Hierarchical paracrine interaction of breast cancer associated fibroblasts with cancer cells via hMAPK-microRNAs to drive ER-negative breast cancer phenotype

Sanket H. Shah, Philip Miller, Marta Garcia-Contreras, Zheng Ao, Leah Machlin, Emilio Issa, Dorraya El-Ashry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Multiple juxtacrine and paracrine interactions occur between cancer cells and non-cancer cells of the tumor microenvironment (TME) that direct tumor progression. Cancer Associated Fibroblasts (CAFs) are an integral component of the TME, and the majority of breast tumor stroma is comprised of CAFs. Heterotypic interactions between cancer cells and non-cancer cells of the TME occur via soluble agents, including cytokines, hormones, growth factors, and secreted microRNAs. We previously identified a microRNA signature indicative of hyperactive MAPK signaling (hMAPK-miRNA signature) that significantly associated with reduced recurrence-free and overall survival. Here we report that the hMAPK-miRNA signature associates with a high metric of stromal cell infiltrate, and we investigate the role of microRNAs, particularly hMAPK-microRNAs, secreted by CAFs on estrogen receptor (ER) expression in breast cancer cells. ER-positive MCF-7/ltE2- cells were treated with conditioned media (CM) from CAFs derived from breast cancers of different PAM50 subtypes (CAFBAS, CAFHER2, and CAFLA). CAF CM isolated specifically from ER-negative primary breast tumors led to ER repression in vitro. Nanoparticle tracking analysis and transmission electron microscopy confirmed the presence of CAF-secreted exosomes in CM and the uptake of these exosomes by the ER+ MCF-7/ltE2- cells. Differentially expressed microRNAs in CAF CM as well as in MCF-7/ltE2- cells treated with this CM were identified. Knockdown of miR-221/222 in CAFBAS resulted in knockdown of miR221/222 levels in the conditioned media and the CM from CAFBAS; miR221/222 knockdown rescued ER repression in ER-positive cell lines treated with CAFBAS-CM. Collectively, our results demonstrate that CAF-secreted microRNAs are directly involved in ER-repression, and may contribute to the MAPK-induced ER repression in breast cancer cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1671-1681
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Biology and Therapy
Volume16
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 30 2015

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Keywords

  • CAFs
  • Estrogen receptor
  • exosomes
  • MAPK
  • microRNA
  • TME

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology

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