Research Papers:

MFHAS1 promotes colorectal cancer progress by regulating polarization of tumor-associated macrophages via STAT6 signaling pathway

Wankun Chen, Yajun Xu, Jing Zhong, Huihui Wang, Meilin Weng, Qian Cheng, Qichao Wu, Zhirong Sun, Hui Jiang, Minmin Zhu, Yu Ren, Pingbo Xu, Jiawei Chen and Changhong Miao _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:78726-78735. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12807

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Wankun Chen1,*, Yajun Xu1,*, Jing Zhong1, Huihui Wang1, Meilin Weng1, Qian Cheng1, Qichao Wu1, Zhirong Sun1, Hui Jiang1, Minmin Zhu1, Yu Ren1, Pingbo Xu1, Jiawei Chen1, Changhong Miao1

1Department of Anesthesiology, Fudan University Shanghai Cancer Center, Department of Oncology, Shanghai Medical College, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Changhong Miao, email: miaochh@aliyun.com

Keywords: MFHAS1, tumor-associated macrophages, macrophage polarization, colorectal cancer

Received: April 14, 2016     Accepted: October 06, 2016     Published: October 21, 2016


Malignant fibrous histiocytoma amplified sequence 1 (MFHAS1) is a predicted oncoprotein that demonstrates tumorigenic activity in vivo; however, the mechanisms involved are unknown. Macrophages are divided into the pro-inflammatory M1 and anti-inflammatory/protumoral M2 subtypes. Tumor cells can induce M2 polarization of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) to promote metastasis; but the underlying pathways require to be elucidated. In this study, we detected a positive association between MFHAS1 expression in TAMs and human colorectal cancer (CRC) TNM stage. Supernatant of CT26 murine CRC cells induced MFHAS1 expression in RAW264.7 murine macrophages. Additionally, CT26 supernatant induced the M2 marker CD206 and activated the pro-M2 STAT6 and KLF4 signaling in control but not MFHAS1-silenced RAW264.7 macrophages. Moreover, supernatant of control, but not MFHAS1-silenced macrophages promoted CT26 cell proliferation, migration and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Compared with control macrophages, MFHAS1-silenced macrophages showed significantly reduced protumoral effects in vivo. Together, these results suggested that CRC cells induce M2 polarization of TAMs through MFHAS1 induction and subsequent STAT6 and KLF4 activation to promote CRC progress. Finally, similar to CT26 supernatant stimulation, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) activation by rosiglitazone induced M2 polarization of RAW264.7 macrophages through MFHAS1-dependent pathway. Our results highlight the role of MFHAS1 as a regulator of macrophages polarization and CRC progress.

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