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The First Type III Domain of Fibronectin is Associated with the Expression of Cytokines within the Lung Tumor Microenvironment

Author(s): Mingzhe Zheng, David M. Jones, Carol Horzempa, Aparna Prasad, Paula J. McKeown-Longo

Journal: Journal of Cancer
ISSN 1837-9664

Volume: 2;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 478;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Recent studies have pointed to changes in tissue mechanics as a contributory element to the development of malignancies. Increased tissue rigidity is associated with the unfolding of the Type III domains of fibronectin within the extracellular matrix. The consequences of this unfolding on cellular functions within the lung are not well understood. In the present study, we evaluated the effect of a peptide representing a partially unfolded intermediate of the first Type III repeat of fibronectin (FnIII-1c) on inflammatory gene expression in adult human lung fibroblast cells. FnIII-1c induced expression of cytokines, CXCL1-3, IL-8 and TNF-α, by lung fibroblast cells. The increase in IL-8 expression was dependent on Toll-like receptor 2 and NFκB. Immunohistochemistry of tissue arrays representing squamous cell carcinoma of the lung revealed extensive stromal staining for IL-8 and fibronectin fibrils which were co-aligned with myofibroblasts. These data suggest a model in which unfolding of FnIII domains secondary to myofibroblast-generated tension may induce the release of cytokines by stromal fibroblasts present within the lung tumor.
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