Loss of NDRG2 in liver microenvironment inhibits cancer liver metastasis by regulating tumorassociate macrophages polarization

Loss of NDRG2 in liver microenvironment inhibits cancer liver metastasis by regulating tumorassociate macrophages polarization

February 14, 2018

Abstract

The liver is the predominant metastatic site for several types of malignancies. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in the liver play crucial roles in the metastasis process. Shifting tumor-promoting M2-like TAMs toward the M1-like phenotype, which exerts tumor suppressor functions via phagocytosis and the secretion of inhibitory factors, may be a potential therapeutic strategy for liver cancer metastasistreatment.We first cloned NDRG2 (N-myc downstream-regulated gene 2) and verified its tumor suppressor role in multiple solid tumors, including colorectal cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, its role in the tumor-associated liver microenvironment, especially in TAMs, has not been illustrated. By establishing a liver cancer metastasis model in wild-type (WT) and Ndrg2 knockout (Ndrg2-/-) mice, we found that the loss of the tumor suppressor Ndrg2 in liver microenvironment significantly suppressed the growth of liver colonies. In addition, this process was accompanied by a higher proportion of M1-like TAM infiltration in Ndrg2-/- mice. Interestingly, bone marrow (BM) transplantation revealed that BM-derived macrophages (BMDMs) rather than liver resident Kupffer cells were responsible for the inhibitory effect. We further demonstrated that loss of Ndrg2 influenced TAM polarization via the NF-κB pathway. Inhibition of IκBα phosphorylation in cancer cell-conditioned medium-stimulated BMDMs decreased M1 marker expression in Ndrg2-/- macrophages. Finally, in vitro, invasion, migration, and proliferation assays confirmed that NF-κB participated in the tumor suppressor function of Ndrg2-/- macrophages. Collectively, our findings highlight the role of NDRG2 in the regulation of TAM polarization and its function in promoting cancer liver metastasis.

Authors: Li M1,2, Lai X1, Zhao Y1,3, Zhang Y1, Li M4, Li D1, Kong J5, Zhang Y6, Jing P7, Li H1, Qin H8, Shen L1, Yao L1, Li J9, Dou K10, Zhang J11.

Influence Factor: 5.965

Citation: Cell Death Dis 9, 248 (2018).

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