Dietary energy balance modulates growth factor signaling during multistage epithelial carcinogenesis in mouse skin
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Energy balance refers to the relationship between energy intake and energy expenditure. Epidemiological studies have established a clear association between energy balance and cancer, however the underlying mechanisms are unclear. The objective of the current study was to evaluate the impact of caloric consumption on epithelial carcinogenesis and identify potential mechanisms of inhibition or enhancement. Using ICR female mice, we demonstrated that positive energy balance enhanced, while negative energy balance inhibited susceptibility to multistage carcinogenesis in mouse skin. We next evaluated diet-induced changes in the epidermal proliferative response. Calorie restriction (CR) significantly reduced epidermal hyperproliferation, in the presence and absence of tumor promotion, as compared to diet-induced obesity (DIO). Additional studies were conducted to determine the impact of dietary manipulation on TPA-induced growth factor signaling. CR reduced, while DIO increased insulin like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation, which subsequently modulated signaling downstream to Akt and mTOR. These diet-induced changes in growth factor signaling were confirmed under steady-state conditions in multiple epithelial tissues (i.e., skin, liver and dorsolateral prostate) in multiple mouse strains (FVB/N, C57BL/6 and ICR). Further analyses demonstrated that caloric consumption directly correlated with levels of cell cycle progression related proteins and inversely correlated with levels of cell cycle inhibitory proteins. Genetic reduction of circulating IGF-1, liver IGF-1 deficient (LID) mouse model, inhibited two-stage skin carcinogenesis, reduced epidermal hyperproliferation and attenuated IGF-1R and EGFR growth factor signaling during tumor promotion, similar to CR, suggesting a potential for IGF-1R and EGFR crosstalk. Further studies, demonstrated that IGF-1 induced EGFR activation in cultured mouse keratinocytes, possibly due to IGF-1R and EGFR heterodimerization or IGF-1 induced changes in EGFR mRNA expression. In vivo, CR reduced, while DIO increased IGF-1R and EGFR association during tumor promotion. Furthermore, CR attenuated EGFR ligand mRNA expression both in the presence and absence of TPA treatment. Collectively, these findings suggest that dietary energy balance modulates epithelial carcinogenesis, at least in part due to diet-induced changes in levels of circulating IGF-1, which then modulate IGF-1R and EGFR crosstalk and downstream signaling to cell cycle related proteins, subsequently altering epidermal hyperproliferation.