Autophagic secretion of HMGB1 from cancer-associated fibroblasts promotes metastatic potential of non-small cell lung cancer cells via NFκB signaling

Yinghui Ren, Limin Cao, Limin Wang, Sijia Zheng, Qicheng Zhang, Xueru Guo, Xueqin Li, Mengmeng Chen, Xiang Wu, Fiona Furlong, Zhaowei Meng, Ke Xu

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Abstract

Tumor progression requires the communication between tumor cells and tumor microenvironment (TME). Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are major components of stromal cells. CAFs contribute to metastasis process through direct or indirect interaction with tumor cells; however, the underlying mechanism is largely unknown. Here, we reported that autophagy was upregulated in lung cancer-associated CAFs compared to normal fibroblasts (NFs), and autophagy was responsible for the promoting effect of CAFs on non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell migration and invasion. Inhibition of CAFs autophagy attenuated their regulation on epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis-related genes of NSCLC cells. High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) secreted by CAFs mediated CAFs' effect on lung cancer cell invasion, demonstrated by using recombinant HMGB1, HMGB1 neutralizing antibody, and HMGB1 inhibitor glycyrrhizin (GA). Importantly, the autophagy blockade of CAFs revealed that HMGB1 release was dependent on autophagy. We also found HMGB1 was responsible, at least in part, for autophagy activation of CAFs, suggesting CAFs remain active through an autocrine HMGB1 loop. Further study demonstrated that HMGB1 facilitated lung cancer cell invasion by activating the NFκB pathway. In a mouse xenograft model, the autophagy specific inhibitor chloroquine abolished the stimulating effect of CAFs on tumor growth. These results elucidated an oncogenic function for secretory autophagy in lung cancer-associated CAFs that promotes metastasis potential, and suggested HMGB1 as a novel therapeutic target.
Original languageEnglish
Article number858
JournalCell, Death & Disease
Volume12
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sep 2021

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