Gene Summary

Gene:ST2; suppression of tumorigenicity 2
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (7)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ST2 (cancer-related)

Larsen KM, Minaya MK, Vaish V, Peña MMO
The Role of IL-33/ST2 Pathway in Tumorigenesis.
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer is initiated by mutations in critical regulatory genes; however, its progression to malignancy is aided by non-neoplastic cells and molecules that create a permissive environment known as the tumor stroma or microenvironment (TME). Interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a dual function cytokine that also acts as a nuclear factor. IL-33 typically resides in the nucleus of the cells where it is expressed. However, upon tissue damage, necrosis, or injury, it is quickly released into extracellular space where it binds to its cognate receptor suppression of tumorigenicity 2 (ST2)L found on the membrane of target cells to potently activate a T Helper 2 (Th2) immune response, thus, it is classified as an alarmin. While its role in immunity and immune-related disorders has been extensively studied, its role in tumorigenesis is only beginning to be elucidated and has revealed opposing roles in tumor development. The IL-33/ST2 axis is emerging as a potent modulator of the TME. By recruiting a cohort of immune cells, it can remodel the TME to promote malignancy or impose tumor regression. Here, we review its multiple functions in various cancers to better understand its potential as a therapeutic target to block tumor progression or as adjuvant therapy to enhance the efficacy of anticancer immunotherapies.

Li Y, Shi J, Qi S, et al.
IL-33 facilitates proliferation of colorectal cancer dependent on COX2/PGE
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):196 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-33 (IL-33) participates in various types of diseases including cancers. Previous studies of this cytokine in cancers mainly focused on its regulation on immune responses by which IL-33 modulated cancer progression. The IL-33 triggered signals in cancer cells remain unclear.
METHODS: We analyzed IL-33 gene expression in human colorectal cancer (CRC) tissues and carried out gene enrichment analysis with TCGA Data Portal. We studied CRC proliferation in vivo by inoculating MC38 tumors in IL-33 transgenic mice. We investigated the cell proliferation in vitro with primary CRC cells isolated from fresh human CRC tissues, human CRC cell line HT-29 and mouse CRC cell line MC38. To evaluate the proliferation modulating effects of recombinant IL-33 incubation and other administrated factors, we measured tumor growth, colony formation, cell viability, and the expression of Ki67 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). We used several inhibitors, prostaglandin E2 (PGE
RESULTS: We found that IL-33 expression was correlated with the gene signature of cell proliferation in 394 human CRC samples. The MC38 tumors grew more rapidly and the tumor Ki67 and PCNA were expressed at higher levels in IL-33 transgenic mice than in wild-type mice. IL-33 promoted cell growth, colony formation and expression of Ki67 and PCNA in primary CRC cells as well as CRC cell lines. IL-33 activated cycloxygenase-2 (COX2) expression and increased PGE
CONCLUSION: IL-33 facilitates proliferation of colorectal cancer dependent on COX2/PGE

Chen H, Chen Y, Liu H, et al.
Integrated Expression Profiles Analysis Reveals Correlations Between the IL-33/ST2 Axis and CD8
Front Immunol. 2018; 9:1179 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) is a rare solid malignant cancer, and there are few effective treatment options for advanced disease. Cancer immunotherapy is a promising new strategy for STS treatment. IL-33 is a candidate cytokine for immunotherapy that can activate T lymphocytes and modulate antitumor immunity in some cancers. However, the expression and biological role of IL-33 in STS are poorly understood. In this study, we found that the expression of IL-33 and its receptor ST2 was decreased in STS using real-time PCR assays. By analyzing sarcoma data from The Cancer Genome Atlas, we found that higher transcriptional levels of IL-33 and ST2 were associated with a favorable outcome. There were positive correlations between the expression levels of ST2 and CD3E, CD4, CD8A, CD45RO, FOXP3, CD11B, CD33, and IFN-γ. Strong positive correlations between the expression of IFN-γ and CD3E and CD8A were also observed. Moreover, the expression levels of both IL-33 and ST2 were positively correlated with those of CD3E, CD8A, and chemokines that recruit CD8

Wu CW, Wu YG, Cheng C, et al.
Interleukin-33 Predicts Poor Prognosis and Promotes Renal Cell Carcinoma Cell Growth Through its Receptor ST2 and the JNK Signaling Pathway.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 47(1):191-200 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is currently the ninth most common cancer in men. Interleukin (IL)-33 expression has previously been associated with a number of cancers; however, its biological role in RCC is poorly understood. In this study, we sought to elucidate the role of IL-33 in RCC.
METHODS: Serum IL-33 levels were measured by ELISA. IL-33 expression in clinical RCC samples was examined by immunocytochemistry. The proliferation and apoptosis rate of RCC were determined by CCK8 and flow cytometry. Mcl1 and Bcl-2 expression were measured by quantitative real-time PCR and western blotting. JNK expression were measured by western blotting and flow cytometry. The in vivo role of IL-33 in RCC tumorigenesis was examined by animal models.
RESULTS: We found that increased expression of IL-33 in RCC was associated with tumor-lymph node-metastasis (TNM) stage and inversely correlated with prognosis. IL-33 enhances RCC cell growth in vivo and stimulates RCC cell proliferation and prevents chemotherapy-induced tumor apoptosis in vitro. Furthermore, we demonstrated that IL-33 promotes RCC cell proliferation and chemotherapy resistance via its receptor ST2 and the JNK signaling activation in tumor cells.
CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest that targeting IL-33/ST2 and JNK signaling may have potential value in the treatment of RCC.

Serrels B, McGivern N, Canel M, et al.
IL-33 and ST2 mediate FAK-dependent antitumor immune evasion through transcriptional networks.
Sci Signal. 2017; 10(508) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) mediates tumor cell-intrinsic behaviors that promote tumor growth and metastasis. We previously showed that FAK also induces the expression of inflammatory genes that inhibit antitumor immunity in the microenvironment. We identified a crucial, previously unknown role for the dual-function cytokine interleukin-33 (IL-33) in FAK-dependent immune evasion. In murine squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) cells, specifically nuclear FAK enhanced the expression of the genes encoding IL-33, the chemokine CCL5, and the soluble, secreted form of the IL-33 receptor, called soluble ST2 (sST2). The abundance of IL-33 and CCL5 was increased in FAK-positive SCC cells but not in normal keratinocytes. IL-33 associated with FAK in the nucleus, and the FAK-IL-33 complex interacted with a network of chromatin modifiers and transcriptional regulators, including TAF9, WDR82, and BRD4, which promote the activity of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) and its induction of genes encoding chemokines, including CCL5. We did not detect secretion of IL-33 from FAK-positive SCC cells; thus, we propose that the increased production and secretion of sST2 likely sequesters IL-33 secreted by other cell types within the tumor environment, thus blocking its stimulatory effects on infiltrating host immune cells. Depleting FAK, IL-33, or sST2 from SCC cells before implantation induced tumor regression in syngeneic mice, except when CD8

He Z, Chen L, Souto FO, et al.
Epithelial-derived IL-33 promotes intestinal tumorigenesis in Apc
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):5520 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased expression of Interleukin (IL)-33 has been detected in intestinal samples of patients with ulcerative colitis, a condition associated with increased risk for colon cancer, but its role in the development of colorectal cancer has yet to be fully examined. Here, we investigated the role of epithelial expressed IL-33 during development of intestinal tumors. IL-33 expression was detected in epithelial cells in colorectal cancer specimens and in the Apc

Fang M, Li Y, Huang K, et al.
IL33 Promotes Colon Cancer Cell Stemness via JNK Activation and Macrophage Recruitment.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(10):2735-2745 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The expression and biological role of IL33 in colon cancer is poorly understood. In this study, we show that IL33 is expressed by vascular endothelial cells and tumor cells in the human colon cancer microenvironment. Administration of human IL33 and overexpression of murine IL33 enhanced human and murine colon cancer cell growth

Millar NL, O'Donnell C, McInnes IB, Brint E
Wounds that heal and wounds that don't - The role of the IL-33/ST2 pathway in tissue repair and tumorigenesis.
Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2017; 61:41-50 [PubMed] Related Publications
IL-33 is a member of the IL-1 family of cytokines. IL-33 is predominantly located within the nucleus of cells where it plays a role in gene regulation. Given the right combination of signals and cellular damage, stored IL-33 is released from the cell where it can interact with its receptor ST2, triggering danger-associated responses and act as a cellular "alarmin". Whilst IL-33/ST2 signalling has been shown to induce potent pro-inflammatory responses that can be detrimental in certain disease states, a dichotomous, protective role of IL-33 in promoting wound healing has also emerged in multiple tissues types. This review will explore the current literature concerning this homeostatic role of IL-33/ST2 in tissue repair and also review its role in uncontrolled wound responses as seen in both fibrosis and tumorigenesis.

Yang Y, Andersson P, Hosaka K, et al.
The PDGF-BB-SOX7 axis-modulated IL-33 in pericytes and stromal cells promotes metastasis through tumour-associated macrophages.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:11385 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Signalling molecules and pathways that mediate crosstalk between various tumour cellular compartments in cancer metastasis remain largely unknown. We report a mechanism of the interaction between perivascular cells and tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) in promoting metastasis through the IL-33-ST2-dependent pathway in xenograft mouse models of cancer. IL-33 is the highest upregulated gene through activation of SOX7 transcription factor in PDGF-BB-stimulated pericytes. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments validate that IL-33 promotes metastasis through recruitment of TAMs. Pharmacological inhibition of the IL-33-ST2 signalling by a soluble ST2 significantly inhibits TAMs and metastasis. Genetic deletion of host IL-33 in mice also blocks PDGF-BB-induced TAM recruitment and metastasis. These findings shed light on the role of tumour stroma in promoting metastasis and have therapeutic implications for cancer therapy.

Lu B, Yang M, Wang Q
Interleukin-33 in tumorigenesis, tumor immune evasion, and cancer immunotherapy.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2016; 94(5):535-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a member of the IL-1 gene family and mainly expressed in the nucleus of tissue lining cells, stromal cells, and activated myeloid cells. IL-33 is considered a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) molecule and plays an important role in many physiological and pathological settings such as tissue repair, allergy, autoimmune disease, infectious disease, and cancer. The biological functions of IL-33 include maintaining tissue homeostasis, enhancing type 1 and 2 cellular immune responses, and mediating fibrosis during chronic inflammation. IL-33 exerts diverse functions through signaling via its receptor ST2, which is expressed in many types of cells including regulatory T cells (Treg), group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s), myeloid cells, cytotoxic NK cells, Th2 cells, Th1 cells, and CD8(+) T cells. Tumor development results in downregulation of IL-33 in epithelial cells but upregulation of IL-33 in the tumor stroma and serum. The current data suggest that IL-33 expression in tumor cells increases immunogenicity and promotes type 1 antitumor immune responses through CD8(+) T cells and NK cells, whereas IL-33 in tumor stroma and serum facilitates immune suppression via Treg and myeloid-derived suppressor cell (MDSC). Understanding the role of IL-33 in cancer immunobiology sheds lights on targeting this cytokine for cancer immunotherapy.

Milosavljevic MZ, Jovanovic IP, Pejnovic NN, et al.
Deletion of IL-33R attenuates VEGF expression and enhances necrosis in mammary carcinoma.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(14):18106-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interleukin-33 (IL-33)/IL-33 receptor (IL-33R, ST2) signaling pathway promotes mammary cancer growth and metastasis by inhibiting anti-tumor immunity. However, the role of IL-33/IL-33R axis in neoangiogenesis and tumor necrosis is not elucidated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of IL-33/IL-33R axis in mammary tumor necrosis. Deletion of IL-33R (ST2) gene in BALB/c mice enhanced tumor necrosis and attenuated tumor growth in 4T1 breast cancer model, which was associated with markedly decreased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and IL-33 in mammary tumor cells. We next analyzed IL-33, IL-33R and VEGF expression and microvascular density (MVD) in breast tumors from 40 female patients with absent or present tumor necrosis. We found significantly higher expression of IL-33, IL-33R and VEGF in breast cancer tissues with absent tumor necrosis. Both, IL-33 and IL-33R expression correlated with VEGF expression in tumor cells. Further, VEGF expression positively correlated with MVD in perinecrotic zone. Taking together, our data indicate that IL-33/IL-33R pathway is critically involved in mammary tumor growth by facilitating expression of pro-angiogenic VEGF in tumor cells and attenuating tumor necrosis. These data add an unidentified mechanism by which IL-33/IL-33R axis facilitates tumor growth.

O'Donnell C, Mahmoud A, Keane J, et al.
An antitumorigenic role for the IL-33 receptor, ST2L, in colon cancer.
Br J Cancer. 2016; 114(1):37-43 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Despite the importance of inflammation in cancer, the role of the cytokine IL-33, and its receptor ST2, in colon cancer is unclear. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of IL-33, and its receptor isoforms (ST2 and ST2L), in colon cancer.
METHODS: Serum levels of IL-33 and sST2 were determined with ELISA. ST2 and IL-33 expression was detected with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR), western blotting and immunohistochemistry. ST2 expression in CT26 cells was stably suppressed using ST2-specific shRNA. Cytokine and chemokine gene expression was detected with qRT-PCR.
RESULTS: Human colon tumours showed lower expression of ST2L as compared with adjacent non-tumour tissue (P<0.01). Moreover, the higher the tumour grade, the lower the expression of ST2L (P=0.026). Colon cancer cells expressed ST2 and IL-33 in vitro. Functional analyses showed that stimulation of tumour cells with IL-33 induced the expression of chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2 (CCL2). Knockdown of ST2 in murine colon cancer cells resulted in enhanced tumour growth (P<0.05) in BALB/c mice in vivo. This was associated with a decrease in macrophage infiltration, with IL-33-induced macrophage recruitment reduced by antagonising CCL2 in vitro.
CONCLUSION: The IL-33/ST2 signalling axis may have a protective role in colon carcinogenesis.

Tong X, Barbour M, Hou K, et al.
Interleukin-33 predicts poor prognosis and promotes ovarian cancer cell growth and metastasis through regulating ERK and JNK signaling pathways.
Mol Oncol. 2016; 10(1):113-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) is the most lethal gynecological cancer, it remains a huge challenge to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of the aggressive behavior of EOC cells. Here we investigated the role of an immunomodulatory cytokine IL-33 and its receptor ST2 in mediating the growth and metastasis of EOC. Our data show that both IL-33 and ST2 were highly up-regulated in EOC tumors compared with normal ovary and ovarian benign tumors, and the expression levels were further increased in tumor tissues at the metastatic site. The expression levels of IL-33 and ST2 were positively correlated with the Ki-67 expression, and negatively correlated with the patient survival time. Using EOC cell lines, we observed that cells knocked down of IL-33 gene by siRNA had reduced migratory and invasive potential, while full length human IL-33 (fl-hIL-33) promoted the invasive, migratory and proliferative capacity of EOC cells and this process could be inhibited by IL-33 decoy receptor sST2. Signaling pathway analysis suggested that IL-33 increased the phosphorylation of ERK and JNK which was blocked by sST2. Fl-hIL-33-induced increases in EOC cell migration, invasive potential and proliferation were specifically abrogated by treatment with the ERK inhibitor U0126 while JNK inhibitor SP600125 only disrupted IL-33-induced enhancement of cell viability. Taken together, our data suggest that IL-33/ST2 axis closely associates with poor prognosis of EOC patients, and it promotes ovarian cancer growth and metastasis through regulating ERK and JNK signaling pathways. Thus IL-33/ST2 might be potential prognosis markers and therapeutic targets for EOC patients.

De la Fuente M, MacDonald TT, Hermoso MA
The IL-33/ST2 axis: Role in health and disease.
Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2015; 26(6):615-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
IL-33, an IL-1 family member, is expressed by many cell types and can regulate gene transcription. IL-33 is released upon cell necrosis and the precursor form is enzymatically processed, and then drives inflammation as a damage-associated molecular pattern. The IL-33 receptor ST2, encoded by IL1RL1, is expressed as both a membrane-anchored receptor (ST2L) activated by IL-33, and as a soluble variant (sST2) that exhibits anti-inflammatory properties. The IL-33/ST2 axis is involved in the pathogenesis of atopic and autoimmune diseases, cancer, and central nervous system disorders. Here, we review recent findings on the role of the IL-33/ST2 axis in health and disease.

Maywald RL, Doerner SK, Pastorelli L, et al.
IL-33 activates tumor stroma to promote intestinal polyposis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015; 112(19):E2487-96 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor epithelial cells develop within a microenvironment consisting of extracellular matrix, growth factors, and cytokines produced by nonepithelial stromal cells. In response to paracrine signals from tumor epithelia, stromal cells modify the microenvironment to promote tumor growth and metastasis. Here, we identify interleukin 33 (IL-33) as a regulator of tumor stromal cell activation and mediator of intestinal polyposis. In human colorectal cancer, IL-33 expression was induced in the tumor epithelium of adenomas and carcinomas, and expression of the IL-33 receptor, IL1RL1 (also referred to as IL1-R4 or ST2), localized predominantly to the stroma of adenoma and both the stroma and epithelium of carcinoma. Genetic and antibody abrogation of responsiveness to IL-33 in the Apc(Min/+) mouse model of intestinal tumorigenesis inhibited proliferation, induced apoptosis, and suppressed angiogenesis in adenomatous polyps, which reduced both tumor number and size. Similar to human adenomas, IL-33 expression localized to tumor epithelial cells and expression of IL1RL1 associated with two stromal cell types, subepithelial myofibroblasts and mast cells, in Apc(Min/+) polyps. In vitro, IL-33 stimulation of human subepithelial myofibroblasts induced the expression of extracellular matrix components and growth factors associated with intestinal tumor progression. IL-33 deficiency reduced mast cell accumulation in Apc(Min/+) polyps and suppressed the expression of mast cell-derived proteases and cytokines known to promote polyposis. Based on these findings, we propose that IL-33 derived from the tumor epithelium promotes polyposis through the coordinated activation of stromal cells and the formation of a protumorigenic microenvironment.

Hayano T, Yokota Y, Hosomichi K, et al.
Molecular characterization of an intact p53 pathway subtype in high-grade serous ovarian cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(12):e114491 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most aggressive histological type of epithelial ovarian cancer, which is characterized by a high frequency of somatic TP53 mutations. We performed exome analyses of tumors and matched normal tissues of 34 Japanese patients with HGSOC and observed a substantial number of patients without TP53 mutation (24%, 8/34). Combined with the results of copy number variation analyses, we subdivided the 34 patients with HGSOC into subtypes designated ST1 and ST2. ST1 showed intact p53 pathway and was characterized by fewer somatic mutations and copy number alterations. In contrast, the p53 pathway was impaired in ST2, which is characterized by abundant somatic mutations and copy number alterations. Gene expression profiles combined with analyses using the Gene Ontology resource indicate the involvement of specific biological processes (mitosis and DNA helicase) that are relevant to genomic stability and cancer etiology. In particular we demonstrate the presence of a novel subtype of patients with HGSOC that is characterized by an intact p53 pathway, with limited genomic alterations and specific gene expression profiles.

Cui G, Qi H, Gundersen MD, et al.
Dynamics of the IL-33/ST2 network in the progression of human colorectal adenoma to sporadic colorectal cancer.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2015; 64(2):181-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
Most sporadic colorectal cancers (CRCs) develop from preformed adenomas. Cytokines are involved in the transition from adenoma to CRC. Interleukin-33 (IL-33) is a newly discovered proinflammatory cytokine belonging to the IL-1 cytokine family and involved in the development of chronic inflammation and cancer. The aim of this study was to evaluate the dynamics of the IL-33/ST2 axis during the sequence of progression from normal colorectum to adenoma to carcinoma and to investigate the association of IL-33 and ST2 expression with clinicopathological parameters and prognosis. The results demonstrated that the levels of IL-33 and ST2 in adenomas (n = 50), determined by real-time PCR, were significantly higher than those of normal controls (n = 30); the levels of both IL-33/ST mRNA in CRCs (n = 50) were higher than in normal controls but lower than in adenomas. Further analysis revealed that the expression level of ST2 in CRCs was associated with tumor/node/metastasis (TNM) stage. The log-rank test showed that neither the IL-33 nor the ST2 expression level was correlated with overall survival in patients with CRC. The increased expression of IL-33/ST2 in adenomas and CRC tissues was confirmed by immunohistochemistry and was observed in both the tumor stromal cells and adenomatous/cancerous cells. Notably, increased densities of IL-33-positive and ST2-positive microvessels were found in the stroma of adenomas and CRCs. In conclusion, increased expression of the IL-33/ST2 axis along the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence might be involved in the neoplastic transformation via the participation of this axis in the regulation of angiogenesis.

Bie Q, Zhang P, Su Z, et al.
Polarization of ILC2s in peripheral blood might contribute to immunosuppressive microenvironment in patients with gastric cancer.
J Immunol Res. 2014; 2014:923135 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Newly identified nuocytes or group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) play an important role in Th2 cell mediated immunity such as protective immune responses to helminth parasites, allergic asthma, and chronic rhinosinusitis. However, the contributions of ILC2s in the occurrence and development of cancer remain unknown. Our previous study found that there was a predominant Th2 phenotype in patients with gastric cancer. In this study, the ILC2s related genes or molecules in PBMC from patients with gastric cancer were measured, and the potential correlation between them was analyzed. The expression levels of RORα, GATA3, T1/ST2, IL-17RB, CRTH2, IL-33, IL-5, and IL-4 mRNA were significantly increased in patients, but no significant changes were found in ICOS, CD45, and IL-13 expression, and there was a positive correlation between RORα or IL-13 and other related factors, such as ICOS and CD45. The increased frequency of ILC2s was also found in PBMC of patients by flow cytometry. In addition, the mRNA of Arg1 and iNOS were also significantly increased in patients. These results suggested that there are polarized ILC2s in gastric cancer patients which might contribute to immunosuppressive microenvironment and closely related to the upregulation of MDSCs and M2 macrophages.

Schmieder A, Multhoff G, Radons J
Interleukin-33 acts as a pro-inflammatory cytokine and modulates its receptor gene expression in highly metastatic human pancreatic carcinoma cells.
Cytokine. 2012; 60(2):514-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human pancreatic cancer is one of the most fatal of all solid tissue malignancies. Pancreatic inflammation plays a key role in the development of pancreatic malignancy mediated by pro-inflammatory signalling cascades. Despite advances in surgery and radiation oncology, no significant improvements in overall survival have yet been achieved. Recent investigations suggest a crucial role of interleukin-33 (IL-33), a novel IL-1 family cytokine, in the pathogenesis of chronic pancreatitis and possibly pancreatic cancer. However, the precise role of IL-33 in pancreatic carcinogenesis is poorly understood. As IL-33 mediates its effects via the heterodimeric ST2L/IL-1 receptor accessory protein (IL-1RAcP) receptor complex, we investigated the influence of IL-33 alone, IL-33 combined with IL-1 and other inflammatory cytokines on IL-33 receptor/ligand mRNA expression and production of tumorigenic factors in the highly metastatic human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line Colo357. Our results demonstrated that IL-1 and IL-3 up-regulated IL-33 mRNA while IL-12 showed the opposite effect. We also detected a counter-regulatory effect of IL-33 and IL-1 on the mRNA expression of soluble IL-33 receptor ST2 and membrane-bound receptor ST2L. Furthermore, IL-33 and IL-1 acted synergistically in up-regulating secretion of pro-inflammatory IL-6. IL-33 alone stimulated spontaneous release of pro-angiogenic IL-8, but it did not affect IL-1-induced IL-8 secretion. IL-33/IL-1 effects on cytokine production appear to be mediated via NF-κB activation. These data argue for the pro-inflammatory role of IL-33 in Colo357 cells implying that IL-33 might act as a crucial mediator in inflammation-associated pancreatic carcinogenesis.

Oue E, Lee JW, Sakamoto K, et al.
CXCL2 synthesized by oral squamous cell carcinoma is involved in cancer-associated bone destruction.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2012; 424(3):456-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
To explore the mechanism of bone destruction associated with oral cancer, we identified factors that stimulate osteoclastic bone resorption in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Two clonal cell lines, HSC3-C13 and HSC3-C17, were isolated from the maternal oral cancer cell line, HSC3. The conditioned medium from HSC3-C13 cells showed the highest induction of Rankl expression in the mouse stromal cell lines ST2 and UAMS-32 as compared to that in maternal HSC3 cells and HSC3-C17 cells, which showed similar activity. The conditioned medium from HSC3-C13 cells significantly increased the number of osteoclasts in a co-culture with mouse bone marrow cells and UAMS-32 cells. Xenograft tumors generated from these clonal cell lines into the periosteal region of the parietal bone in athymic mice showed that HSC3-C13 cells caused extensive bone destruction and a significant increase in osteoclast numbers as compared to HSC3-C17 cells. Gene expression was compared between HSC3-C13 and HSC3-C17 cells by using microarray analysis, which showed that CXCL2 gene was highly expressed in HSC3-C13 cells as compared to HSC3-C17 cells. Immunohistochemical staining revealed the localization of CXCL2 in human oral squamous cell carcinomas. The increase in osteoclast numbers induced by the HSC3-C13-conditioned medium was dose-dependently inhibited by addition of anti-human CXCL2-neutralizing antibody in a co-culture system. Recombinant CXCL2 increased the expression of Rankl in UAMS-32 cells. These results indicate that CXCL2 is involved in bone destruction induced by oral cancer. This is the first report showing the role of CXCL2 in cancer-associated bone destruction.

Luzina IG, Pickering EM, Kopach P, et al.
Full-length IL-33 promotes inflammation but not Th2 response in vivo in an ST2-independent fashion.
J Immunol. 2012; 189(1):403-10 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of IL-33 is elevated in patients with pulmonary diseases, and full-length (not proteolytically processed) IL-33 is the predominant form in the lungs in health and disease. To determine whether activation of IL-33 is needed for functional effects, activities of full-length mouse and mature mouse (mm) forms of IL-33 were compared in vivo. Replication-deficient adenoviral constructs were used for gene delivery. Both isoforms caused pulmonary infiltration of lymphocytes and neutrophils, whereas mm IL-33 also caused pulmonary eosinophilia and goblet cell hyperplasia and increased expression of IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-17, MCP-1, and KC. The different effects were not associated with differential release from IL-33-producing cells or by differences in subcellular distributions of IL-33 isoforms. Germline deficiency of the cell surface receptor chain ST2 abrogated the mm IL-33-induced Th2-associated effects (pulmonary eosinophilia, goblet cell hyperplasia, and increased IL-4 and IL-5), yet the lymphocytic infiltration induced by full-length mouse IL-33 or mm IL-33 was not fully abrogated by the absence of ST2. The similar effects of IL-33 isoforms were associated with comparable regulation of gene expression, notably matrix metalloproteinases 3, 10, and 13. Thus, full-length IL-33 is functionally active in vivo in an ST2-independent fashion, and its effects are partially different from those of mature IL-33. The different effects of these isoforms, particularly the pro-Th2 effects of mature IL-33, are due to differential utilization of the IL-33R chain ST2, whereas their similar effects result from regulation of gene expression.

Milovanovic M, Volarevic V, Radosavljevic G, et al.
IL-33/ST2 axis in inflammation and immunopathology.
Immunol Res. 2012; 52(1-2):89-99 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-33 (IL-33), a member of the IL-1 family of cytokines, binds to its plasma membrane receptor, heterodimeric complex consisted of membrane-bound ST2L and IL-1R accessory protein, inducing NFkB and MAPK activation. IL-33 exists as a nuclear precursor and may act as an alarmin, when it is released after cell damage or as negative regulator of NFκB gene transcription, when acts in an intracrine manner. ST2L is expressed on several immune cells: Th2 lymphocytes, NK, NKT and mast cells and on cells of myeloid lineage: monocytes, dendritic cells and granulocytes. IL-33/ST2 axis can promote both Th1 and Th2 immune responses depending on the type of activated cell and microenvironment and cytokine network in damaged tissue. We previously described and discuss here the important role of IL-33/ST2 axis in experimental models of type 1 diabetes, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, fulminant hepatitis and breast cancer. We found that ST2 deletion enhance the development of T cell-mediated autoimmune disorders, EAE and diabetes mellitus type I. Disease development was accompanied by dominantly Th1/Th17 immune response but also higher IL-33 production, which suggest that IL-33 in receptor independent manner could promote the development of inflammatory autoreactive T cells. IL-33/ST2 axis has protective role in Con A hepatitis. ST2-deficient mice had more severe hepatitis with higher influx of inflammatory cells in liver and dominant Th1/Th17 systemic response. Pretreatment of mice with IL-33 prevented Con A-induced liver damage through prevention of apoptosis of hepatocytes and Th2 amplification. Deletion of IL-33/ST2 axis enhances cytotoxicity of NK cells, production of IFN-γ in these cells and systemic production of IFN-γ, IL-17 and TNF-α, which leads to attenuated tumor growth. IL-33 treatment of tumor-bearing mice suppresses activity of NK cells, dendritic cell maturation and enhances alternative activation of macrophages. In conclusion, we observed that IL-33 has attenuated anti-inflammatory effects in T cell-mediated responses and that both IL-33 and ST2 could be further explored as potential therapeutic targets in treatment of immune-mediated diseases.

Gillibert-Duplantier J, Duthey B, Sisirak V, et al.
Gene expression profiling identifies sST2 as an effector of ErbB2-driven breast carcinoma cell motility, associated with metastasis.
Oncogene. 2012; 31(30):3516-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Overexpression of the ErbB2 receptor tyrosine kinase in breast cancer contributes to tumor development and is associated with poor prognosis. However, the mechanism by which ErbB2 might contribute to metastasis is not well defined. To identify genes that mediate ErbB2-driven cell motility, we performed differential gene expression analysis of ErbB2-expressing migrating breast cancer cells vs mutant ErbB2-expressing non-migrating cells. Among the genes that were specifically induced in migrating cells were known transcriptional targets of ErbB2, such as matrix metalloproteinases, and novel ErbB2 targets. Contribution of selected candidate genes to ErbB2-driven cell motility was tested by small interfering RNA targeting. Knockdown of the soluble form of ST2 (sST2), also called interleukin-1 receptor-like 1, one of the most robustly induced genes, decreased ErbB2-induced cell motility in two different cell lines. In response to ErbB2 activation, sST2 protein expression and secretion were increased. Moreover, recombinant sST2 associated with the plasma membrane and sST2-blocking antibodies reduced ErbB2-induced motility. Interestingly, cells from metastatic breast tumors secreted higher levels of sST2 than primary tumor cells. Finally, sST2 was found at high levels in the serum of metastatic breast cancer patients. Our data suggest that sST2 contributes to breast cancer cell motility and that sST2 secretion is associated with metastasis.

Wang XL, Kong F, Shen T, et al.
Sesquiterpenoids from myrrh inhibit androgen receptor expression and function in human prostate cancer cells.
Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2011; 32(3):338-44 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To examine whether two naturally occurring sesquiterpenoids (ST1 and ST2) with anti-proliferative activity in prostate cancer cells inhibit androgen receptor (AR) signaling.
METHODS: Human prostate cancer cell lines LNCaP and PC3 were used. The expression of AR, AR translocation into the nucleus, and expression levels of AR coactivators ARA70 and steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) in LNCaP cells were examined using real-time PCR and Western blot. Changes in prostate-specific antigen (PSA) protein levels, PSA promoter activity, and androgen response element (ARE)-mediated reporter gene activity were examined using enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) and transient transfection assays. Co-immunoprecipitation was performed to analyze the interaction between AR and the AR coactivators in ST1- and ST2-treated cells.
RESULTS: In LNCaP cells, ST1 and ST2 (40 μmol/L) led to a significant decrease in the expression of AR as well as a reduction of AR translocation into the nucleus, but had no effect on AR protein translation. ST1 and ST2 treatment also resulted in a significant decrease in the level of PSA protein secreted into the medium and was able to suppress PSA promoter-dependent and ARE-dependent luciferase activity. Furthermore, decreased expression of ARA70 and SRC-1 was observed when LNCaP cells were exposed to ST1 and ST2, which interfered with their ability to interact with AR.
CONCLUSION: The observations suggest that suppression of AR transactivation by ST1 and ST2 may be mediated, in part, by inhibiting AR nuclear translocation and/or interfering with the interaction between AR and its coactivators ARA70 and SRC-1. Therefore, sesquiterpenoids could be developed as novel therapeutic agents for treating prostate cancer.

Kurio N, Shimo T, Fukazawa T, et al.
Anti-tumor effect in human breast cancer by TAE226, a dual inhibitor for FAK and IGF-IR in vitro and in vivo.
Exp Cell Res. 2011; 317(8):1134-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) is a 125-kDa non-receptor type tyrosine kinase that localizes to focal adhesions. FAK overexpression is frequently found in invasive and metastatic cancers of the breast, colon, thyroid, and prostate, but its role in osteolytic metastasis is not well understood. In this study, we have analyzed anti-tumor effects of the novel FAK Tyr(397) inhibitor TAE226 against bone metastasis in breast cancer by using TAE226. Oral administration of TAE226 in mice significantly decreased bone metastasis and osteoclasts involved which were induced by MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and increased the survival rate of the mouse models of bone metastasis. TAE226 also suppressed the growth of subcutaneous tumors in vivo and the proliferation and migration of MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro. Significantly, TAE226 inhibited the osteoclast formation in murine pre-osteoclastic RAW264.7 cells, and actin ring and pit formation in mature osteoclasts. Moreover, TAE226 inhibited the receptor activator for nuclear factor κ B Ligand (RANKL) gene expression induced by parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) in bone stromal ST2 cells and blood free calcium concentration induced by PTHrP administration in vivo. These findings suggest that FAK was critically involved in osteolytic metastasis and activated in tumors, pre-osteoclasts, mature osteoclasts, and bone stromal cells and TAE226 can be effectively used for the treatment of cancer induced bone metastasis and other bone diseases.

Savage KJ, Ferreri AJ, Zinzani PL, Pileri SA
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma--not otherwise specified.
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2011; 79(3):321-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, not otherwise specified (PTCL-NOS) does correspond to a heterogeneous group of nodal and extranodal mature T-cell lymphomas, with a low prevalence in Western countries. PTCL-NOS accounts for about 25% of all PTCL, which represent over 15% of all lymphomas. In the lymph node, PTCL-NOS shows paracortical or diffuse infiltrates with effacement of the normal architecture, with a broad cytological spectrum and a frequently observed inflammatory background. Some morphological variants include: lymphoepithelioid or Lennert's type, T-zone, and follicular. PTCL-NOS is characterized by an aberrant T-cell phenotype, with frequent loss of CD5 and CD7. A CD4+/CD8- phenotype predominates in nodal cases. CD4/CD8 +/+ or -/- is at times seen, as is CD8, CD56 and cytotoxic granule expression. Ki-67 rate is typically high. TCR β-chain is usually expressed; TCR genes are most often clonally rearranged. PTCL-NOS typically occurs in adults (median age 55-60 years), with a higher prevalence in males. It presents more often as disseminated disease, occasionally with eosinophilia, pruritis or hemophagocytic syndrome. Patients often have B symptoms, generalized lymphadenopathy, bone marrow infiltration, and extranodal involvement, with high or high-intermediate IPI score in 50-70% of cases. Prognosis is poor, with a 5-year OS of 20-30%. Some variables, like ST2(L), CXCR5, CXCR3, EBV infection, cytotoxic granule expression, high proliferative index, NF-κB expression, were proposed as prognostic indicators, but the IPI score, and its variant called PIT, remains the most effective prognostic factor. Patients with PTCL-NOS should be treated with anthracycline-containing chemotherapy, followed by radiotherapy in cases of stage I-II disease. This strategy is associated with an overall response rate higher than 60%, but the 5-year overall survival is only 20-30%. Upfront high-dose chemotherapy supported by autologous or allogeneic SCT is an investigational approach, with a 4-year overall survival of about 40%. Patients with chemosensitive relapse respond favorably to high-dose chemotherapy and ASCT, with long-term survival rates of 35-45%. Graft-versus-lymphoma effect following allogeneic SCT has been observed; and reduced intensity conditioning emerges as an attractive strategy for frail patients. Most patients with PTCL-NOS are enrolled in prospective trials to explore new approaches, and new agents, like gemcitabine, alemtuzumab and pralatrexate, are being investigated.

Kayamori K, Sakamoto K, Nakashima T, et al.
Roles of interleukin-6 and parathyroid hormone-related peptide in osteoclast formation associated with oral cancers: significance of interleukin-6 synthesized by stromal cells in response to cancer cells.
Am J Pathol. 2010; 176(2):968-80 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We investigated the roles of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP) in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC)-induced osteoclast formation. Microarray analyses performed on 43 human OSCC specimens revealed that many of the specimens overexpressed PTHrP mRNA, but a few overexpressed IL-6 mRNA. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed that IL-6 was expressed not only in cancer cells but also in fibroblasts and osteoclasts at the tumor-bone interface. Many of the IL-6-positive cells coexpressed vimentin. Conditioned medium (CM) derived from the culture of oral cancer cell lines (BHY, Ca9-22, HSC3, and HO1-u-1) stimulated Rankl expression in stromal cells and osteoclast formation. Antibodies against both human PTHrP and mouse IL-6 receptor suppressed Rankl in ST2 cells and osteoclast formation induced by CM from BHY and Ca9-22, although the inhibitory effects of IL6 antibody were greater than those of PTHrP antibody. CM derived from all of the OSCC cell lines effectively induced IL-6 expression in stromal cells, and the induction was partially blocked by anti-PTHrP antibody. Xenografts of HSC3 cells onto the periosteal region of the parietal bone in athymic mice presented histology and expression profiles of RANKL and IL-6 similar to those observed in bone-invasive human OSCC specimens. These results indicate that OSCC provides a suitable microenvironment for osteoclast formation not only by producing IL-6 and PTHrP but also by stimulating stromal cells to synthesize IL-6.

Marvie P, Lisbonne M, L'helgoualc'h A, et al.
Interleukin-33 overexpression is associated with liver fibrosis in mice and humans.
J Cell Mol Med. 2010; 14(6B):1726-39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Interleukin-33 (IL-33), the most recently identified member of the IL-1 family, induces synthesis of T Helper 2 (Th2)-type cytokines via its heterodimeric ST2/IL-1RAcP receptor. Th2-type cytokines play an important role in fibrosis; thus, we investigated the role of IL-33 in liver fibrosis. IL-33, ST2 and IL-1RAcP gene expression was analysed in mouse and human normal (n= 6) and fibrotic livers (n= 28), and in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; n= 22), using real-time PCR. IL-33 protein was detected in normal and fibrotic liver sections and in isolated liver cells using Western blotting and immunolocalization approaches. Our results showed that IL-33 and ST2 mRNA was overproduced in mouse and human fibrotic livers, but not in human HCC. IL-33 expression correlated with ST2 expression and also with collagen expression in fibrotic livers. The major sources of IL-33 in normal liver from both mice and human beings are the liver sinusoidal endothelial cells and, in fibrotic liver, the activated hepatic stellate cells (HSC). Moreover, IL-33 expression was increased in cultured HSC when stimulated by pro-inflammatory cytokines. In conclusion, IL-33 is strongly associated with fibrosis in chronic liver injury and activated HSC are a source of IL-33.

Haga Y, Yanagisawa K, Ohto-Ozaki H, et al.
The effect of ST2 gene product on anchorage-independent growth of a glioblastoma cell line, T98G.
Eur J Biochem. 2003; 270(1):163-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
The ST2 gene, which is specifically induced by growth stimulation in fibroblasts, encodes interleukin-1 receptor-related proteins and is widely expressed in hematopoietic, helper T, and various cancer cells. However, the physiological as well as pathological functions of the ST2 gene products are not yet fully understood. In this study, we analyzed the expression of the ST2 gene in human glioma cell lines and human brain tumor samples with real-time polymerase chain reaction method, the results of which revealed that the expression level of the ST2 gene in glioma cell lines and glioblastoma samples is significantly lower than that in a fibroblastic cell line, TM12, and benign brain tumors, suggesting the reverse relationship between malignancy and ST2 expression. As we could not detect the soluble ST2 protein in the culture fluid of the T98G glioblastic cell line by ELISA, we established stable transformants of T98G that continuously produce and secrete the ST2 protein, in order to study the effect of the ST2 protein on malignancy. Although we could not detect a remarkable difference in proliferation between transformants and control cells in conventional tissue culture dishes, the efficiency of colony formation in soft agar was significantly decreased in the case of cells that continuously produce the ST2 protein. Furthermore, inhibition of colony formation in soft agar was observed in wild-type T98G cells when purified soluble ST2 protein was added to the culture, in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, the results suggest that the expression of ST2 suppressed the anchorage-independent growth and malignancy.

Michigami T, Shimizu N, Williams PJ, et al.
Cell-cell contact between marrow stromal cells and myeloma cells via VCAM-1 and alpha(4)beta(1)-integrin enhances production of osteoclast-stimulating activity.
Blood. 2000; 96(5):1953-60 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloma is a unique hematologic malignancy that exclusively homes in the bone marrow and induces massive osteoclastic bone destruction presumably by producing cytokines that promote the differentiation of the hematopoietic progenitors to osteoclasts (osteoclastogenesis). It is recognized that neighboring bone marrow stromal cells influence the expression of the malignant phenotype in myeloma cells. This study examined the role of the interactions between myeloma cells and neighboring stromal cells in the production of osteoclastogenic factors to elucidate the mechanism underlying extensive osteoclastic bone destruction. A murine myeloma cell line 5TGM1, which causes severe osteolysis, expresses alpha(4)beta(1)-integrin and tightly adheres to the mouse marrow stromal cell line ST2, which expresses the vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), a ligand for alpha(4)beta(1)-integrin. Co-cultures of 5TGM1 with primary bone marrow cells generated tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive multinucleated bone-resorbing osteoclasts. Co-cultures of 5TGM1 with ST2 showed increased production of bone-resorbing activity and neutralizing antibodies against VCAM-1 or alpha(4)beta(1)-integrin inhibited this. The 5TGM1 cells contacting recombinant VCAM-1 produced increased osteoclastogenic and bone-resorbing activity. The activity was not blocked by the neutralizing antibody to known osteoclastogenic cytokines including interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor, or parathyroid hormone-related peptide. These data suggest that myeloma cells are responsible for producing osteoclastogenic activity and that establishment of direct contact with marrow stromal cells via alpha(4)beta(1)-integrin/VCAM-1 increases the production of this activity by myeloma cells. They also suggest that the presence of stromal cells may provide a microenvironment that allows exclusive colonization of myeloma cells in the bone marrow. (Blood. 2000;96:1953-1960)

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