Lung cancer-derived galectin-1 enhances tumorigenic potentiation of tumor-associated dendritic cells by expressing heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor.
The interaction between cancer cells and their microenvironment is a vicious cycle that enhances the survival and progression of cancer, resulting in metastasis. This study is the first to indicate that lung cancer-derived galectin-1 secretion is responsible for stimulating tumor-associated dendritic cells (TADCs) production of mature heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor (HB-EGF), which, in turn, increases cancer progression. Treatment of galectin-1, present in large amounts in lung cancer conditioned medium and lung cancer patient sera, mimicked the inductive effect of lung cancer conditioned medium on the expression and ectodomain shedding of HB-EGF by TNFα-converting enzyme/a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 9 (ADAM9) and ADAM17. Significant up-regulation of HB-EGF has been seen in tumor-infiltrating CD11c(+) dendritic cells in human lung cancer samples. Active cleavage of HB-EGF in TADCs by ADAM9 and ADAM17 is associated with increased protein kinase C δ and Lyn signaling. Enhancement of HB-EGF production in TADCs increased the proliferation, migration, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition abilities of lung cancer. In contrast, inhibiting HB-EGF by siRNA suppressed TADC-mediated cancer progression. Moreover, mice injected with galectin-1 knockdown Lewis lung carcinoma showed decreased expression and ectodomain shedding of HB-EGF and reduced incidence of cancer development, resulting in increased survival rates. We demonstrate here for the first time that human and mouse DCs are a source of HB-EGF, an EGFR ligand with tumorigenic properties. Antagonists of the effect of lung cancer-derived galectin-1 on DCs and anti-HB-EGF blocking antibodies could, therefore, have therapeutic potential as antitumor agents.