The Bladder Microbiome Is Associated with Epithelial–Mesenchymal Transition in Muscle Invasive Urothelial Bladder Carcinoma

Wei Tse Li, Anjali S. Iyangar, Rohan Reddy, Jaideep Chakladar, Valmik Bhargava, Kyoko Sakamoto, Weg M. Ongkeko, Mahadevan Rajasekaran
2021 Cancers  
The intra-tumor microbiome has recently been linked to epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) in a number of cancers. However, the relationship between EMT and microbes in bladder cancer has not been explored. In this study, we profiled the abundance of individual microbe species in the tumor samples of over 400 muscle invasive bladder carcinoma (MIBC) patients. We then correlated microbe abundance to the expression of EMT-associated genes and genes in the extracellular matrix (ECM), which are
more » ... key players in EMT. We discovered that a variety of microbes, including E. coli, butyrate-producing bacterium SM4/1, and a species of Oscillatoria, were associated with expression of classical EMT-associated genes, including E-cadherin, vimentin, SNAI2, SNAI3, and TWIST1. We also found significant correlations between microbial abundance and the expression of genes in the ECM, specifically collagens and elastin. Lastly, we found that a large number of microbes exhibiting significant correlations to EMT are also associated with clinical prognosis and outcomes. We further determined that the microbes we profiled were likely not environmental contaminants. In conclusion, we discovered that the intra-tumoral microbiome could potentially play a significant role in the regulation of EMT in MIBC.
doi:10.3390/cancers13153649 fatcat:bzwqyht2lvh2rmdjjphkpiyv7a