Research Papers:

Reciprocal crosstalk between endometrial carcinoma and mesenchymal stem cells via transforming growth factor-β/ transforming growth factor receptor and C–X–C motif chemokine ligand 12/C–X–C chemokine receptor type 4 aggravates malignant phenotypes

Dah-Ching Ding, Tang-Yuan Chu _ and Hwan-Wun Liu

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:115202-115214. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.23212

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Dah-Ching Ding1,2, Tang-Yuan Chu1,2,3 and Hwan-Wun Liu2,4

1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Buddhist Tzu-Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan

2Institute of Medical Sciences, Tzu Chi University; Hualien, Taiwan

3Cervical Cancer Prevention Center, Department of Research, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan

4Department of Occupational Medicine, Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital, Hualien, Taiwan

Correspondence to:

Tang-Yuan Chu, email: [email protected]

Keywords: endometrial cancer; mesenchymal stem cells; transforming growth factor-ß1; C–X–C motif chemokine ligand 12; C–X–C chemokine receptor type 4

Received: December 14, 2016    Accepted: August 06, 2017    Published: December 14, 2017


Designated for cyclic shedding, the endometrial stroma is rich in endometrial mesenchymal stem cells (EMSCs) and may play an important role in the development of endometrial carcinoma (EC). This study characterized the crosstalk of EC cells with EMSCs and the resultant effects on malignant phenotypes. The cultured EMSCs expressed CD73, CD90, and CD105, but not CD14, CD19, CD34, CD45, or human leukocyte antigen—antigen D related markers. These EMSCs also showed osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic differentiation ability. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and C–X–C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) secretion or expression were reciprocally enhanced in EC cells and EMSCs, as well as in their tissues. By acting on the receptors expressed in their mutual target cells, the interaction between TGF-β and CXCL12 results in the enhanced migration, invasion, tumorigenesis, and epithelial–mesenchymal transition of EC cells, which can be blocked by neutralizing the antibody of either CXCL12 or C–X–C chemokine receptor type 4. The study revealed unprecedented paracrine interactions between EC cells and EMSCs that resulted in the enhancement of transformation phenotypes. Thus, the blocking of TGF-β or CXCL12 signaling can be a therapeutic target for EC.

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