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Embedding similarities between embryos and circulating tumor cells: fundamentals of abortifacients used for cancer metastasis chemoprevention

Published inJournal of experimental & clinical cancer research, vol. 40, no. 1, 300
Publication date2021-09-23
First online date2021-09-23
Abstract

Background: The global epidemiological studies reported lower cancer risk after long-term use of contraceptives. Our systematic studies demonstrated that abortifacients are effective in preventing cancer metastases induced by circulating tumor cells (CTCs). However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which abortifacients prevent CTC-based cancer metastases are almost unknown. The present studies were designed to interdisciplinarily explore similarities and differences between embryo implantation and cancer cell adhesion/invasion. Methods: Biomarker expressions on the seeding embryo JEG-3 and cancer MCF-7 cells, as well as embedding uterine endometrial RL95-2 and vascular endothelial HUVECs cells were examined and compared before and after treatments with 17β-estradiol plus progesterone and abortifacients. Effects of oral metapristone and mifepristone on embryo implantation in normal female mice and adhesion/invasion of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in BALB/C female mice were examined. Results: Both embryo JEG-3 and cancer MCF-7 cells expressed high sLex, CD47, CAMs, while both endometrial RL95-2 and endothelial HUVECs exhibited high integrins and ICAM-1. Near physiological concentrations of 17β-estradiol plus progesterone promoted migration and invasion of JEG-3 and MCF-7 cells via upregulating integrins and MMPs. Whereas, mifepristone and metapristone significantly inhibited migration and invasion of JEG-3 and MCF-7 cells, and inhibited JEG-3 and MCF-7 adhesion to matrigel, RL95-2 cells and HUVECs, respectively. The inhibitions were realized by downregulating sLex, MMPs in JEG-3 and MCF-7 cells, and downregulating integrins in RL95-2 cells and HUVECs, respectively. Mifepristone and metapristone significantly inhibited both embryo implantation and cancer cell metastasis in mice. Conclusions: The similarities between the two systems provide fundamentals for abortifacients to intervene CTC adhesion/invasion to the distant metastatic organs. The present studies offer the rationale to repurpose abortifacients for safe and effective cancer metastasis chemoprevention.

eng
Keywords
  • Abortifacients
  • Adhesion/invasion
  • Cancer metastatic chemoprevention
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Embryo implantation
Citation (ISO format)
WANG, Jie et al. Embedding similarities between embryos and circulating tumor cells: fundamentals of abortifacients used for cancer metastasis chemoprevention. In: Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research, 2021, vol. 40, n° 1, p. 300. doi: 10.1186/s13046-021-02104-4
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ISSN of the journal1756-9966
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