Integrated gene and miRNA expression analysis of prostate cancer associated fibroblasts supports a prominent role for interleukin-6 in fibroblast activation

Valentina Doldi, Maurizio Callari, Elisa Giannoni, Francesca D'Aiuto, Massimo Maffezzini, Riccardo Valdagni, Paola Chiarugi, Paolo Gandellini, Nadia Zaffaroni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tumor microenvironment coevolves with and simultaneously sustains cancer progression. In prostate carcinoma (PCa), cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF) have been shown to fuel tumor development and metastasis by mutually interacting with tumor cells. Molecular mechanisms leading to activation of CAFs from tissue-resident fibroblasts, circulating bone marrow-derived fibroblast progenitors or mesenchymal stem cells are largely unknown. Through integrated gene and microRNA expression profiling, we showed that PCa-derived CAF transcriptome strictly resembles that of normal fibroblasts stimulated in vitro with interleukin-6 (IL6), thus proving evidence, for the first time, that the cytokine is able per se to induce most of the transcriptional changes characteristic of patient-derived CAFs. Comparison with publicly available datasets, however, suggested that prostate CAFs may be alternatively characterized by IL6 and TGFβ-related signatures, indicating that either signal, depending on the context, may concur to fibroblast activation. Our analyses also highlighted novel pathways potentially relevant for induction of a reactive stroma. In addition, we revealed a role for muscle-specific miR-133b as a soluble factor secreted by activated fibroblasts to support paracrine activation of non-activated fibroblasts or promote tumor progression. Overall, we provided insights into the molecular mechanisms driving fibroblast activation in PCa, thus contributing to identify novel hits for the development of therapeutic strategies targeting the crucial interplay between tumor cells and their microenvironment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31441-31460
Number of pages20
JournalOncotarget
Volume6
Issue number31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Cancer associated fibroblasts
  • Gene expression
  • Interleukin-6
  • MicroRNA
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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