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Toll-like receptor 2 regulates metabolic reprogramming in gastric cancer via superoxide dismutase 2

Abstract

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play critical roles in host defense after recognition of conserved microbial- and host-derived components, and their dysregulation is a common feature of various inflammation-associated cancers, including gastric cancer (GC). Despite the recent recognition that metabolic reprogramming is a hallmark of cancer, the molecular effectors of altered metabolism during tumorigenesis remain unclear. Here, using bioenergetics function assays on human GC cells, we reveal that ligand-induced activation of TLR2, predominantly through TLR1/2 heterodimer, augments both oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and glycolysis, with a bias toward glycolytic activity. Notably, DNA microarray-based expression profiling of human cancer cells stimulated with TLR2 ligands demonstrated significant enrichment of gene-sets for oncogenic pathways previously implicated in metabolic regulation, including reactive oxygen species (ROS), p53 and Myc. Moreover, the redox gene encoding the manganese-dependent mitochondrial enzyme, superoxide dismutase (SOD)2, was strongly induced at the mRNA and protein levels by multiple signaling pathways downstream of TLR2, namely JAK-STAT3, JNK MAPK and NF-kappaB. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated suppression of SOD2 ameliorated the TLR2-induced metabolic shift in human GC cancer cells. Importantly, patient-derived tissue microarrays and bioinformatics interrogation of clinical datasets indicated that upregulated expression of TLR2 and SOD2 were significantly correlated in human GC, and the TLR2-SOD2 axis was associated with multiple clinical parameters of advanced stage disease, including distant metastasis, microvascular invasion and stage, as well as poor survival. Collectively, our findings reveal a novel TLR2-SOD2 axis as a potential biomarker for therapy and prognosis in cancer.

Type Journal
ISBN 0020-7136
Authors Liu, Y. D.; Yu, L.; Ying, L.; Balic, J.; Gao, H.; Deng, N. T.; West, A.; Yan, F.; Ji, C. B.; Gough, D.; Tan, P.; Jenkins, B. J.; Li, J. K.
Responsible Garvan Author Dr Niantao Deng
Publisher Name INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF CANCER
Published Date 2019-06-15
Published Volume 144
Published Issue 12
Published Pages 3056-3069
Status Published in-print
DOI 10.1002/ijc.32060