Activation of fibroblasts by nicotine promotes the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and motility of breast cancer cells

Pin Cyuan Chen, Wen Ying Lee, Hsiang Hsi Ling, Chia Hsiung Cheng, Ku Chung Chen, Cheng Wei Lin

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Abstract

The tumor microenvironment plays an important role in tumor initiation and progression. It is well documented that nicotine participates in cigarette smoking-related malignancies. Previous studies focused on the effects of nicotine on tumor cells; however, the role of the microenvironment in nicotine-mediated tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Herein, we investigated the effect and molecular mechanism of nicotine on fibroblasts and its contribution to breast cancer. We found that nicotine induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer cells and promoted activation of fibroblasts. Interestingly, conditioned medium from nicotine-activated fibroblasts (Nic-CM) had a greater impact on promoting the EMT and migratory capability toward cancer cells than did treatment with nicotine alone. Production of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β by nicotine-treated fibroblasts was demonstrated to be crucial for promoting the EMT and cancer cell migration, and blocking of CTGF and TGF-β in Nic-CM-suppressed tumor motility. Moreover, nicotine induced expressions of CTGF, and TGF-β in fibroblasts as identified through α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-dependent activation of the AKT/TAZ signaling mechanism. Together, our data showed for the first time that activation of fibroblasts is largely responsible for accelerating smoking-mediated breast cancer progression.

LanguageEnglish
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018

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Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition
Fibroblasts
Nicotine
Chemical activation
Cells
Breast Neoplasms
Connective Tissue Growth Factor
Tumors
Transforming Growth Factor beta
Neoplasms
Smoking
Tumor Microenvironment
Nicotinic Receptors
Conditioned Culture Medium
Tobacco Products
Cell Movement
Carcinogenesis

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • EMT
  • Fibroblasts
  • Nicotine
  • Tumor microenvironment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

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title = "Activation of fibroblasts by nicotine promotes the epithelial-mesenchymal transition and motility of breast cancer cells",
abstract = "The tumor microenvironment plays an important role in tumor initiation and progression. It is well documented that nicotine participates in cigarette smoking-related malignancies. Previous studies focused on the effects of nicotine on tumor cells; however, the role of the microenvironment in nicotine-mediated tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Herein, we investigated the effect and molecular mechanism of nicotine on fibroblasts and its contribution to breast cancer. We found that nicotine induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer cells and promoted activation of fibroblasts. Interestingly, conditioned medium from nicotine-activated fibroblasts (Nic-CM) had a greater impact on promoting the EMT and migratory capability toward cancer cells than did treatment with nicotine alone. Production of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β by nicotine-treated fibroblasts was demonstrated to be crucial for promoting the EMT and cancer cell migration, and blocking of CTGF and TGF-β in Nic-CM-suppressed tumor motility. Moreover, nicotine induced expressions of CTGF, and TGF-β in fibroblasts as identified through α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-dependent activation of the AKT/TAZ signaling mechanism. Together, our data showed for the first time that activation of fibroblasts is largely responsible for accelerating smoking-mediated breast cancer progression.",
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AU - Lee, Wen Ying

AU - Ling, Hsiang Hsi

AU - Cheng, Chia Hsiung

AU - Chen, Ku Chung

AU - Lin, Cheng Wei

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AB - The tumor microenvironment plays an important role in tumor initiation and progression. It is well documented that nicotine participates in cigarette smoking-related malignancies. Previous studies focused on the effects of nicotine on tumor cells; however, the role of the microenvironment in nicotine-mediated tumorigenesis is poorly understood. Herein, we investigated the effect and molecular mechanism of nicotine on fibroblasts and its contribution to breast cancer. We found that nicotine induced the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of breast cancer cells and promoted activation of fibroblasts. Interestingly, conditioned medium from nicotine-activated fibroblasts (Nic-CM) had a greater impact on promoting the EMT and migratory capability toward cancer cells than did treatment with nicotine alone. Production of connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β by nicotine-treated fibroblasts was demonstrated to be crucial for promoting the EMT and cancer cell migration, and blocking of CTGF and TGF-β in Nic-CM-suppressed tumor motility. Moreover, nicotine induced expressions of CTGF, and TGF-β in fibroblasts as identified through α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR)-dependent activation of the AKT/TAZ signaling mechanism. Together, our data showed for the first time that activation of fibroblasts is largely responsible for accelerating smoking-mediated breast cancer progression.

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KW - EMT

KW - Fibroblasts

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KW - Tumor microenvironment

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