"Triple negative breast cancer" (TNBC) is associated with a higher rate and earlier time of recurrence and worse prognosis after recurrence. In this study, we aimed to examine the crosstalk between fibroblasts and TNBC cells. The fibroblasts were isolated from TNBC patients' tissue in tumor burden zones, distal normal zones and interface zones. The fibroblasts were indicated as cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), normal zone fibroblasts (NFs) and interface zone fibroblasts (INFs). Our study found that INFs grew significantly faster than NFs and CAFs in vitro. The epithelial BT20 cells cultured with the conditioned medium of INFs (INFs-CM) and CAFs (CAFs-CM) showed more spindle-like shape and cell scattering than cultured with the conditioned medium of NFs (NFs-CM). These results indicated that factors secreted by INFs-CM or CAFs-CM could induce the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype in BT20 cells. Using an in vitro co-culture model, INFs or CAFs induced EMT and promoted cancer cell migration in BT20 cells. Interestingly, we found that emodin inhibited INFs-CM or CAFs-CM-induced EMT programming and phenotype in BT20 cells. Previous studies reported that CAFs and INFs-secreted TGF-β promoted human breast cancer cell proliferation, here; our results indicated that TGF-β initiated EMT in BT20 cells. Pretreatment with emodin significantly suppressed the TGF-β-induced EMT and cell migration in BT20 cells. These results suggest that emodin may be used as a novel agent for the treatment of TNBC.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)