P-selectin glycoprotein ligand 1 (SELPLG/PSGL-1) is an inflammatory molecule that is functionally related to immune cell differentiation and leukocyte mobilization. However, the role of PSGL-1 in tumor development remains unknown. Therefore, this study investigates the mechanistic role of PSGL-1 in the development of intestinal tumors in colorectal cancer. ApcMin/+ mice are highly susceptible to spontaneous intestinal adenoma formation, and were crossbred with PSGL1-null mice to generate compound transgenic mice with a ApcMin/+;PSGL-1−/− genotype. The incidence and pathologic features of the intestinal tumors were compared between the ApcMin/+ mice and ApcMin/+;PSGL-1−/− mice. Importantly, PSGL-1–deficient mice showed increased susceptibility to develop intestinal tumors and accelerated tumor growth. Mechanistically, increased production of the mouse chemokine ligand 9 (CCL9/MIP-1γ) was found in the PSGL-1–deficient mice, and the macrophages are likely the major source of macrophage inflammatory protein-1 gamma (MIP-1γ). Studies in vitro demonstrated that macrophage-derived MIP-1γ promoted colorectal cancer tumor cell growth through activating NFκB signaling. Conversely, restoration of the PSGL-1 signaling via bone marrow transplantation reduced MIP-1γ production and attenuated the ability of ApcMin/+;PSGL-1−/− mice to generate intestinal tumors. In human colorectal cancer clinical specimens, the presence of PSGL-1–positive cells was associated with a favorable tumor–node–metastasis staging and decreased lymph node metastasis.
Implications: PSGL-1 deficiency and inflammation render intestinal tissue more vulnerable to develop colorectal tumors through a MIP-1γ/NFκB signaling axis. Mol Cancer Res; 1–11. ©2017 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Molecular Cancer Research Online (http://mcr.aacrjournals.org/).
- Received September 18, 2016.
- Revision received December 4, 2016.
- Accepted December 6, 2016.
- ©2017 American Association for Cancer Research.