Lack of an endogenous anti-inflammatory protein in mice enhances colonization of B16F10 melanoma cells in the lungs

Arjun Saha, Yi Ching Lee, Zhongjian Zhang, Goutam Chandra, Shao Bo Su, Anil B. Mukherjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Emerging evidence indicates a link between inflammation and cancer metastasis, but the molecular mechanism(s) remains unclear. Uteroglobin (UG), a potent anti-inflammatory protein, is constitutively expressed in the lungs of virtually all mammals. UG-knock-out (UG-KO) mice, which are susceptible to pulmonary inflammation, and B16F10 melanoma cells, which preferentially metastasize to the lungs, provide the components of a model system to determine how inflammation and metastasis are linked. We report here that B16F10 cells, injected into the tail vein of UG-KO mice, form markedly elevated numbers of tumor colonies in the lungs compared with their wild type littermates. Remarkably, UG-KO mouse lungs overexpress two calcium-binding proteins, S100A8 and S100A9, whereas B16F10 cells express the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE), which is a known receptor for these proteins. Moreover, S100A8 and S100A9 are potent chemoattractants for RAGE-expressing B16F10 cells, and pretreatment of these cells with a blocking antibody to RAGE suppressed migration and invasion. Interestingly, in UG-KO mice S100A8/S100A9 concentrations in blood are lowest in tail vein and highest in the lungs, which most likely guide B16F10 cells to migrate to the lungs. Further, B16F10 cells treated with S100A8 or S100A9 overexpress matrix metalloproteinases, which are known to promote tumor invasion. Most notably, the metastasized B16F10 cells in UG-KO mouse lungs express MMP-2, MMP-9, and MMP-14 as well as furin, a pro-protein convertase that activatesMMPs. Taken together, our results suggest that a lack of an anti-inflammatory protein leads to increased pulmonary colonization of melanoma cells and identify RAGE as a potential anti-metastatic drug target.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10822-10831
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 2 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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