Periostin Exon-21 Antibody Neutralization of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cell-Derived Periostin Regulates Tumor-Associated Macrophage Polarization and Angiogenesis

Cancers (Basel). 2021 Oct 11;13(20):5072. doi: 10.3390/cancers13205072.


Periostin (Pn) is involved in multiple processes of cancer progression. Previously, we reported that Pn expression is correlated with mesenchymal tumor markers and poor prognosis in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In the TNBC xenograft model, chemotherapy increased expression of a Pn alternative splicing variant (ASV) with exon 21, and administration of the neutralizing antibody against Pn with exon 21 (Pn-21 Ab) overcame chemoresistance with a reduction in the mesenchymal cancer cell fraction. In the present study, the role of Pn ASV with exon 21 in TNBC progression has been addressed. We first established a stable cell line carrying a fluorescence-based splicing reporter. Pn-positive TNBC has higher expression of genes related to tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) recruitment and ECM-receptor interaction than Pn-negative cells. In a xenograft model, only Pn-positive cells initiated tumor formation, and the Pn-21 Ab suppressed tumor cell growth, accompanied by decreased M2 TAM polarization and the number of tumor vessels. These data suggest that cancer cell-derived Pn ASV educates TAMs and regulates angiogenesis, which in turn establishes a microenvironmental niche that is supportive of TNBC.

Keywords: periostin; triple-negative breast cancer; tumor-associated macrophage.