MEK-dependent IL-8 induction regulates the invasiveness of triple-negative breast cancer cells
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Interleukin-8 (IL-8) serves as a prognostic marker for breast cancer, and its expression level correlates with metastatic breast cancer and poor prognosis. Here, we investigated the levels of IL-8 expression in a variety of breast cancer cells and the regulatory mechanism of IL-8 in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells. Our results showed that IL-8 expression correlated positively with overall survival in basal-type breast cancer patients. The levels of IL-8 mRNA expression and protein secretion were significantly increased in TNBC cells compared with non-TNBC cells. In addition, the invasiveness of the TNBC cells was dramatically increased by IL-8 treatment and then augmented invasion-related proteins such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 or MMP-9. We observed that elevated IL-8 mRNA expression and protein secretion were suppressed by a specific MEK1/2 inhibitor, UO126. In contrast, the overexpression of constitutively active MEK significantly increased the level of IL-8 mRNA expression in BT474 non-TNBC cells. Finally, we investigated the effect of UO126 on the tumorigenecity of TNBC cells. Our results showed that anchorage-independent growth, cell invasion, and cell migration were also decreased by UO126 in TNBC cells. As such, we demonstrated that IL-8 expression is regulated through MEK/ERK-dependent pathways in TNBC cells. A diversity of MEK blockers, including UO126, may be promising for treating TNBC patients.
KeywordsIL-8 Poor prognosis Cell invasion MEK Triple-negative breast cancer
This research was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) and funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI14C3418), and by a Samsung Biomedical Research Institute grant (SMX1131701).
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