标题：TLR4 signaling promotes a COX-2/PGE(2)/STAT3 positive feedback loop in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells
作者：Lin, Ang; Wang, Guan; Zhao, Huajun; Zhang, Yuyi; Han, Qiuju; Zhang, Cai; Tian, Zhigang; Zhang, Jian
作者机构：[Lin, Ang; Wang, Guan; Zhao, Huajun; Zhang, Yuyi; Han, Qiuju; Zhang, Cai; Tian, Zhigang; Zhang, Jian] Shandong Univ, Inst Immunopharmaceut Sci, Sch Ph 更多
通讯作者地址：[Zhang, J]Shandong Univ, Inst Immunopharmaceut Sci, Sch Pharmaceut Sci, Jinan 250100, Peoples R China.
关键词：HCC; proliferation; multidrug resistance; STAT3; TLR4
摘要：Toll-like receptors (TLRs) can be expressed by tumor cells, and each TLR exhibits different biological functions. Evidences showed the activation of some certain TLRs could promote tumor progression. One of which TLR4 has been found to promote hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells proliferation, but the detailed mechanism is still unknown. In the present study, we verified that TLR4 was functionally expressed on HCC cells, and TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) could stimulate the proliferation and clone formation of HCC cells. Most importantly, we found a COX-2/PGE(2)/STAT3 positive feedback loop exists in HCC cells, which could be provoked by TLR4 activation. Consistently, the expression of TLR4, COX-2 and p-STAT3(Y705) was positively correlated with each other in liver tumor tissues from patients with primary HCC. Further investigation demonstrated this loop played a dominant role in TLR4-induced HCC cell proliferation and multidrug resistance (MDR) to chemotherapy. Inhibition of TLR4 or COX-2/PGE(2)/STAT3 loop would attenuate LPS-induced inflammation and proliferation of HCC cells, and enhance the sensitivity of HCC cells to chemotherapeutics in vitro. By using a primary HCC model, we observed COX-2/PGE(2)/STAT3 loop was significantly blocked in TLR4-(/)- mice compared to wild type mice, and there was no obvious tumorgenesis sign in TLR4-(/)- mice. Therefore, these findings provided the precise molecular mechanism of TLR4 signaling pathway involved in HCC progress, and suggested that TLR4 may be a promising target for HCC treatment.