Author(s): Guo S, GonzalezPerez RR
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Abstract High levels of pro-angiogenic factors, leptin, IL-1, Notch and VEGF (ligands and receptors), are found in breast cancer, which is commonly correlated with metastasis and lower survival of patients. We have previously reported that leptin induces the growth of breast cancer and the expression of VEGF/VEGFR-2 and IL-1 system. We hypothesized that Notch, IL-1 and leptin crosstalk outcome (NILCO) plays an essential role in the regulation of leptin-mediated induction of proliferation/migration and expression of pro-angiogenic molecules in breast cancer. To test this hypothesis, leptin's effects on the expression and activation of Notch signaling pathway and VEGF/VEGFR-2/IL-1 were determined in mouse (4T1, EMT6 and MMT) breast cancer cells. Remarkably, leptin up-regulated Notch1-4/JAG1/Dll-4, Notch target genes: Hey2 and survivin, together with IL-1 and VEGF/VEGFR-2. RNA knockdown and pharmacological inhibitors of leptin signaling significantly abrogated activity of reporter gene-luciferase CSL (RBP-Jk) promoter, showing that it was linked to leptin-activated JAK2/STAT3, MAPK, PI-3K/mTOR, p38 and JNK signaling pathways. Interestingly, leptin upregulatory effects on cell proliferation/migration and pro-angiogenic factors Notch, IL-1 and VEGF/VEGFR-2 were abrogated by a γ-secretase inhibitor, DAPT, as well as siRNA against CSL. In addition, blockade of IL-1R tI inhibited leptin-induced Notch, Hey2 and survivin as well as VEGF/VEGFR-2 expression. These data suggest leptin is an inducer of Notch (expression/activation) and IL-1 signaling modulates leptin effects on Notch and VEGF/VEGFR-2. We show for the first time that a novel unveiled crosstalk between Notch, IL-1 and leptin (NILCO) occurs in breast cancer. Leptin induction of proliferation/migration and upregulation of VEGF/VEGFR-2 in breast cancer cells were related to an intact Notch signaling axis. NILCO could represent the integration of developmental, pro-inflammatory and pro-angiogenic signals critical for leptin-induced cell proliferation/migration and regulation of VEGF/VEGFR-2 in breast cancer. Targeting NILCO might help to design new pharmacological strategies aimed at controlling breast cancer growth and angiogenesis.
This article was published in PLoS One
and referenced in Journal of Cytology & Histology