Angiogenin and the MMP9-TIMP2 axis are up-regulated in proangiogenic, decidual NK-like cells from patients with colorectal cancer

Antonino Bruno, Barbara Bassani, Davide Giuseppe D'Urso, Ilvana Pitaku, Elisa Cassinotti, Giuseppe Pelosi, Luigi Boni, Lorenzo Dominioni, Douglas M Noonan, Lorenzo Mortara, Adriana Albini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

NK cells are effector lymphocytes involved in tumor immunosurveillance; however, in patients with solid malignancies, NK cells have compromised functions. We have previously reported that lung tumor-associated NK cells (TANKs; peripheral blood) and tumor-infiltrating NK cells (TINKs) show proangiogenic, decidual NK-like (dNK) phenotype. In this study, we functionally and molecularly investigated TINKs and TANKs from blood and tissue samples of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC), a neoplasm in which inflammation and angiogenesis have clinical relevance, and compared them to NK cells from controls and patients with nononcologic inflammatory bowel disease. CRC TINKs/TANKs showed decreased expression for the activatory marker NKG2D, impaired degranulation activity, a decidual-like NK polarization toward the CD56brightCD16dim/-CD9+CD49+ subset. TINKs and TANKs secreted cytokines with proangiogenic activities, and induce endothelial cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, and the formation of capillary-like structures in vitro. dNK cells release specific proangiogenic factors; among which, angiogenin and invasion-associated enzymes related to the MMP9-TIMP1/2 axis. Here, we describe, for the first time, to our knowledge, the expression of angiogenin, MMP2/9, and TIMP by TANKs in patients with CRC. This phenotype could be relevant to the invasive capabilities and proangiogenic functions of CRC-NK cells and become a novel biomarker. STAT3/STAT5 activation was observed in CRC-TANKs, and treatment with pimozide, a STAT5 inhibitor, reduced endothelial cell capability to form capillary-like networks, inhibiting VEGF and angiogenin production without affecting the levels of TIMP1, TIMP2, and MMP9, indicating that STAT5 is involved in cytokine modulation but not invasion-associated molecules. Combination of Stat5 or MMP inhibitors with immunotherapy could help repolarize CRC TINKs and TANKs to anti-tumor antimetastatic ones.-Bruno, A., Bassani, B., D'Urso, D. G., Pitaku, I., Cassinotti, E., Pelosi, G., Boni, L., Dominioni, L., Noonan, D. M., Mortara, L., Albini, A. Angiogenin and the MMP9-TIMP2 axis are up-regulated in proangiogenic, decidual NK-like cells from patients with colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5365-5377
Number of pages13
JournalFASEB Journal
Volume32
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

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