Tumor growth increases compressive stress within a tissue, which is associated with solid tumor progression. However, very little is known about how compressive stress contributes to tumor progression. Here, we show that compressive stress induces glycolysis in human breast cancer associated fibroblast (CAF) cells and thereby contributes to the expression of epithelial to mesenchymal (EMT)- and angiogenesis-related genes in breast cancer cells. Lactate production was increased in compressed CAF cells, in a manner dependent on the expression of metabolic genes ENO2, HK2, and PFKFB3. Conditioned medium from compressed CAFs promoted the proliferation of breast cancer cells and the expression of EMT and/or angiogenesis-related genes. In patient tissues with high compressive stress, the expression of compression-induced metabolic genes was significantly and positively correlated with EMT and/or angiogenesis-related gene expression and metastasis size. These findings illustrate a mechanotransduction pathway involving stromal glycolysis that may be relevant also for other solid tumours.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Medicine (miscellaneous)