• Authors: Kim, G., Khanal, P., Lim, S. C., Yun, H. J., Ahn, S. G., Ki, S. H., Choi, H. S.
  • Year: 2013
  • Journal: Carcinogenesis 34 341-50
  • Applications: in vitro / DNA / jetPEI
  • Cell types:
    1. Name: JB6
    2. Name: MCF7
      Description: Human breast adenocarcinoma cells
      Known as: MCF-7, MCF 7


Inflammatory conditions elicited by extrinsic environmental factors promote malignant transformation, tumor growth and metastasis. Although the role of T cells in cancer promotion has been examined, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms of interleukin-17 A (IL-17A), a proinflammatory cytokine produced by activated CD4(+) memory T cells, in carcinogenesis. Here, we report that IL-17A induces neoplastic transformation of JB6 Cl41 cells through activation of tumor progression locus 2 (TPL2). IL-17A dose- and time-dependently increases TPL2 phosphorylation in JB6 Cl41 cells through IL-17A receptor. IL-17A activates mitogen-activated protein kinase/extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinases, c-jun N-terminal kinases and STAT3 signaling pathways, which are inhibited by a TPL2 kinase inhibitor (TKI). Furthermore, IL-17A activates c-fos and c-jun promoter activity, resulting in increased activator protein-1 (AP-1) activity. When small interfering RNA of IL-17A receptor (IL-17R), IL-17A and TPL2 were introduced into JB6 Cl41 cells, respectively, IL-17A-induced AP-1 activity was significantly decreased compared with control cells. Similarly, TPL2 inhibition suppressed AP-1 activity induced by IL-17A. The knockdown of IL-17R and TKI treatment in JB6 Cl41 cells resulted in decreased IL-17A-induced cell transformation. The in vivo chorioallantoic membrane assay also showed that IL-17A increased tumor formation of JB6 Cl41 cells, whereas TKI inhibited the tumorigenesis promoted by IL-17A. Consistent with these observations, knockdown of IL-17A and/or inhibition of TPL2 attenuated tumorigenicity of human breast cancer MCF7 cells. Together, our findings point to a critical role for the IL-17A-induced TPL2 signaling pathway in supporting cancer-associated inflammation in the tumor microenvironment. Therapeutic approaches that target this pathway may, therefore, effectively inhibit carcinogenesis.