Disruption of the pentraxin 3/CD44 interaction as an efficient therapy for triple-negative breast cancers

Yu Wei Hsiao, Jhih Ying Chi, Chien Feng Li, Lei Yi Chen, Yi Ting Chen, Hsin Yin Liang, Yu Chih Lo, Jhen Yi Hong, Chih Pin Chuu, Liang Yi Hung, Jyun Yi Du, Wen Chang Chang, Ju Ming Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Due to the heterogeneity and high frequency of genome mutations in cancer cells, targeting vital protumour factors found in stromal cells in the tumour microenvironment may represent an ideal strategy in cancer therapy. However, the regulation and mechanisms of potential targetable therapeutic candidates need to be investigated. An in vivo study demonstrated that loss of pentraxin 3 (PTX3) in stromal cells significantly decreased the metastasis and growth of cancer cells. Clinically, our results indicate that stromal PTX3 expression correlates with adverse prognostic features and is associated with worse survival outcomes in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). We also found that transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1) induces PTX3 expression by activating the transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein delta (CEBPD) in stromal fibroblasts. Following PTX3 stimulation, CD44, a PTX3 receptor, activates the downstream ERK1/2, AKT and NF-κB pathways to specifically contribute to the metastasis/invasion and stemness of TNBC MDA-MB-231 cells. Two types of PTX3 inhibitors were developed to disrupt the PTX3/CD44 interaction and they showed a significant effect on attenuating growth and restricting the metastasis/invasion of MDA-MB-231 cells, suggesting that targeting the PTX3/CD44 interaction could be a new strategy for future TNBC therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere724
JournalClinical and Translational Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine


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