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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Inflammation mobilizes copper metabolism to promote colon tumorigenesis via an IL-17-STEAP4-XIAP axis.

  • Author(s): Liao, Yun
  • Zhao, Junjie
  • Bulek, Katarzyna
  • Tang, Fangqiang
  • Chen, Xing
  • Cai, Gang
  • Jia, Shang
  • Fox, Paul L
  • Huang, Emina
  • Pizarro, Theresa T
  • Kalady, Matthew F
  • Jackson, Mark W
  • Bao, Shideng
  • Sen, Ganes C
  • Stark, George R
  • Chang, Christopher J
  • Li, Xiaoxia
  • et al.

Copper levels are known to be elevated in inflamed and malignant tissues. But the mechanism underlying this selective enrichment has been elusive. In this study, we report a axis by which inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-17, drive cellular copper uptake via the induction of a metalloreductase, STEAP4. IL-17-induced elevated intracellular copper level leads to the activation of an E3-ligase, XIAP, which potentiates IL-17-induced NFκB activation and suppresses the caspase 3 activity. Importantly, this IL-17-induced STEAP4-dependent cellular copper uptake is critical for colon tumor formation in a murine model of colitis-associated tumorigenesis and STEAP4 expression correlates with IL-17 level and XIAP activation in human colon cancer. In summary, this study reveals a IL-17-STEAP4-XIAP axis through which the inflammatory response induces copper uptake, promoting colon tumorigenesis.

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