Toll-like receptor 9 agonists promote cellular invasion by increasing matrix metalloproteinase activity MOLECULAR CANCER RESEARCH Merrell, M. A., Ilvesaro, J. M., Lehtonen, N., Sorsa, T., Gehrs, B., Rosenthal, E., Chen, D., Shackley, B., Harris, K. W., Selander, K. S. 2006; 4 (7): 437-447


Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) recognizes microbial DNA. We show here that TLR9 protein is expressed in human breast cancer cells and clinical breast cancer samples. Stimulation of TLR9-expressing breast cancer cells with the TLR9 agonistic CpG oligonucleotides (1-10 mumol/L) dramatically increased their in vitro invasion in both Matrigel assays and three-dimensional collagen cultures. Similar effects on invasion were seen in TLR9-expressing astrocytoma and glioblastoma cells and in the immortalized human breast epithelial cell line MCF-10A. This effect was not, however, dependent on the CpG content of the TLR9 ligands because the non-CpG oligonucleotides induced invasion of TLR9-expressing cells. CpG or non-CpG oligonucleotide-induced invasion in MDA-MB-231 cells was blunted by chloroquine and they did not induce invasion of TLR9(-) breast cancer cells. Treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with CpG or non-CpG oligonucleotides induced the formation of approximately 50-kDa gelatinolytic band in zymograms. This band and the increased invasion were abolished by a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) inhibitor GM6001 but not by a serine proteinase inhibitor aprotinin. Furthermore, CpG oligonucleotide treatment decreased tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-3 expression and increased levels of active MMP-13 in TLR9-expressing but not TLR9(-) breast cancer cells without affecting MMP-8. Neutralizing anti-MMP-13 antibodies inhibited the CpG oligonucleotide-induced invasion. These findings suggest that infections may promote cancer progression through a novel TLR9-mediated mechanism. They also propose a new molecular target for cancer therapy, because TLR9 has not been associated with cancer invasiveness previously.

View details for DOI 10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-06-0007

View details for Web of Science ID 000239215300002

View details for PubMedID 16849519