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      Microvesicles secreted by macrophages shuttle invasion-potentiating microRNAs into breast cancer cells

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          Abstract

          Background

          Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are alternatively activated cells induced by interleukin-4 (IL-4)-releasing CD4 + T cells. TAMs promote breast cancer invasion and metastasis; however, the mechanisms underlying these interactions between macrophages and tumor cells that lead to cancer metastasis remain elusive. Previous studies have found microRNAs (miRNAs) circulating in the peripheral blood and have identified microvesicles, or exosomes, as mediators of cell-cell communication. Therefore, one alternative mechanism for the promotion of breast cancer cell invasion by TAMs may be through macrophage-secreted exosomes, which would deliver invasion-potentiating miRNAs to breast cancer cells.

          Results

          We utilized a co-culture system with IL-4-activated macrophages and breast cancer cells to verify that miRNAs are transported from macrophages to breast cancer cells. The shuttling of fluorescently-labeled exogenous miRNAs from IL-4-activated macrophages to co-cultivated breast cancer cells without direct cell-cell contact was observed. miR-223, a miRNA specific for IL-4-activated macrophages, was detected within the exosomes released by macrophages and was significantly elevated in the co-cultivated SKBR3 and MDA-MB-231 cells. The invasiveness of the co-cultivated breast cancer cells decreased when the IL-4-activated macrophages were treated with a miR-223 antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) that would inhibit miR-223 expression. Furthermore, results from a functional assay revealed that miR-223 promoted the invasion of breast cancer cells via the Mef2c-β-catenin pathway.

          Conclusions

          We conclude that macrophages regulate the invasiveness of breast cancer cells through exosome-mediated delivery of oncogenic miRNAs. Our data provide insight into the mechanisms underlying the metastasis-promoting interactions between macrophages and breast cancer cells.

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          Most cited references22

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          Microenvironmental regulation of metastasis.

          Metastasis is a multistage process that requires cancer cells to escape from the primary tumour, survive in the circulation, seed at distant sites and grow. Each of these processes involves rate-limiting steps that are influenced by non-malignant cells of the tumour microenvironment. Many of these cells are derived from the bone marrow, particularly the myeloid lineage, and are recruited by cancer cells to enhance their survival, growth, invasion and dissemination. This Review describes experimental data demonstrating the role of the microenvironment in metastasis, identifies areas for future research and suggests possible new therapeutic avenues.
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            Membrane-derived microvesicles: important and underappreciated mediators of cell-to-cell communication.

            Normal and malignant cells shed from their surface membranes as well as secrete from the endosomal membrane compartment circular membrane fragments called microvesicles (MV). MV that are released from viable cells are usually smaller in size compared to the apoptotic bodies derived from damaged cells and unlike them do not contain fragmented DNA. Growing experimental evidence indicates that MV are an underappreciated component of the cell environment and play an important pleiotropic role in many biological processes. Generally, MV are enriched in various bioactive molecules and may (i) directly stimulate cells as a kind of 'signaling complex', (ii) transfer membrane receptors, proteins, mRNA and organelles (e.g., mitochondria) between cells and finally (iii) deliver infectious agents into cells (e.g., human immuno deficiency virus, prions). In this review, we discuss the pleiotropic effects of MV that are important for communication between cells, as well as the role of MV in carcinogenesis, coagulation, immune responses and modulation of susceptibility/infectability of cells to retroviruses or prions.
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              Regulation of progenitor cell proliferation and granulocyte function by microRNA-223.

              MicroRNAs are abundant in animal genomes and have been predicted to have important roles in a broad range of gene expression programmes. Despite this prominence, there is a dearth of functional knowledge regarding individual mammalian microRNAs. Using a loss-of-function allele in mice, we report here that the myeloid-specific microRNA-223 (miR-223) negatively regulates progenitor proliferation and granulocyte differentiation and activation. miR-223 (also called Mirn223) mutant mice have an expanded granulocytic compartment resulting from a cell-autonomous increase in the number of granulocyte progenitors. We show that Mef2c, a transcription factor that promotes myeloid progenitor proliferation, is a target of miR-223, and that genetic ablation of Mef2c suppresses progenitor expansion and corrects the neutrophilic phenotype in miR-223 null mice. In addition, granulocytes lacking miR-223 are hypermature, hypersensitive to activating stimuli and display increased fungicidal activity. As a consequence of this neutrophil hyperactivity, miR-223 mutant mice spontaneously develop inflammatory lung pathology and exhibit exaggerated tissue destruction after endotoxin challenge. Our data support a model in which miR-223 acts as a fine-tuner of granulocyte production and the inflammatory response.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Mol Cancer
                Molecular Cancer
                BioMed Central
                1476-4598
                2011
                22 September 2011
                : 10
                : 117
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Breast Tumor Center, Sun-Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun-Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China
                [2 ]Department of Biochemistry, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR, China
                [3 ]LIN BAI-XIN Research Center of Medicine, Sun-Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital, Sun-Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, PR China
                [4 ]Department of Rheumatology, The First Affiliated Hospital, Shantou University Medical College, Shantou city, Guangdong, PR China
                Article
                1476-4598-10-117
                10.1186/1476-4598-10-117
                3190352
                21939504
                db452cd6-987c-4dfb-9aec-f82b798413f5
                Copyright ©2011 Yang et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Categories
                Research

                Oncology & Radiotherapy
                Oncology & Radiotherapy

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