GBP-1 acts as a tumor suppressor in colorectal cancer cells

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Abstract

The human guanylate-binding protein 1 (GBP-1) is among the proteins the most highly induced by interferon-γ (IFN-γ) in every cell type investigated as yet. In vivo, GBP-1 expression is associated with the presence of inflammation and has been observed in autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and cancer. In colorectal carcinoma (CRC), the expression of GBP-1 in the desmoplastic stroma has been previously reported to correlate with the presence of an IFN-γ-dominated T helper type 1 (Th1) micromilieu and with an increased cancer-related 5-year survival. In the present study, the analysis of GBP-1 expression in a series of 185 CRCs by immunohistochemistry confirmed that GBP-1 is expressed in stroma cells of CRCs and revealed a significantly less frequent expression in tumor cells, which was contradictory with the broad inducibility of GBP-1. Furthermore, three of six CRC cell lines treated with IFN-γ were unable to express GBP-1 indicating that colorectal tumor cells tend to downregulate GBP-1. On the contrary, non-transformed colon epithelial cells strongly expressed GBP-1 in vitro in presence of IFN-γ and in vivo in inflammatory bowel diseases. Reconstitution of GBP-1 expression in a negative CRC cell line inhibited cell proliferation, migration and invasion. Using RNA interference, we showed that GBP-1 mediates the antitumorigenic effects of IFN-γ in CRC cells. In addition, GBP-1 was able to inhibit tumor growth in vivo. Altogether, these results suggested that GBP-1 acts directly as a tumor suppressor in CRC and the loss of GBP-1 expression might indicate tumor evasion from the IFN-γ-dominated Th1 immune response.

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