Colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with loss of epithelial barrier integrity, which facilitates the interaction of the immunological microenvironment with the luminal microbiome, eliciting tumor-supportive inflammation. An important regulator of intestinal inflammatory responses is IRAK-M, a negative regulator of TLR signaling. Here we investigate the compartment-specific impact of IRAK-M on colorectal carcinogenesis using a mouse model. We demonstrate that IRAK-M is expressed in tumor cells due to combined TLR and Wnt activation. Tumor cell-intrinsic IRAK-M is responsible for regulation of microbial colonization of tumors and STAT3 protein stability in tumor cells, leading to tumor cell proliferation. IRAK-M expression in human CRCs is associated with poor prognosis. These results suggest that IRAK-M may be a potential therapeutic target for CRC treatment.
Keywords: IRAK-M; STAT3; Toll-like receptors; Wnt signaling; colorectal cancer; microbiome.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.