Bone metastasis is one of the predominant causes of cancer lethality. This study demonstrates for the first time how β2-microglobulin (β2-M) supports lethal metastasis in vivo in human prostate, breast, lung, and renal cancer cells. β2-M mediates this process by activating epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) to promote lethal bone and soft tissue metastases in host mice. β2-M interacts with its receptor, hemochromatosis (HFE) protein, to modulate iron responsive pathways in cancer cells. Inhibition of either β2-M or HFE results in reversion of EMT. These results demonstrate the role of β2-M in cancer metastasis and lethality. Thus, β2-M and its downstream signaling pathways are promising prognostic markers of cancer metastases and novel therapeutic targets for cancer therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research