Constitutively active RAS plays a central role in the development of human cancer and is sufficient to induce tumors in two-stage skin carcinogenesis. RAS-mediated tumor formation is commonly associated with up-regulation of cytokines and chemokines that mediate an inflammatory response considered relevant to oncogenesis. In this study, we report that mice lacking IL-1R or MyD88 are less sensitive to topical skin carcinogenesis than their respective wild-type (WT) controls. MyD88 -/- or IL-1R -/- keratinocytes expressing oncogenic RAS are hyperproliferative and fail to up-regulate proinflammatory genes or down-regulate differentiation markers characteristic of RAS-expressing WT keratinocytes. Although RAS-expressing MyD88 -/- keratinocytes form only a few small tumors in ortho- topic grafts, IL-1R-deficient RAS-expressing keratinocytes retain the ability to form tumors in orthotopic grafts. Using both genetic and pharmacological approaches, we find that the differentiation and proinflammatory effects of oncogenic RAS in keratinocytes require the establishment of an autocrine loop through IL-1α, IL-1R, and MyD88 leading to phosphorylation of IκBα and NF-κB activation. Blocking IL-1α-mediated NF-κB activation in RAS-expressing WT keratinocytes reverses the differentiation defect and inhibits proinflammatory gene expression. Collectively, these results demonstrate that MyD88 exerts a cell-intrinsic function in RAS-mediated transformation of keratinocytes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy