Journal Article

Nrf2-deficiency creates a responsive microenvironment for metastasis to the lung

Hironori Satoh, Takashi Moriguchi, Keiko Taguchi, Jun Takai, Jonathan M. Maher, Takafumi Suzuki, Paul T. Winnard, Venu Raman, Masahito Ebina, Toshihiro Nukiwa and Masayuki Yamamoto

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 31, issue 10, pages 1833-1843
Published in print October 2010 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online May 2010 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgq105
Nrf2-deficiency creates a responsive microenvironment for metastasis to the lung

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The Nrf2 transcription factor is crucial for regulating the cellular defense against various carcinogens. However, relationship between host Nrf2 and cancer metastasis remains unexplored. To address this issue, we examined susceptibility of Nrf2-deficient mice to pulmonary cancer metastasis following implantation of the mouse Lewis lung carcinoma (3LL) cell line. Nrf2-deficient mice reproducibly exhibited a higher number of pulmonary metastatic nodules than wild-type mice did. The lung and bone marrow (BM) of cancer-bearing Nrf2-deficient mice contained increased numbers of inflammatory cells, including myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), a potent population of immunosuppressive cells. MDSCs can attenuate CD8+ T-cell immunity through modification of the T-cell receptor complex exploiting reactive oxygen species (ROS). MDSCs of Nrf2-deficient mice retained elevated levels of ROS relative to wild-type mice. BM transplantation experiments revealed functional disturbance in the hematopoietic and immune systems of Nrf2-deficient mice. Wild-type recipient mice with Nrf2-deficient BM cells showed increased levels of lung metastasis after cancer cell inoculation. These mice exhibited high-level accumulation of ROS in MDSCs, which showed very good coincidence to the decrease of splenic CD8+ T-cells. In contrast, Keap1-knockdown mutant mice harboring high-level Nrf2 expression displayed increased resistance against the cancer cell metastasis to the lung, accompanied by a decrease in ROS in the MDSCs fraction. Our results thus reveal a novel function for Nrf2 in the prevention of cancer metastasis, presumably by its ability to preserve the redox balance in the hematopoietic and immune systems.

Journal Article.  7024 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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