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J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018 Aug 17;37(1):196. doi: 10.1186/s13046-018-0839-7.

IL-33 facilitates proliferation of colorectal cancer dependent on COX2/PGE2.

Author information

1
Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China.
2
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China. wgb@hust.edu.cn.
3
Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China. zhengwang@hust.edu.cn.
4
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China. zhengwang@hust.edu.cn.
5
Research Center for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China. lin_wang@hust.edu.cn.
6
Department of Clinical Laboratory, Union Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, 430022, China. lin_wang@hust.edu.cn.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Interleukin-33 (IL-33) participates in various types of diseases including cancers. Previous studies of this cytokine in cancers mainly focused on its regulation on immune responses by which IL-33 modulated cancer progression. The IL-33 triggered signals in cancer cells remain unclear.

METHODS:

We analyzed IL-33 gene expression in human colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues and carried out gene enrichment analysis with TCGA Data Portal. We studied CRC proliferation in vivo by inoculating MC38 tumors in IL-33 transgenic mice. We investigated the cell proliferation in vitro with primary CRC cells isolated from fresh human CRC tissues, human CRC cell line HT-29 and mouse CRC cell line MC38. To evaluate the proliferation modulating effects of recombinant IL-33 incubation and other administrated factors, we measured tumor growth, colony formation, cell viability, and the expression of Ki67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). We used several inhibitors, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) neutralizing antibody, ST2 blocking antibody and specific shRNA expressing plasmid to study the pathway mediating IL-33-induced CRC proliferation. The IL-33 receptor ST2 in human CRC tissues was detected by immunohistochemistry staining and western blotting. The ST2-positive or negative subsets of primary CRC cells were acquired by flow cytometry sorting.

RESULTS:

We found that IL-33 expression was correlated with the gene signature of cell proliferation in 394 human CRC samples. The MC38 tumors grew more rapidly and the tumor Ki67 and PCNA were expressed at higher levels in IL-33 transgenic mice than in wild-type mice. IL-33 promoted cell growth, colony formation and expression of Ki67 and PCNA in primary CRC cells as well as CRC cell lines. IL-33 activated cycloxygenase-2 (COX2) expression and increased PGE2 production, whereas the COX2 selective inhibitor and PGE2 neutralizing antibody abolished the proliferation promoting effect of IL-33. ST2 blockade, ST2-negative sorting, NF-κB specific inhibitor and NF-κB specific shRNA (shP65) abrogated the COX2 induction caused by IL-33.

CONCLUSION:

IL-33 facilitates proliferation of colorectal cancer dependent on COX2/PGE2. IL-33 functions via its receptor ST2 and upregulates COX2 expression through NF-κB signaling. Understanding the IL-33 signal transduction in CRC cells provides potential therapeutic targets for clinical treatment.

KEYWORDS:

COX2; Colorectal cancer; IL-33; PGE2; Proliferation

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