Gallbladder cancer-associated fibroblasts promote vasculogenic mimicry formation and tumor growth of gallbladder cancers via upregulating the expression of NOX4, a poor prognosis factor, through activating IL-6-JAK-STAT3 signal pathway [post]

Musu Pan, Hui Wang, Kamar Hasan Ansari, Xin-Ping Li, Wei Sun, Yue-Zu Fan
2020 unpublished
Background Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and vasculogenic mimicry (VM) play important roles in the occurrence and development of tumors. However, the relationship between CAFs and VM formation, especially in gallbladder cancer (GBC) has not been clarified. In this study, we investigated whether gallbladder CAFs (GCAFs) can promote VM formation and tumor growth and explored the underlying molecular mechanism.Methods A co-culture system of human GBC cells and fibroblasts or HUVECs was
more » ... lished. VM formation, proliferation, invasion, migration, tube formation assays, CD31-PAS double staining, optic/electron microscopy and tumor xenograft assay were used to detect VM formation and malignant phenotypes of 3-D co-culture matrices in vitro, as well as the VM formation and tumor growth of xenografts in vivo, respectively. Microarray analysis was used to analyze gene expression profile in GCAFs/NFs and VM (+)/VM (-) in vitro. QRT-PCR, western blotting, IHC and CIF were used to detected NOX4 expression in GCAFs/NFs, 3-D culture/co-culture matrices in vitro, the xenografts in vivo and human gallbladder tissue/stroma samples. The correlation between NOX4 expression and clinicopathological and prognostic factors of GBC patients was analyzed. And, the underlying molecular mechanism of GCAFs promoting VM formation and tumor growth in GBC was explored.Results GCAFs promote VM formation and tumor growth in GBC; and the finding was confirmed by facts that GCAFs induced proliferation, invasion, migration and tube formation of GBC cells in vitro, and promoted VM formation and tumor growth of xenografts in vivo. NOX4 is highly expressed in GBC and its stroma, which is the key gene for VM formation, and is correlated with tumor aggression and survival of GBC patients. The GBC patients with high NOX4 expression in tumor cells and stroma have a poor prognosis. The underlying molecular mechanism may be related to the up-regulation of NOX4 expression through paracrine IL-6 mediated IL-6/JAK/STAT3 signaling pathway.Conclusions GCAFs promote VM formation and tumor growth in GBC via upregulating NOX4 expression through the activation of IL-6-JAK-STAT3 signal pathway. NOX4, as a VM-related gene in GBC, is over-expressed in GBC cells and GCAFs, which is related to aggression and unfavorable prognosis of GBC patients.
doi:10.21203/ fatcat:6vea346twfc7fj647x6lii7zr4