Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) progression and related mortality are highly associated with metabolic disorders. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the regulation of hyperlipidemia-associated CRC metastasis remains unclear. This study aimed to investigate the effects of angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) on NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) expression and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, which might provide new targets for improving outcomes in patients with hyperlipidemia-associated CRC metastasis. Methods: The clinical relevance of relationship between NOX4 expression and ANGPTL4 was examined in CRC patients by the Oncomine and TCGA data set. Expressions of NOX4, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers, and gene regulation of NOX4 in free fatty acids (FFAs)-treated CRC cells were determined. The FFAs-triggered metastatic ability of CRC cells under treatments of antioxidants or knockdown of NOX4, ANGPTL4, and MMPs was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. In addition, effects of antioxidants and depletion of metastasis-associated molecules on the correlation between ROS production and FFAs-promoted CRC metastasis were also clarified. Results: In this study, we found that the induction of NOX4, followed by the increased ROS was essential for oleic acid (OA)-promoted CRC cell metastasis. The depletion of ANGPTL4 significantly inhibited c-Jun-mediated transactivation of NOX4 expression, accompanied with reduced levels of ROS, MMP-1, and MMP-9, resulting in the disruption of OA-promoted CRC cell metastasis. Moreover, knockdown of ANGPTL4, NOX4, MMP-1, and MMP-9 or the treatment of antioxidants dramatically inhibited circulating OA-enhanced tumor cell extravasation and metastatic seeding of tumor cells in lungs, indicating that the ANGPTL4/NOX4 axis was critical for dyslipidemia-associated tumor metastasis. Conclusion: The coincident expression of NOX4 and ANGPTL4 in CRC tumor specimens provides the insight into the potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of dyslipidemia-associated CRC metastasis.
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