Compression-induced expression of glycolysis genes in CAFs correlates with EMT and angiogenesis gene expression in breast cancer

Baek Gil Kim, Jin Sol Sung, Yeonsue Jang, Yoon Jin Cha, Suki Kang, Hyun Ho Han, Joo Hyun Lee, Nam Hoon Cho

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16 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number313
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Mid-Career Researcher Program (No.2019R1-A2B5B01069934; NHC) and Basic Research in Science and Engineering (No.2016R1-D1A1B03932310; BGK) through a National Research Foundation of Korea grant

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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