Metastasis involves critical interactions between cancer and stromal cells. Intratumoral hypoxia promotes metastasis through activation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs). We demonstrate that HIFs mediate paracrine signaling between breast cancer cells (BCCs) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to promote metastasis. In a mouse orthotopic implantation model, MSCs were recruited to primary breast tumors and promoted BCC metastasis to LNs and lungs in a HIF-dependent manner. Coculture of MSCs with BCCs augmented HIF activity in BCCs. Additionally, coculture induced expression of the chemokine CXCL10 in MSCs and the cognate receptor CXCR3 in BCCs, which was augmented by hypoxia.
Pallavi Chaturvedi, Daniele M. Gilkes, Carmen Chak Lui Wong, Kshitiz, Weibo Luo, Huafeng Zhang, Hong Wei, Naoharu Takano, Luana Schito, Andre Levchenko, Gregg L. Semenza