Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2017 Jun;66(6):799-809.

Lipoteichoic Acids From Staphylococcus Aureus Stimulate Proliferation of Human Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer Cells in Vitro.

Hattar K, Reinert CP, Sibelius U, Gökyildirim MY, Subtil FSB, Wilhelm J, Eul B, Dahlem G, Grimminger F, Seeger W, Grandel U.
Pulmonary infections are frequent complications in lung cancer and may worsen its outcome and survival. Inflammatory mediators are suspected to promote tumor growth in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Hence, bacterial pathogens may affect lung cancer growth by activation of inflammatory signalling. Against this background, we investigated the effect of purified lipoteichoic acids (LTA) of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) on cellular proliferation and liberation of interleukin (IL)-8 in the NSCLC cell lines A549 and H226. A549 as well as H226 cells constitutively expressed TLR-2 mRNA. Even in low concentrations, LTA induced a prominent increase in cellular proliferation of A549 cells as quantified by automatic cell counting. In parallel, metabolic activity of A549 cells was enhanced. The increase in proliferation was accompanied by an increase in IL-8 mRNA expression and a dose- and time-dependent release of IL-8. Cellular proliferation as well as the release of IL-8 was dependent on specific ligation of TLR-2. Interestingly, targeting IL-8 by neutralizing antibodies completely abolished the LTA-induced proliferation of A549 cells. The pro-proliferative effect of LTA could also be reproduced in the squamous NSCLC cell line H226. In summary, LTA of S. aureus induced proliferation of NSCLC cell lines of adeno- and squamous cell carcinoma origin. Ligation of TLR-2 followed by auto- or paracrine signalling by endogenously synthesized IL-8 is centrally involved in LTA-induced tumor cell proliferation. Therefore, pulmonary infections may exert a direct pro-proliferative effect on lung cancer growth.
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