NFKB is implicated in breast cancer bone metastasis and skeletal remodelling. However, the role of IKKβ a key component of the canonical NFKB pathway, in the regulation of breast cancer osteolytic metastasis has not been investigated. Here, we describe the cancer-specific contribution of IKKβ to bone metastasis, skeletal tumour growth and osteolysis associated with breast cancer. IKKβ is highly expressed in invasive breast tumours and its level of expression was higher in patients with bone metastasis. IKKβ overexpression in parental MDA-MD-231 breast cancer cells, promoted mammary tumour growth but failed to convey osteolytic potential to these cells in mice. In contrast, IKKβ overexpression in osteotropic sub-clones of MDA-MB-231 cells with differing osteolytic phenotypes increased incidence of bone metastasis, exacerbated osteolysis and enhanced skeletal tumour growth, whereas its knockdown was inhibitory. Functional and mechanistic studies revealed that IKKβ enhanced the ability of osteotropic MDA-MB-231 cells to migrate, increase steoclastogenesis, and to inhibit osteoblast differentiation via a mechanism mediated, at least in part, by cytoplasmic sequestering of FoxO3a and VEGFA production. Thus, tumour-selective manipulation of IKKβ and its interaction with FoxO3a may represent a novel strategy to reduce the development of secondary breast cancer in the skeleton.
- breast cancer
- bone metastasis