1. Department of General Surgery, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China;
2. Department of General Surgery, No. 411 Hospital of Navy, People's Liberation Army, Shanghai, China
3. Department of Hematology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China;
4. Department of Pathology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China
*These authors contributed equally to this work.
Stromal fibroblasts play an important role in chronic cancer-related inflammation and the development as well as progression of malignant diseases. However, the difference and relationship between inflammation-associated fibroblasts (IAFs) and cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are poorly understood. In this study, gastric cancer-associated fibroblasts (GCAFs) and their corresponding inflammation-associated fibroblasts (GIAFs) were isolated from gastric cancer (GC) with chronic gastritis and cultured in vitro. These activated fibroblasts exhibited distinct secretion and tumor-promoting behaviors in vitro. Using proteomics and bioinformatics techniques, caveolin-1 (Cav-1) was identified as a major network-centric protein of a sub-network consisting of 121 differentially expressed proteins between GIAFs and GCAFs. Furthermore, immunohistochemistry in a GC cohort showed significant difference in Cav-1 expression score between GIAFs and GCAFs and among patients with different grades of chronic gastritis. Moreover, silencing of Cav-1 in GIAFs and GCAFs using small interfering RNA increased the production of pro-inflammatory and tumor-enhancing cytokines and chemokines in conditioned mediums that elevated cell proliferation and migration when added to GC cell lines AGS and MKN45 in vitro. In addition, Cav-1 status in GIAFs and GCAFs independently predicted the prognosis of GC. Our findings indicate that Cav-1 loss contributes to the distinct activation statuses of fibroblasts in GC microenvironment and gastritis mucosa, and Cav-1 expression in both GCAFs and GIAFs may serve as a potential biomarker for GC progression.
Keywords: Cav-1, biomarker, gastric cancer