Downregulation of programmed cell death 4 by inflammatory conditions contributes to the generation of the tumor promoting microenvironment

Mol Carcinog. 2010 Sep;49(9):837-48. doi: 10.1002/mc.20660.


Ample evidence has shown key roles of inflammation in tumor promotion and carcinogenesis, and tumor-associated macrophages are known to promote tumor growth and dissemination. Programmed cell death 4 (Pdcd4) is a novel tumor suppressor, and although various studies have revealed that the functions and expression mechanisms of Pdcd4 in tumor promotion, those in regard to inflammation remain unclear. In the present study, we examined whether inflammatory stimuli regulate Pdcd4 expression. 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (TPA) suppressed expression of pdcd4 mRNA in human monocytic cell lines (U937, THP-1). Similarly, the bacterial endotoxin lipopolysaccharide (LPS) downregulated pdcd4 level in mouse RAW264.7 and peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, conditioned medium from LPS-stimulated RAW264.7 macrophages suppressed pdcd4 mRNA in RAW264.7 macrophages, and findings obtained with recombinant tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and TNF-alpha-specific siRNA suggested that TNF-alpha partly mediates LPS-triggered Pdcd4 downregulation via an autocrine mechanism. Specific inhibitors of phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) and c-jun N-terminus kinase (JNK) restored LPS-abolished pdcd4 mRNA. Consistently, in MCF7 mammary carcinoma cells, conditioned medium from TPA-differentiated/activated U937 cells suppressed pdcd4 mRNA. Additionally, knockdown of pdcd4 in RAW264.7 macrophages using siRNA significantly enhanced LPS-induced TNF-alpha protein production, and interferon-gamma, CC chemokine ligand (Ccl) 1, Ccl20, and interleukin-10 mRNA expression. These results suggest that Pdcd4 suppresses the induction of these inflammatory mediators. Taken together, loss of Pdcd4 in macrophages may be a critical step in establishing the inflammatory environment while that in tumor cells contributes to tumor progression.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Carcinogens / metabolism
  • Carcinogens / pharmacology
  • Cell Line
  • Down-Regulation / drug effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / metabolism
  • Interferon-gamma / pharmacology
  • Interleukin-10 / genetics
  • Interleukin-10 / metabolism
  • Interleukin-10 / pharmacology
  • Lipopolysaccharides / metabolism
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages, Peritoneal / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / pharmacology
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / pharmacology
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology*
  • U937 Cells


  • Carcinogens
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Interleukin-10
  • Interferon-gamma