Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the main drivers of disease progression and chemotherapy resistance in breast cancer. Tumor progression and chemoresistance might then be prevented by CSC-targeted therapies. We previously demonstrated that Toll-like Receptor (TLR)2 is overexpressed in CSCs and fuels their self-renewal. Here, we show that high TLR2 expression is linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer patients, therefore representing a candidate target for breast cancer treatment. By using a novel mammary cancer-prone TLR2(KO) mouse model, we demonstrate that TLR2 is required for CSC pool maintenance and for regulatory T cell induction. Accordingly, cancer-prone TLR2(KO) mice display delayed tumor onset and increased survival. Transplantation of TLR2(WT) and TLR2(KO) cancer cells in either TLR2(WT) or TLR2(KO) hosts shows that tumor initiation is mostly sustained by TLR2 expression in cancer cells. TLR2 host deficiency partially impairs cancer cell growth, implying a pro-tumorigenic effect of TLR2 expression in immune cells. Finally, we demonstrate that doxorubicin-induced release of HMGB1 activates TLR2 signaling in cancer cells, leading to a chemotherapy-resistant phenotype. Unprecedented use of TLR2 inhibitors in vivo reduces tumor growth and potentiates doxorubicin efficacy with no negative impact on the host immune system, opening new perspectives for the treatment of breast cancer patients.

Toll-like receptor 2 promotes breast cancer progression and resistance to chemotherapy

Di Lorenzo, Antonino;Bolli, Elisabetta;Ruiu, Roberto;Ferrauto, Giuseppe;Di Gregorio, Enza;Avalle, Lidia;Savino, Aurora;Poggio, Pietro;Merighi, Irene Fiore;Riccardo, Federica;Brancaccio, Mara;Quaglino, Elena;Cavallo, Federica
Co-last
;
Conti, Laura
Co-last
2022-01-01

Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are the main drivers of disease progression and chemotherapy resistance in breast cancer. Tumor progression and chemoresistance might then be prevented by CSC-targeted therapies. We previously demonstrated that Toll-like Receptor (TLR)2 is overexpressed in CSCs and fuels their self-renewal. Here, we show that high TLR2 expression is linked to poor prognosis in breast cancer patients, therefore representing a candidate target for breast cancer treatment. By using a novel mammary cancer-prone TLR2(KO) mouse model, we demonstrate that TLR2 is required for CSC pool maintenance and for regulatory T cell induction. Accordingly, cancer-prone TLR2(KO) mice display delayed tumor onset and increased survival. Transplantation of TLR2(WT) and TLR2(KO) cancer cells in either TLR2(WT) or TLR2(KO) hosts shows that tumor initiation is mostly sustained by TLR2 expression in cancer cells. TLR2 host deficiency partially impairs cancer cell growth, implying a pro-tumorigenic effect of TLR2 expression in immune cells. Finally, we demonstrate that doxorubicin-induced release of HMGB1 activates TLR2 signaling in cancer cells, leading to a chemotherapy-resistant phenotype. Unprecedented use of TLR2 inhibitors in vivo reduces tumor growth and potentiates doxorubicin efficacy with no negative impact on the host immune system, opening new perspectives for the treatment of breast cancer patients.
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Breast cancer; HER2; HMGB1; Toll-like receptor 2; chemoresistance; Animals; Disease Progression; Doxorubicin; Drug Resistance, Neoplasm; Female; Humans; Mice; Mice, Knockout; Neoplastic Stem Cells; Breast Neoplasms; Toll-Like Receptor 2
Di Lorenzo, Antonino; Bolli, Elisabetta; Ruiu, Roberto; Ferrauto, Giuseppe; Di Gregorio, Enza; Avalle, Lidia; Savino, Aurora; Poggio, Pietro; Merighi, Irene Fiore; Riccardo, Federica; Brancaccio, Mara; Quaglino, Elena; Cavallo, Federica; Conti, Laura
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1880235
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