The influence of hypoxia on podoplanin expression in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and its role in the progression of breast cancer

Abstract : Tumor is a pathologic tissue including cancer cells, a modified extracellular matrix, endothelial cells, blood and lymphatic vessels, immune and inflammatory cells and activated fibroblasts called cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). Podoplanin (PDPN), mucin-type transmembrane glycoprotein is expressed in tumor cells and CAFs, helps metastasis. Its role in metastaticprocess has been demonstrated for breast cancer cells into lymph nodes. Here we show that PDPN modulates the CCL21/CCR7 chemokine/receptor axis in a hypoxia-dependent manner. Cancer progression depends on the tumour stroma in which CAFs differ from normal fibroblasts. CAFs promote tumour growth, recruitment of endothelial progenitor cells and angiogenesis. In breast cancer up to 80% of fibroblasts display the CAF phenotype. Here a PDPN expressing model of CAFs made it possible to demonstrate the involvement of CCL21/CCR7 axis in the tumor cell-to-CAF recognition through podoplanin binding of CCL21. PDPN positive CAFs secrete microRNAs, which control gene expression at post-transcriptional level and influence cancer cells. MiR-21 is a key regulator of the oncogenic process, through its downstream target proteins among which the tumor suppressor, PTEN. We analyzed the effect of miR-21, but also oncogenic and hypoxia dependent miRs: miR-210 and miR-29b, on PDPN expression in fibroblasts in conditions mimicking the intra tumor microenvironment, i.e. in hypoxia. This points to crucial differences as compared to normoxia. Moreover we uncover the effect of podoplanin on angiogenesis by endothelial cells colocalizing with CAFs expressing podoplanin and on the expression of most prominent proangiogenic factors.
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Anna Tejchman. The influence of hypoxia on podoplanin expression in cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) and its role in the progression of breast cancer. Agricultural sciences. Université d'Orléans, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017ORLE2010⟩. ⟨tel-01713127⟩

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