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Cancer Res. 2015 Jan 15;75(2):426-35. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2702. Epub 2014 Nov 28.

Activin upregulation by NF-κB is required to maintain mesenchymal features of cancer stem-like cells in non-small cell lung cancer.

Author information

1
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
2
Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia.
3
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. Department of Thoracic Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York.
4
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia. mwm3y@virginia.edu sb3de@Virginia.edu.

Abstract

Soluble growth factors and cytokines within the tumor microenvironment aid in the induction of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Although EMT promotes the development of cancer-initiating cells (CIC), cellular mechanisms by which cancer cells maintain mesenchymal phenotypes remain poorly understood. Work presented here indicates that induction of EMT stimulates non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to secrete soluble factors that function in an autocrine fashion. Using gene expression profiling of all annotated and predicted secreted gene products, we find that NF-κB activity is required to upregulate INHBA/Activin, a morphogen in the TGFβ superfamily. INHBA is capable of inducing and maintaining mesenchymal phenotypes, including the expression of EMT master-switch regulators and self-renewal factors that sustain CIC phenotypes and promote lung metastasis. Our work demonstrates that INHBA mRNA and protein expression are commonly elevated in primary human NSCLC and provide evidence that INHBA is a critical autocrine factor that maintains mesenchymal properties of CICs to promote metastasis in NSCLC.

PMID:
25432175
PMCID:
PMC4297542
DOI:
10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-13-2702
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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