The relation between the tumor and its microenvironment is one of the most interesting and less understood issues. Recently, we showed a role of CCL20 chemokine in proning the healthy tissue neighboring the tumor to carcinogenesis. Besides, tumor-secreted CCL20 induced proliferation, migration, and EMT of healthy cells. In this context, we have studied here if CCL20 had effects on the migration of cancer cells and the intracellular pathways used in breast epithelial cells in primary culture. Using molecular (siRNA) and pharmacological (inhibitors) techniques, we found multiple signaling kinases to be activated and involved in CCL20-induced tumor breast cell migration. CCL20 provoked a 2.5-fold increase of cell migration and invasion; CCL20 also enhanced MMP- 2 and MMP-9 mRNAs/protein expression and activities. Cell migration and invasiveness due to CCL20 significantly decreased when MMP-2 and MMP-9 were inhibited in CCL20-stimulated cells. CCL20 controlled MMP-2 expression through the JAK2/STAT3 pathway, while the expression of MMP-9 occurred by PKC-α that activated, consequently, c-Src, Akt, and finally NF-kB. These results reveal a role for CCL20 also in tumor breast cell and point to CCL20 as a novel therapeutic target in cancer.
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