhibiting cancer cell growth.
Project description:Efficient clearance of apoptotic cells (efferocytosis) can profoundly influence tumor-specific immunity. Tumor-associated macrophages are M2-polarized macrophages that promote key processes in tumor progression. Efferocytosis stimulates M2 macrophage polarization and contributes to cancer metastasis, but the signaling mechanism underlying this process is unclear. Intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) is a transmembrane glycoprotein member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, which has been implicated in mediating cell-cell interaction and outside-in cell signaling during the immune response. We report that ICAM-1 expression is inversely associated with macrophage infiltration and the metastasis index in human colon tumors by combining Oncomine database analysis and immunohistochemistry for ICAM-1. Using a colon cancer liver metastasis model in ICAM-1-deficient (ICAM-1(-/-)) mice and their wild-type littermates, we found that loss of ICAM-1 accelerated liver metastasis of colon carcinoma cells. Moreover, ICAM-1 deficiency increased M2 macrophage polarization during tumor progression. We further demonstrated that ICAM-1 deficiency in macrophages led to promotion of efferocytosis of apoptotic tumor cells through activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase/Akt signaling pathway. More importantly, coculture of ICAM-1(-/-) macrophages with apoptotic cancer cells resulted in an increase of M2-like macrophages, which was blocked by an efferocytosis inhibitor. Our findings demonstrate a novel role for ICAM-1 in suppressing M2 macrophage polarization via downregulation of efferocytosis in the tumor microenvironment, thereby inhibiting metastatic tumor progression.
Project description:Colon cancer is one of the most common malignancies causing death worldwide. It is well known that the cells of the tumor microenvironment contribute to the progression and prognosis of colon cancer. However, the gene alterations and potential remodeling mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment of colon cancer remain largely unknown. In this study, immune scores from the ESTIMATE algorithm were used to discriminate between patients with high or low immune-cell infiltration. There were 42 immune differentially expressed genes (DEGs) of prognostic value identified in this study. Among them, KCNJ5 is a key factor in promoting M2 macrophage recruitment and tumor immune infiltration in colon cancer. These findings may provide novel insights for decoding the complicated interplay between cancer cells and the tumor microenvironment as well as for developing new avenues for therapeutic intervention in colon cancer. Graphical Abstract The complicated interplay between the tumor and its microenvironment is essential for colon cancer progression. Wang et al. provide a mechanistic insight into the immune microenvironment regulator KCNJ5 promoting M2 macrophage recruitment and tumor immune infiltration, presenting a novel possibility for decoding the regulation of immune cells in colon cancer.
Project description:M2-polarized tumor associated macrophages (TAMs) play an important role in tumor progression. It has been reported that response gene to complement 32 (RGC-32) promotes M2 macrophage polarization. However, whether RGC-32 expression in macrophages could play a potential role in tumor progression remain unclear. Here we identified that increasing RGC-32 expression in colon cancer and tumor associated macrophages was positively correlated with cancer progression. In vitro studies confirmed that colon cancer cells upregulated RGC-32 expression of macrophages via secreting TGF-β1. RGC-32 expression promoted macrophage migration. In addition, stimulation of HCT-116 cells with the condition mediums of RGC-32-silienced or over-expressed macrophages affected tumor cell colony formation and migration via altered COX-2 expression. In an animal model, macrophages with RGC-32 knockdown significantly decreased the expression of COX-2 and Ki67 in the xenografts, and partly inhibited tumor growth. Together, our results provide the evidences for a critical role of TGF-β1/RGC-32 pathway in TAMs and colon cancer cells during tumor progression.
Project description:Toll-like receptor (TLR)-dependent signaling was proposed as immunotherapeutic targets against invading pathogens and tumorigenesis. Here, we investigated whether TLR5-dependent signaling modulates colonic tumor development in mouse xenograft model of human colon cancer.The expression of myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) or TLR5 was stably knocked down in human colon cancer cells (DLD-1). Nude mice were subcutaneously implanted with MyD88-knocked down (KD), TLR5-KD, or control cells (n = 16) to examine the pathophysiology of tumor xenografts. Protein microarray assessed the differential expression of cytokines in these tumors. Leukocyte infiltration and tumor angiogenesis were assessed by immunohistochemistry with antibodies against neutrophil (Gr-1, 7/4) or macrophage-specific antigens (CD68, F4-80) and the vascular endothelial cell marker CD31, respectively. Tumor xenografts from DLD-1 cells were treated with flagellin (5.0 microg/kg, 1 injection/every 2 days for 3 weeks), and tumor regression and histopathology were examined.Lack of MyD88 or TLR5 expression dramatically enhanced tumor growth and inhibited tumor necrosis in mouse xenografts of human colon cancer. In contrast, TLR5 activation by peritumoral flagellin treatment substantially increased tumor necrosis, leading to significant tumor regression. Tumors from MyD88-KD or TLR5-KD cells revealed the reduced production of neutrophil attracting chemokines (epithelial cell-derived neutrophil-activating peptide-78, macrophage-inflammatory protein alpha, and interleukin-8). Consequently, neutrophil infiltration was dramatically diminished in MyD88- or TLR5-KD xenografts, whereas tumor-associated macrophage infiltration or angiogenesis was not changed.TLR5 engagement by flagellin mediates innate immunity and elicits potent antitumor activity, indicating that TLR5-dependent signaling could be a potential immunotherapeutic target to modulate colonic tumors.
Project description:An increased expression of Yes-associated protein (YAP1) has been shown to promote tumorigenesis in many cancer types including colon. However, the role of YAP1 in promoting colon tumorigenesis remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that YAP1 expression is associated with M2 tumor-associated macrophage polarization and the generation of colon cancer stem-like cells. YAP1 downregulation by gene silencing or a phytochemical, ovatodiolide, not only suppresses colon cancer tumorigenesis but also prevents M2 TAM polarization.Human monocytic cells, THP-1, and colon cancer cell lines, HCT116 and DLD-1, were co-cultured to mimic the interactions between tumor and its microenvironment. M2 polarization of the THP-1 cells were examined using both flow cytometry and q-PCR technique. The inhibition of YAP1 signaling was achieved by gene-silencing technique or ovatodiolide. The molecular consequences of YAP1 inhibition was demonstrated via colony formation, migration, and colon-sphere formation assays. 5-FU and ovatodiolide were used in drug combination studies. Xenograft and syngeneic mouse models were used to investigate the role of YAP1 in colon tumorigenesis and TAM generation.An increased YAP1 expression was found to be associated with a poor prognosis in patients with colon cancer using bioinformatics approach. We showed an increased YAP1 expression in the colon spheres, and colon cancer cells co-cultured with M2 TAMs. YAP1-silencing led to the concomitant decreased expression of major oncogenic pathways including Kras, mTOR, ?-catenin, and M2-promoting IL-4 and tumor-promoting IL-6 cytokines. TAM co-cultured colon spheres showed a significantly higher tumor-initiating ability in vivo. Ovatodiolide treatment alone and in combination with 5-FU significantly suppressed in vivo tumorigenesis and less TAM infiltration in CT26 syngeneic mouse model.We have identified the dual function of YAP1 where its suppression not only inhibited tumorigenesis but also prevented the generation of cancer stem-like cells and M2 TAM polarization. Ovatodiolide treatment suppressed YAP1 oncogenic pathways to inhibit colon tumorigenesis and M2 TAM generation both in vitro and in vivo. Ovatodiolide should be considered for its potential for adjuvant therapeutic development.
Project description:Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) regulates the homeostasis of sphingolipids, including ceramides and sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). These sphingolipids regulate carcinogenesis and proliferation, survival, and apoptosis of cancer cells. However, the role of ASM in host defense against liver metastasis remains unclear. In this study, the involvement of ASM in liver metastasis of colon cancer was examined using Asm-/- and Asm+/+ mice that were inoculated with SL4 colon cancer cells to produce metastatic liver tumors. Asm-/- mice demonstrated enhanced tumor growth and reduced macrophage accumulation in the tumor, accompanied by decreased numbers of hepatic myofibroblasts (hMFs), which express tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP1), around the tumor margin. Tumor growth was increased by macrophage depletion or by Timp1 deficiency, but was decreased by hepatocyte-specific ASM overexpression, which was associated with increased S1P production. S1P stimulated macrophage migration and TIMP1 expression in hMFs in vitro. These findings indicate that ASM in the liver inhibits tumor growth through cytotoxic macrophage accumulation and TIMP1 production by hMFs in response to S1P. Targeting ASM may represent a new therapeutic strategy for treating liver metastasis of colon cancer.
Project description:Sulfoglycolipids are present on the surface of a variety of cells. The sulfatide SM4s is increased in lung, renal, and colon cancer and is associated with an adverse prognosis, possibly due to a low immunoreactivity of the tumor. As macrophages significantly contribute to the inflammatory infiltrate in malignancies, we postulated that SM4s may modulate macrophage function. We have investigated the effect of SM4s on the uptake of apoptotic tumor cells, macrophage cytokine profile, and receptor expression. Using flow cytometry and microscopic analyses, we found that coating apoptotic murine carcinoma cells from the colon and kidney with SM4s promoted their phagocytosis by murine macrophages up to 3-fold ex vivo and in vivo. This increased capacity was specifically inhibited by preincubation of macrophages with oxidized or acetylated low density lipoprotein and maleylated albumin, indicating involvement of scavenger receptors in this interaction. The uptake of SM4s-coated apoptotic cells significantly enhanced macrophage production of TGF-beta1, expression of P-selectin, and secretion of IL-6. These data suggest that SM4s within tumors may promote apoptotic cell removal and alter the phenotype of tumor-associated macrophages.