The Innate Immune Receptor NLRX1 Functions as a Tumor Suppressor by Reducing Colon Tumorigenesis and Key Tumor-Promoting Signals.


Journal Article

NOD-like receptor (NLR) proteins are intracellular innate immune sensors/receptors that regulate immunity. This work shows that NLRX1 serves as a tumor suppressor in colitis-associated cancer (CAC) and sporadic colon cancer by keeping key tumor promoting pathways in check. Nlrx1(-/-) mice were highly susceptible to CAC, showing increases in key cancer-promoting pathways including nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), and interleukin 6 (IL-6). The tumor-suppressive function of NLRX1 originated primarily from the non-hematopoietic compartment. This prompted an analysis of NLRX1 function in the Apc(min/+) genetic model of sporadic gastrointestinal cancer. NLRX1 attenuated Apc(min/+) colon tumorigenesis, cellular proliferation, NF-κB, MAPK, STAT3 activation, and IL-6 levels. Application of anti-interleukin 6 receptor (IL6R) antibody therapy reduced tumor burden, increased survival, and reduced STAT3 activation in Nlrx1(-/-)Apc(min/+) mice. As an important clinical correlate, human colon cancer samples expressed lower levels of NLRX1 than healthy controls in multiple patient cohorts. These data implicate anti-IL6R as a potential personalized therapy for colon cancers with reduced NLRX1.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Koblansky, AA; Truax, AD; Liu, R; Montgomery, SA; Ding, S; Wilson, JE; Brickey, WJ; Mühlbauer, M; McFadden, R-MT; Hu, P; Li, Z; Jobin, C; Lund, PK; Ting, JP-Y

Published Date

  • March 10, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 2562 - 2575

PubMed ID

  • 26971998

Pubmed Central ID

  • 26971998

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2211-1247

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2211-1247

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.02.064


  • eng