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Hepatology. 2019 Feb 5. doi: 10.1002/hep.30549. [Epub ahead of print]

Tumor Microenvironment Regulation by the ER Stress Transmission Mediator GP73.

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Department of Genetic Engineering, Beijing Institute of Biotechnology, Beijing, 100850, P.R.China.
Department of Clinical Laboratory the Third Medical Centre, Chinese PLA (People's Liberation Army) General Hospital, Beijing, 100039, P.R.China.
Institute of Physical Science and Information Technology, Anhui University, Hefei, 230601, P.R. China.
Department of Pathology the Fifth Medical Centre, Chinese PLA (People's Liberation Army) General Hospital, Beijing, 100039, P.R.China.
Wecyte Biotehnology company, Beijing, 100176, P.R.China.
Guangxi liver cancer Diagnosis and Treatment Engineering and Technology research center, Nanning, 530021, P.R.China.
Key Laboratory of Early Prevention and Treatment for Regional High Frequency Tumor, Ministry of Education, Nanning, 530021, P.R.China.
Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, Affiliated Tumor Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, 530021, P.R.China.


The unfolded protein response (UPR) signal in tumor cells activates UPR signaling in neighboring macrophages, which leads to tumor-promoting inflammation by upregulating UPR target genes and proinflammatory cytokines. However, the molecular basis of this endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress transmission remains largely unclear. Here, we identified the secreted form of GP73, a Golgi-associated protein functional critical for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) growth and metastasis, is indispensable for ER stress transmission. Notably, ER stressors increased the cellular secretion of GP73. Via GRP78, the secreted GP73 stimulated ER stress activation in neighboring macrophages, which then released cytokines and chemokines involved in the tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) phenotype. Analysis of HCC patients revealed a positive correlation of GP73 with GRP78 expression and TAMs density. High GP73 and CD206 expression was associated with poor prognosis. Blockade of GP73 decreased the density of TAMs, inhibited tumor growth and prolonged survival in two mouse HCC models. Our findings provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of extracellular GP73 in the amplification and transmission of ER stress signals. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


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