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Tissue transglutaminase-interleukin-6 axis facilitates peritoneal tumor spreading and metastasis of human ovarian cancer cells


Inflammation has recently been implicated in cancer formation and progression. As tissue transglutaminase (TG2) has been associated with both inflammatory signaling and tumor cell behavior, we propose that TG2 may be an important link inducing interleukin-6 (IL-6)-mediated cancer cell aggressiveness, including cancer stem cell-like characteristics and distant hematogenous metastasis. We evaluated the effect of differential TG2 and IL-6 expression on in vivo distant metastasis of human ovarian cancer cells. IL-6 production in human ovarian cancer cells was dependent on their TG2 expression levels. The size and efficiency of tumor sphere formation were correlated with TG2 expression levels and were dependent on TG2-mediated IL-6 secretion in human ovarian cancer cells. Primary tumor growth and propagation in the peritoneum and distant hematogenous metastasis into the liver and lung were also dependent on TG2 and downstream IL-6 expression levels in human ovarian cancer cells. In this report, we provide evidence that TG2 is an important link in IL-6-mediated tumor cell aggressiveness, and that TG2 and downstream IL-6 could be important mediators of distant hematogenous metastasis of human ovarian cancer cells. Intervention specific to TG2 and/or downstream IL-6 in ovarian cancer cells could provide a promising means to control tumor metastasis.


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Correspondence to Young-Bok Yoo.

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Oh, K., Moon, HG., Lee, DS. et al. Tissue transglutaminase-interleukin-6 axis facilitates peritoneal tumor spreading and metastasis of human ovarian cancer cells. Lab Anim Res 31, 188–197 (2015).

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  • Tissue transglutaminase
  • interleukin-6
  • human ovarian cancer
  • metastasis