Image_2_IL-1β Promotes Vasculogenic Mimicry of Breast Cancer Cells Through p38/MAPK and PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathways.jpg (1.88 MB)
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Image_2_IL-1β Promotes Vasculogenic Mimicry of Breast Cancer Cells Through p38/MAPK and PI3K/Akt Signaling Pathways.jpg

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posted on 14.05.2021, 04:56 by Muhammad Azhar Nisar, Qin Zheng, Muhammad Zubair Saleem, Bulbul Ahmmed, Muhammad Noman Ramzan, Syed Riaz Ud Din, Naeem Tahir, Shuai Liu, Qiu Yan

Vasculogenic mimicry (VM), a micro vessel-like structure formed by the cancer cells, plays a pivotal role in cancer malignancy and progression. Interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) is an active pro-inflammatory cytokine and elevated in many tumor types, including breast cancer. However, the effect of IL-1β on the VM of breast cancer has not been clearly elucidated. In this study, breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) were used to study the effect of IL-1β on the changes that can promote VM. The evidence for VM stimulated by IL-1β was acquired by analyzing the expression of VM-associated biomarkers (VE-cadherin, VEGFR-1, MMP-9, MMP-2, c-Fos, and c-Jun) via western blot, immunofluorescent staining, and Immunohistochemistry (IHC). Additionally, morphological evidence was collected via Matrigel-based cord formation assay under normoxic/hypoxic conditions and microvessel examination through Hematoxylin and Eosin staining (H&E). Furthermore, the STRING and Gene Ontology database was also used to analyze the VM-associated interacting molecules stimulated by IL-β. The results showed that the expression of VM biomarkers was increased in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells after IL-1β treatment. The increase in VM response was observed in IL-1β treated cells under both normoxia and hypoxia. IL-1β also increased the activation of transcription factor AP-1 complex (c-Fos/c-Jun). The bioinformatics data indicated that p38/MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways were involved in the IL-1β stimulation. It was further confirmed by the downregulated expression of VM biomarkers and reduced formation of the intersections upon the addition of the signaling pathway inhibitors. The study suggests that IL-1β stimulates the VM and its associated events in breast cancer cells via p38/MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. Aiming the VM-associated molecular targets promoted by IL-1β may offer a novel anti-angiogenic therapeutic strategy to control the aggressiveness of breast cancer cells.

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