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J Immunol. 2008 Aug 15;181(4):2330-7.

Cooperative regulation of non-small cell lung carcinoma angiogenic potential by macrophage migration inhibitory factor and its homolog, D-dopachrome tautomerase.

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Microbiology and Immunology Program, School of Medicine, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40202, USA.


Tumor-derived growth factors and cytokines stimulate neoangiogenesis from surrounding capillaries to support tumor growth. Recent studies have revealed that macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) expression is increased in lung cancer, particularly non-small cell lung carcinomas (NSCLC). Because MIF has important autocrine effects on normal and transformed cells, we investigated whether autocrine MIF and its only known family member, D-dopachrome tautomerase (D-DT), promote the expression of proangiogenic factors CXCL8 and vascular endothelial growth factor in NSCLC cells. Our results demonstrate that the expression of CXCL8 and vascular endothelial growth factor are strongly reliant upon both the individual and cooperative activities of the two family members. CXCL8 transcriptional regulation by MIF and D-DT appears to involve a signaling pathway that includes the activation of JNK, c-jun phosphorylation, and subsequent AP-1 transcription factor activity. Importantly, HUVEC migration and tube formation induced by supernatants from lung adenocarcinoma cells lacking either or both MIF and D-DT are substantially reduced when compared with normal supernatants. Finally, we demonstrate that the cognate MIF receptor, CD74, is necessary for both MIF- and D-DT-induced JNK activation and CXCL8 expression, suggesting its potential involvement in angiogenic growth factor expression. This is the first demonstration of a biological role for D-DT, and its synergism with MIF suggests that the combined therapeutic targeting of both family members may enhance current anti-MIF-based therapies.

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