Oncomedicine 2016; 1:14-17. doi:10.7150/oncm.16802

Short Research Paper

Cathelicidin LL-37 Promotes or Inhibits Cancer Cell Stemness Depending on the Tumor Origin

Guilherme Tude Coelho Neto1, Thais Martins de Lima1, Hermes Vieira Barbeiro1, Roger Chammas2, Marcel Cerqueira César Machado1, Fabiano Pinheiro da Silva1✉

1. Emergency Medicine Department, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
2. Oncology Department, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Abstract

Antimicrobial peptides play critical protective roles in a range of human diseases, including cancer. Multiple studies have demonstrated functions—such as proliferation, angiogenesis, apoptosis and immunomodulation—of these peptides in crucial cancer pathways. We investigated the role of the antimicrobial peptide LL-37 on stemness in breast cancer (SKBR3) and melanoma cells (A375). PCR array analysis of differential gene expression in SKBR3 and A375 cancer cell lines downregulated for LL-37 expression by siRNA revealed downregulation of genes related to stemness, including telomerase reverse transcriptase, forkhead box D3 and undifferentiated embryonic cell transcription factor 1, remarkably in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, SKBR3 cells knocked down for LL-37 expression showed a decreased production of oncospheres in comparison with negative controls, while A375 cells exhibited increased production. Taken collectively, our findings indicate a role for LL-37 in cancer cell stemness depending on the cell type.

Keywords: LL-37, cancer, stemness, pluripotency, self-renewal

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How to cite this article:
Neto GTC, de Lima TM, Barbeiro HV, Chammas R, Machado MCC, Pinheiro da Silva F. Cathelicidin LL-37 Promotes or Inhibits Cancer Cell Stemness Depending on the Tumor Origin. Oncomedicine 2016; 1:14-17. doi:10.7150/oncm.16802. Available from http://www.oncm.org/v01p0014.htm