CD44 mediates cancer stem cell and macrophage/monocyte interactions in head and neck cancer progression via stemness to invasion switch
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) at the tumor-stromal interface (TSI) cooperate with cancer stem cells (CSCs) to maintain stemness. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying crosstalk between TAMs and CSCs in head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) remains largely unknown. I found that CD44, a surface marker defining HNSCC CSCs, mediates cancer cell/TAM interaction via regulation of hyaluronic acid (HA) in the tumor microenvironment (TME) and intracellular PI3K-4EBP1-SOX2 signaling. IHC analysis of HNSCC patient samples suggests that TAMs at the TSI serve two functions: 1. supporting ...
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