Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) is a potent pro-inflammatory eicosanoid that is derived from arachidonic acid, and its signaling is known to have a tumor-promoting role in several cancer types. In this study, we investigated whether enhanced LTB4 signaling confers resistance to the cytostatic transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1) response. We found that LTB4 pretreatment or ectopic expression of BLT1, a high affinity LTB4 receptor, fully abrogated TGF-β1-induced cell cycle arrest and expression of p15INK4B and p27KIP1. Mechanism study revealed that LTB4-mediated suppression of TGF-β1-induced Smad3 activation and growth inhibition was due to enhanced phosphorylation of Smad3 linker region (pSmad3L) through activation of BLT1-NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX)-reactive oxygen species (ROS)-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K)-extracellular signal-activated kinase1/2 (ERK1/2)-linked signaling cascade. Furthermore, the LTB4/BLT1 signaling pathway leading to pSmad3L was constitutively activated in breast cancer cells and was correlated with TGF-β1-resistant growth of the cells in vitro and in vivo. In human breast cancer tissues, the expression level of pSmad3L (Thr179) had a positive correlation with BLT1 expression. Collectively, our data demonstrate for the first time that the induction of pSmad3L through BLT1-NOX-ROS-EGFR-PI3K-ERK1/2 signaling pathway is a key mechanism by which LTB4 blocks the anti-proliferative responses of TGF-β1, providing a novel mechanistic insight into the connection between enhanced inflammatory signal and cancer cell growth.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer cell growth
- Smad3 linker region phosphorylation
- TGF-β1 resistance