Scientific publications

Increased Expression Levels of Netrin-1 in Visceral Adipose Tissue during Obesity Favour Colon Cancer Cell Migration

Feb 7, 2023 | Magazine: Cancers

Amaia Mentxaka  1   2 , Javier Gómez-Ambrosi  1   2   3 , Gabriela Neira  1   2 , Beatriz Ramírez  1   2   3 , Sara Becerril  1   2   3 , Amaia Rodríguez  1   2   3 , Víctor Valentí  2   3   4 , Rafael Moncada  2   3   5 , Jorge Baixauli  4 , María A Burrell  6 , Camilo Silva  2   7 , Vasco Claro  8 , Albert Ferro  8 , Victoria Catalán  1   2   3 , Gema Frühbeck  1   2   3   7


Netrin (NTN)-1, an extracellular matrix protein with a crucial role in inflammation, is dysregulated during obesity (OB) and influences colon cancer (CC) progression.

To decipher the mechanisms underlying CC development during obesity, we examined the expression of NTN1 and its receptors in the visceral adipose tissue (VAT) of 74 (25 normal weight (NW)) (16 with CC) and 49 patients with OB (12 with CC).

We also evaluated the effect of caloric restriction (CR) on the gene expression levels of Ntn1 and its receptors in the colon from a rat model fed a normal diet. The impact of adipocyte-conditioned media (ACM) from patients with OB and NTN-1 was assessed on the expression levels of neogenin 1(NEO1), deleted in colorectal carcinomas (DCC) and uncoordinated-5 homolog B (UNC5B) in Caco-2 and HT-29 human colorectal cell lines, as well as on Caco-2 cell migration.

Increased NTN1 and NEO1 mRNA levels in VAT were due to OB (p < 0.05) and CC (p < 0.001). In addition, an upregulation in the expression levels of DCC and UNC5B in patients with CC (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05, respectively) was observed. Decreased (p < 0.01) Ntn1 levels in the colon from rats submitted to CR were found. In vitro experiments showed that ACM increased DCC (p < 0.05) and NEO1 (p < 0.01) mRNA levels in HT-29 and Caco-2 cell lines, respectively, while UNC5B decreased (p < 0.01) in HT-29. The treatment with NTN-1 increased (p < 0.05) NEO1 mRNA levels in HT-29 cells and DCC (p < 0.05) in both cell lines.

Finally, we revealed a potent migratory effect of ACM and NTN-1 on Caco-2 cells. Collectively, these findings point to increased NTN-1 during OB and CC fuelling cancer progression and exerting a strong migratory effect on colon cancer cells.

CITATION  Cancers (Basel). 2023 Feb 7;15(4):1038.  doi: 10.3390/cancers15041038