The association of colitis with colorectal cancer has become increasingly clear with mast cells being identified as important inflammatory cells in the process. In view of the relationship between mast cells and cancer, we studied the effect and mechanisms of mast cells in the development of colon cancer. Functional and mechanistic insights were gained from ex vivo
and in vivo
studies of cell interactions between mast cells and CT26 cells. Further evidence was reversely obtained in studies of mast cell targeted Fcε-PE40 chimeric toxin. Experiments revealed mast cells could induce colon tumor cell proliferation and invasion. Cancer progression was found to be related to the density of mast cells in colonic submucosa. The activation of MAPK, Rho-GTPase, and STAT pathways in colon cancer cells was triggered by mast cells during cell-to-cell interaction. Lastly, using an Fcε-PE40 chimeric toxin we constructed, we confirmed the promoting effect of mast cells in development of colon cancer. Mast cells are a promoting factor of colon cancer and thus also a potential therapeutic target. The Fcε-PE40 chimeric toxin targeting mast cells could effectively prevent colon cancer in vitro
and in vivo
. Consequently, these data may demonstrate a novel immunotherapeutic approach for the treatment of tumors.
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