Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(9):1882-1891. doi:10.7150/ijbs.31999 This issue

Research Paper

An Autocrine IL-6/IGF-1R Loop Mediates EMT and Promotes Tumor Growth in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer

Xianan Zheng1, Guohua Lu2, Yinan Yao2✉, Wei Gu1✉

1. Department of Endocrinology, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China
2. Department of Respiratory Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China

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Citation:
Zheng X, Lu G, Yao Y, Gu W. An Autocrine IL-6/IGF-1R Loop Mediates EMT and Promotes Tumor Growth in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer. Int J Biol Sci 2019; 15(9):1882-1891. doi:10.7150/ijbs.31999. Available from https://www.ijbs.com/v15p1882.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) is a key process in EGFR-TKI resistance but the detailed mechanism is largely unknown. We aim to evaluate the role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) and insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGR-1R) in EMT in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). We used IL-6 to induce EMT in EGFR-TKI sensitive NSCLC cells. We found that both STAT3 and IGF-1R were activated. Interestingly activation of STAT3 and JAK1 was blocked by inhibiting IGF-1R, suggesting that IGF-1R might signal via JAK/STAT3. Activation of IGF-1R and AKT was inhibited by blocking STAT3, suggesting that STAT3 blockade might provide negative feedback signal to inhibiting IGF-1R. Reporter assay further confirmed that STAT3 activated gene transcription of IGF-1R. RT-PCR analyses showed that IL-6 induced the expression of IL-6 per se as well as IGF-1 and IGF-2. Expression of IL-6 and IGF-1R ligands was suppressed by inhibiting either STAT3 or IGF-1R. Meanwhile IL-6 induced gefitinib resistance and increased migration. We elucidated an autocrine loop of IL-6/IGF-1R/STAT3 in EMT-mediated resistance and tumor growth in NSCLC.

Keywords: IGF-1, STAT3, epithelial-to-mesenchymal, transition, IL-6, NSCLC