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Uncontrolled inflammation induced by AEG-1 promotes gastric cancer and poor prognosis.

Cancer research (2014-08-06)
Guanghua Li, Zhao Wang, Jinning Ye, Xinhua Zhang, Hui Wu, Jianjun Peng, Wu Song, Chuangqi Chen, Shirong Cai, Yulong He, Jianbo Xu
ABSTRACT

Gastric cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Helicobacter pylori infection plays an important role in the development and progression of gastric cancer. The expression of astrocyte-elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) is increased in gastric cancer tissues, thereby contributing to the inflammatory response. We investigated whether and how AEG-1 regulated proinflammatory signaling in gastric cancer cells. We used human gastric cancer cell lines and athymic nude mice to investigate the role of AEG-1 in the regulation of the TLR4/nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathway and cancer invasion and compared the expression of AEG-1 and related proteins in 93 patients with gastric cancer by immunohistochemistry. In human gastric cancer cells, both AEG-1 and TLR4 could be induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation. AEG-1 was upregulated via LPS-TLR4 signaling and in turn promoted nuclear translocation of the NF-κB p65 subunit. At the same time, AEG-1 overexpression decreased the levels of suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) protein SOCS-1, a negative regulator of the TLR4 pathway. Furthermore, nude mice engrafted with AEG-1/TLR4-expressing cells demonstrated larger tumor volumes than control animals. In patients with gastric cancer, the expression of AEG-1 correlated with that of TLR4, SOCS-1, and NF-κB and was higher in tumors compared with noncancerous adjacent tissues. Overall survival in patients with gastric cancer with simultaneous expression of AEG-1 and TLR4 was poor. Our results demonstrate that AEG-1 can promote gastric cancer progression by a positive feedback TLR4/NF-κB signaling-related mechanism, thus providing new mechanistic explanation for the role of inflammation in cancer progression.

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