The relationship between cancer progression and chronic inflammation is well documented but poorly understood. The innate immune system has long been recognized as the first line of defense against invading pathogens. More recently, endogenous molecules released from tissue matrix (D
atterns [DAMPs]) following tissue injury or periods of active matrix remodeling have also been identified as regulators of innate immunity. DAMPs have been identified as ligands for Toll-like receptors (TLRs), a family of cell-surface proteins which regulate the immune response. TLRs have been identified on resident tissue cells as well as most tumor cells. Therefore, dysregulation of the innate immune response secondary to biochemical and mechanical driven changes in the extracellular matrix of the tumor microenvironment may be a critical component of the chronic inflammation associated with tumor progression. Here we review the role of extracellular matrix (ECM)-derived DAMPS in the activation of TLR4 signaling in the context of tumor progression. We also explore the various types of topographical changes that can lead to ECM-derived DAMPs and their contribution to TLR4 activation.
View Full Article