Exosome-mediated secretion of LOXL4 promotes hepatocellular carcinoma cell invasion and metastasis.
Mol Cancer. 2019 Jan 31 ;18(1):18. Epub 2019 Jan 31. PMID: 30704479
BACKGROUND: Lysyl oxidase-like 4 (LOXL4) has been found to be dysregulated in several human malignancies, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, the role of LOXL4 in HCC progression remains largely unclear. In this study, we investigated the clinical significance and biological involvement of LOXL4 in the progression of HCC.
METHODS: LOXL4 expression was measured in HCC tissues and cell lines. Overexpression, shRNA-mediated knockdown, recombinant human LOXL4 (rhLOXL4), and deletion mutants were applied to study the function of LOXL4 in HCC. Exosomes derived from HCC cell lines were assessed for the ability to promote cancer progression in standard assays. The effects of LOXL4 on the FAK/Src pathway were examined by western blotting.
RESULTS: LOXL4 was commonly upregulated in HCC tissues and predicted a poor prognosis. Elevated LOXL4 was associated with tumor differentiation, vascular invasion, and tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage. Overexpression of LOXL4 promoted, whereas knockdown of LOXL4 inhibited cell migration and invasion of HCC in vitro, and overexpressed LOXL4 promoted intrahepatic and pulmonary metastases of HCC in vivo. Most interestingly, we found that HCC-derived exosomes transferred LOXL4 between HCC cells, and intracellular but not extracellular LOXL4 promoted cell migration by activating the FAK/Src pathway dependent on its amine oxidase activity through a hydrogen peroxide-mediated mechanism. In addition, HCC-derived exosomes transferred LOXL4 to human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) though a paracrine mechanism to promote angiogenesis.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our data demonstrate a novel function of LOXL4 in tumor metastasis mediated by exosomes through regulation of the FAK/Src pathway and angiogenesis in HCC.