Background: Malignant transformation of the epidermis is an essential process in the pathogenesis of cutaneous squamous-cell carcinoma (cSCC). Although evidence has demonstrated that CD147 plays key roles in various tumors, the role of CD147 in epidermal malignant transformation in vivo remains unclear. Methods: Epidermal CD147-overexpression or knockout (EpiCD147-OE or EpiCD147-KO) transgenic mouse models were generated for in vivo study. RNA-sequencing and q-PCR were performed to identify the differentially expressed genes. Immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry were performed to investigate the role of CD147 in regulating myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Immunoprecipitation, EMSA and ChIP assays were performed to investigate the mechanism of CD147 in cell transformation. Results: We found that specific overexpression of CD147 in the epidermis (EpiCD147-OE) induces spontaneous tumor formation; moreover, a set of chemokines and cytokines including CXCL1, which play essential function in MDSC recruitment, were significantly upregulated in EpiCD147-OE transgenic mice. As expected, overexpression of CD147 in the epidermis remarkably facilitated tumorigenesis by increasing the rate of tumor initiation and the number and size of tumors in the DMBA/TPA mouse model. Interestingly, the expression of CXCL1 and the infiltration of MDSCs were dramatically increased in EpiCD147-OE transgenic mice. Our findings also showed that knockdown of CD147 attenuated EGF-induced malignant transformation as well as CXCL1 expression in HaCaT cells. Consistently, CD147 was found overexpressed in cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC), and positively related with the expression of CD33, a myeloid-associated marker. We further identified RSK2, a serine/threonine kinase, as an interacting partner of CD147 at the binding site of CD147D207-230. The interaction of CD147 and RSK2 activated RSK2, thus enhancing AP-1 transcriptional activation. Furthermore, EMSAs and ChIP assays showed that AP-1 could associate with the CXCL1 promoter. Importantly, RSK2 inhibitor suppressed the tumor growth in DMBA/TPA mouse model by inhibiting the recruitment of MDSCs. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that CD147 exerts a key function in epidermal malignant transformation in vivo by activating keratinocytes and recruiting MDSCs via the RSK2/AP-1 pathway.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research|
|State||Published - Dec 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- CD147, Keratinocyte, Malignant transformation, RSK2