IL-23R is epigenetically regulated and modulated by chemotherapy in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer

Baird, Anne-Marie; Dockry^2,3, √Čilis; Daly, Anne; Stack, Emma; Doherty, Derek G.; O'Byrne, Kenneth J.; Gray, Steven G.
June 2013
Frontiers in Oncology;Jun2013, Vol. 3, p1
Academic Journal
The IL-23/IL-23R signalling axis is an important inflammatory pathway, involved in the stimulation and regulation of the T helper (Th) 17 lymphocytes, resulting in the production of IL-17. Aside from auto-immunity, this cytokine has also been linked to carcinogenesis and polymorphisms in the IL-23R gene are associated with an increased risk for the development of a number of different cancers. Activation of the IL-23 pathway results in the up regulation of STAT3 and it is thought that the pathological consequences associated with this are in part due to the production of IL-17. We have previously identified IL-23A as pro-proliferative and epigenetically regulated in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The current study aims to evaluate IL-23R in greater detail in NSCLC. We demonstrate that IL-23R is expressed and epigenetically regulated in NSCLC through histone post translation modifications and CpG island methylation. In addition, Gemcitabine treatment, a chemotherapy drug used in the treatment of NSCLC, resulted in the up regulation of the IL-23R. Furthermore, Apilimod (STA 5326), a small molecule which blocks the expression of IL-23 and IL-12, reduced the proliferative capacity of NSCLC cells, particularly in the adenocarcinoma (A549) sub-type. Apilimod is currently undergoing investigation in a number of clinical trials for the treatment of auto-immune conditions such as Crohn's disease and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Our results may have implications for treating NSCLC patients with Gemcitabine or epigenetic targeted therapies. However, Apilimod may possibly provide a new treatment avenue for NSCLC patients. Work is currently ongoing to further delineate the IL-23/IL-23R axis in this disease.


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