Interleukin-22 promotes development of malignant lesions in a mouse model of spontaneous breast cancer.

Citation:
Katara, G. K., A. Kulshrestha, S. Schneiderman, V. Riehl, S. Ibrahim, and K. D. Beaman, "Interleukin-22 promotes development of malignant lesions in a mouse model of spontaneous breast cancer.", Molecular oncology, vol. 14, issue 1, pp. 211-224, 2020.

Abstract:

Interleukin (IL)-22 is recognized as a tumor-supporting cytokine and is implicated in the proliferation of multiple epithelial cancers. In breast cancer, the current knowledge of IL-22 function is based on cell line models and little is known about how IL-22 affects the tumor initiation, proliferation, invasion, and metastasis in the in vivo system. Here, we investigated the tumor stage-specific function of IL-22 in disease development by evaluating the stage-by-stage progression of breast cancer in an IL-22 knockout spontaneous breast cancer mouse model. We found that among all the stages, IL-22 is specifically upregulated in tumor microenvironment (TME) during the malignant transformation stage of breast tumor progression. The deletion of IL-22 gene leads to the arrest of malignant transition stage, and reduced invasion and tumor burden. Administration of recombinant IL-22 in the TME does not influence in vivo tumor initiation and proliferation but only promotes malignant transformation of cancer cells. Mechanistically, deletion of IL-22 gene causes downregulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-associated transcription factors in breast tumors, suggesting EMT as the mechanism of regulation of malignancy by IL-22. Clinically, in human breast tumor tissues, increased number of IL-22 cells in the TME is associated with an aggressive phenotype of breast cancer. For the first time, this study provides an insight into the tumor stage-specific function of IL-22 in breast tumorigenesis.

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