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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)