LPS induces GM-CSF production by breast cancer MDA-MB-231 cells via long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase 1

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Granulocyte–macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) is a monomeric glycoprotein that has been implicated in the tumor growth and progression of different types of cancer. GM-CSF is produced by various non-immune cells including MDA-MB-231 in response to various stimuli. However, the role of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the regulation of GM-CSF in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells so far remains unclear. Herein, we asked whether LPS could induce GM-CSF production in MDA-MB-231 cells, and if so, which signaling pathway was involved. MDA-MB-231 cells were treated with LPS or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α; positive control), and GM-CSF expression levels were determined by qRT-PCR, ELISA, and confocal microscopy. Phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor-κB (NF-kB) signaling proteins were evaluated by flow cytometry. Our results show that LPS induces GM-CSF expression at both mRNA and protein levels in MDA-MBA-231 cells. Inhibition of acyl-CoA synthetase 1 (ACSL1) activity in the cells with triacsin C significantly reduces the secretion of GM-CSF. Furthermore, the inhibition of ACSL1 activity significantly blocks the LPS-mediated phosphorylation of p38 MAPK, MEK1/2, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2, c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), and nuclear factor-κB (NF-kB) in the cells. These findings provide the first evidence that LPS induces ACSL1-dependent GM-CSF gene expression in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, which requires the activation of p38 MAPK, MEK1/2, ERK1/2, JNK, and NF-kB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4709
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • ACSL1
  • GM-CSF
  • LPS
  • MAPK
  • MDA-MB-231


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