Copyright © 2015 Sun et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Chronic inflammation contributes to tumor development through the induction of oncogenic mutations, genomic instability, early tumor promotion, and enhanced angiogenesis. Here, we report that IL-1 receptor 1 (IL-1R1) was expressed in 40 of 41 human tongue squamous cell carcinomas (TSCC). IL-1β up-regulated the expression of CXCR4, a CXC chemokine receptor that mediates cancer growth and metastasis, at both mRNA and protein levels in Tca8113 TSCC cells. IL-1β treatment of Tca8113 cells promoted migration in response to CXCR4 ligand stromal-derived factor α (SDF-1α). The inhibition of IL-1R1 by its antagonist IL-1Ra or RNA interference significantly reversed the up-regulation of CXCR4 induced by IL-1β. IL-1R1 activation also up-regulated the expression of IL-1β itself, suggesting a positive feedback regulation of CXCR4 expression. Furthermore, IL-1β induced the activation of Notch, which was originally considered a stem cell regulator. Pharmacological inhibition of Notch signaling reversed the up-regulation of CXCR4 induced by IL-1β, suggesting that Notch signaling may be involved in the growth and metastasis of cancers via up-regulation of CXCR4. In addition, IL-1β induced the activation of extracellular signal regulated kinase (ERK) and ERK inhibition decreased the up-regulation of CXCR4 induced by IL-1β, suggesting the involvement of ERK signaling in cancer metastasis. Taken together these data suggest that IL-1β and IL-1R1 promote cancer growth and metastasis by up-regulating CXCR4 expression and that CXCR4 may be a link between inflammation and cancer.
Sun, Y., Zhu, D., Wang, G., Wang, D., Zhou, H., Liu, X., … Hu, J. (2015). Pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1β up-regulates CXC chemokine receptor 4 via Notch and ERK signaling pathways in tongue squamous cell carcinoma. PLoS ONE, 10(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0132677