Journal Article Interleukin-33 enhances programmed oncosis of ST2L-positive low-metastatic cells in the tumour microenvironment of lung cancer

Akimoto, M  ,  Hayashi, J-I  ,  Nakae, S  ,  Saito, H  ,  Takenaga, K

7 ( 1 )  , p.e2057 , 2016-01 , Nature Publishing Group
The proinflammatory interleukin-33 (IL-33) binds to its receptor ST2L on the surface of immune cells and stimulates the production of Th2 cytokines; however, the effects of IL-33 on tumour cells are poorly understood. Here we show that ST2 was significantly downregulated in human lung cancer tissues and cells compared with normal lung tissues and cells. IL-33 expression was also inversely correlated with the stages of human lung cancers. In accordance with this finding, low-metastatic cells but not high-metastatic cells derived from Lewis lung carcinoma expressed functional ST2L. IL-33 was abundantly present in the tumours established by the low-metastatic cells compared with those formed by the high-metastatic cells. Although the low-metastatic cells scarcely expressed IL-33 in vitro, these cells did expry 6ess this molecule in vivo, likely due to stimulation by intratumoural IL-1β and IL-33. Importantly, IL-33 enhanced the cell death of ST2L-positive low-metastatic cells, but not of ST2L-negative high-metastatic cells, under glucose-depleted, glutamine-depleted and hypoxic conditions through p38 MAPK and mTOR activation, and in a mitochondria-dependent manner. The cell death was characterised by cytoplasmic blisters and karyolysis, which are unique morphological features of oncosis. Inevitably, the low-metastatic cells, but not of the high-metastatic cells, grew faster in IL-33−/− mice than in wild-type mice. Furthermore, IL-33 selected for the ST2L-positive, oncosis-resistant high-metastatic cells under conditions mimicking the tumour microenvironment. These data suggest that IL-33 enhances lung cancer progression by selecting for more malignant cells in the tumour microenvironment.

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