We found a linear correlation between the Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) amount and the NR4A2 expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) tissues through a statistical analysis among 41 clinical cases. In SCC cell lines, PGE2 receptor (EP) ligation by exogenous PGE2 promoted the NR4A2 expression in the cAMP/protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent manner. The process required a nature of SCC cell represented by constitutive activated epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) family. Targeted inactivation of the EGFRs interfered the PGE2-dependent NR4A2 expression. The PGE2-dependent NR4A2 induction is essential for the resistance to anti-cancer drug-induced apoptosis especially in SCC cells which showed constitutive EGFRs activity via autocrine epiregulin, a ligand for EGFRs. Conversely, SCC cells which lack epiregulin expression in their nature could gain the ability to promote the NR4A2 expression in response to PGE2 and attain the resistance to anti-cancer drug-induced apoptosis under the existence of exogenous epiregulin. These findings suggest that susceptibility of SCC to anti-cancer drug could be compromised when PGE2 was delivered in the microenvironment of SCC cells supported by constitutive EGFR family activities as their nature.
- Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)
- Resistance to anti-cancer drug
- Squamous cell carcinoma