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Leucine leucine-37 uses formyl peptide receptor-like 1 to activate signal transduction pathways, stimulate oncogenic gene expression, and enhance the invasiveness of ovarian cancer cells

By Seth B. Coffelt, Suzanne L. Tomchuck, Kevin J. Zwezdaryk, Elizabeth S. Danka and Aline B. Scandurro


Emerging evidence suggests that the antimicrobial peptide, leucine leucine-37 (LL-37), could play a role in the progression of solid tumors. LL-37 is expressed as the COOH terminus of human cationic antimicrobial protein-18 (hCAP-18) in ovarian, breast, and lung cancers. Previous studies have shown that the addition of LL-37 to various cancer cell lines in vitro stimulates proliferation, migration, and invasion. Similarly, overexpression of hCAP-18/LL-37 in vivo accelerates tumor growth. However, the receptor or receptors through which these processes are mediated have not been thoroughly examined. In the present study, expression of formyl peptide receptor-like 1 (FPRL1) was confirmed on ovarian cancer cells. Proliferation assays indicated that LL-37 does not signal through a G protein-coupled receptor, such as FPRL1, to promote cancer cell growth. By contrast, FPRL1 was required for LL-37-induced invasion through Matrigel. The peptide stimulated mitogen-activated protein kinase and Janus-activated kinase/signal transducers and activators of transcription signaling cascades and led to the significant activation of several transcription factors, through both FPRL1-dependent and FPRL1-independent pathways. Likewise, expression of some LL-37-stimulated genes was attenuated by the inhibition of FPRL1. Increased expression of CXCL10, EGF, and PDGF-BB as well as other soluble factors was confirmed from conditioned medium of LL-37-treated cells. Taken together, these data suggest that LL-37 potentiates a more aggressive behavior from ovarian cancer cells through its interaction with FPRL1

Publisher: American Association for Cancer Research
Year: 2009
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Enlighten
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