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Activation of Toll-like Receptor 5 on Breast Cancer Cells by Flagellin Suppresses Cell Proliferation and Tumor Growth | Academic Article individual record

Increasing evidence showed that Toll-like receptors (TLR), key receptors in innate immunity, play a role in cancer progression and development but activation of different TLRs might exhibit the exact opposite outcome, antitumor or protumor effects. TLR function has been extensively studied in innate immune cells, so we investigated the role of TLR signaling in breast cancer epithelial cells. We found that TLR5 was highly expressed in breast carcinomas and that TLR5 signaling pathway is overly responsive in breast cancer cells. Interestingly, flagellin/TLR5 signaling in breast cancer cells inhibits cell proliferation and an anchorage-independent growth, a hallmark of tumorigenic transformation. In addition, the secretion of soluble factors induced by flagellin contributed to the growth-inhibitory activity in an autocrine fashion. The inhibitory activity was further confirmed in mouse xenografts of human breast cancer cells. These findings indicate that TLR5 activation by flagellin mediates innate immune response to elicit potent antitumor activity in breast cancer cells themselves, which may serve as a novel therapeutic target for human breast cancer therapy.

author list (cited authors)
Cai, Z., Sanchez, A., Shi, Z., Zhang, T., Liu, M., & Zhang, D.
publication date
published in
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays
  • Cell Growth Processes
  • Animals
  • Mice
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Breast Neoplasms
  • Flagellin
  • Mice, Nude
  • Toll-Like Receptor 5
  • Female
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