Research Papers:

Lipopolysaccharide increases the release of VEGF-C that enhances cell motility and promotes lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis through the TLR4- NF-κB/JNK pathways in colorectal cancer

Guangwei Zhu, Qiang Huang, Yongjian Huang, Wei Zheng, Jin Hua, Shugang Yang, Jinfu Zhuang, Jinzhou Wang and Jianxin Ye _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:73711-73724. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.12449

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Guangwei Zhu1,2,*, Qiang Huang1,2,*, Yongjian Huang1,2, Wei Zheng1,2, Jin Hua1,2, Shugang Yang1,2, Jinfu Zhuang1,2, Jinzhou Wang1,2, Jianxin Ye1,2

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery 2 Section, The First Hospital Affiliated to Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, China

2Key Laboratory of Ministry of Education for Gastrointestinal Cancer, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou, Fujian, China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Jianxin Ye, email: yejianxinfuyi@126. com

Keywords: lipopolysaccharide, colorectal cancer, VEGF-C, cell motility, lymphatic metastasis

Received: June 11, 2016     Accepted: September 21, 2016     Published: October 04, 2016


Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exists in the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Colorectal normal epithelium and colorectal cancer cells in situ are continuously exposed to LPS from intestinal bacteria, while little is known about the influence of LPS on colorectal cancer progression and metastasis. In this study, we investigated the potential role of LPS on colorectal cancer progression and metastasis as well as the underlying mechanisms. We measured higher LPS concentration in colorectal cancer tissues and even higher LPS concentration in colorectal cancer tissues with lymph node metastasis. LPS significantly enhanced cancer cell motility and promoted human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells’ (HDLECs’) capacity of tube-like formation in vitro, as well as accelerates lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis in nude mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated LPS notably increased the expression of VEGF-C in a time-dependent and concentration-dependent manner. VEGF-C is a key regulator for lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis. By constructing lentivirus-mediated shVEGF-C cells, VEGF-C down-regulation suppressed LPS’ promotive effect on cancer cell motility and HDLEC tube-like formation capacity. In addition, we found TLR4- NF-κB/JNK signal pathways were important for LPS to increase VEGF-C expression. All these result suggested a critical role for LPS in migration, invasion, lymphangiogenesis and lymph node metastasis of colorectal cancer, providing evidence that LPS increased VEGF-C secretion to promote cell motility and lymphangiogenesis via TLR4- NF-κB/JNK signaling.

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