1. Graduate Institute of Medical Science, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei 110, Taiwan, ROC.
2. Division of Colorectal Surgery, Department of Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Hospital, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, ROC.
3. Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, ROC.
* Chih-Jie Shen and Ren-Hao Chan contributed equally to this work.
Background: Multigene mutations in colorectal cancer (CRC), including KRAS, BRAF, and p53, afford high metastatic ability and resistance to EGFR-targeting therapy. Understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating anti-EGFR-resistant CRC metastasis can improve CRC therapy. This study aimed to investigate the effects of IL-8 and the activation of KRAS on reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and metastasis of hyperlipidemia-associated CRC harboring mutations of KRAS and p53.
Methods: The cytokine array analysis determined the up-expression of secreted factors, including IL-8. The clinical relevance of the relationship between IL-8 and angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) was examined in CRC patients from National Cheng Kung University Hospital and TCGA dataset. Expressions of IL-8, ANGPTL4, NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4), and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers in free fatty acids (FFAs)-treated KRAS/p53 mutant CRC cells were determined. The hyperlipidemia-triggered metastatic ability of CRC cells under treatments of antioxidants, statin, and cetuximab or knockdown of IL-8, KRAS, and EGFR was evaluated in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the effects of antioxidants and depletion of IL-8 and KRAS on the correlation between ROS production and hyperlipidemia-promoted CRC metastasis were also clarified.
Results: In this study, we found that free fatty acids promoted KRAS/p53-mutant but not single-mutant or non-mutant CRC cell metastasis. IL-8, the most abundant secreted factor in KRAS/p53-mutant cells, was correlated with the upregulation of NOX4 expression and ROS production under oleic acid (OA)-treated conditions. In addition, the metastasis of KRAS/p53-mutant CRC relies on the ANGPTL4/IL-8/NOX4 axis and the activation of KRAS. The antioxidants and inactivation of KRAS also inhibited OA-induced EMT and metastasis. Although KRAS mediated EGF- and OA-promoted CRC cell invasion, the inhibition of EGFR did not affect OA-induced ANGPTL4/IL-8/NOX4 axis and CRC metastasis. The high-fat diet mice fed with vitamin E and statin or in IL-8-depleted cells significantly inhibited tumor extravasation and metastatic lung growth of CRC.
Conclusion: The antioxidants, statins, and targeting IL-8 may provide better outcomes for treating metastatic CRC that harbors multigene mutations and anti-EGFR resistance.
Keywords: multigene mutant CRC, oleic acid, IL-8, KRAS activation, metastasis