Tumor necroptosis promotes metastasis by modulating tumor-host immunity


“(…) we found that blocking necroptosis leads to inhibition of metastasis in a mouse breast cancer model (…)”

Credit: 2023 Liu et al.

“(…) we found that blocking necroptosis leads to inhibition of metastasis in a mouse breast cancer model (…)”

BUFFALO, NY- April 24, 2023 – A new editorial paper was published at Oncotarget Volume 14 on April 10, 2023 entitled, “Tumor necroptosis promotes metastasis through modulation of the interaction between tumor and host immunity.”

In this new editorial, researchers Zhaoshan Liu, Swati Choksi And Zheng-Gang Liu from National Institute of Health National Cancer Institute discuss cell death — which can occur as finely regulated programmed cell death (PCD) or unregulated accidental cell death (necrosis). Apart from apoptosis, which was the first known PCD, several other forms of PCD such as necroptosis and ferroptosis have been identified and the mechanisms underlying these forms of cell death have been well studied.

For necroptosis, regulated necrotic cell death, Mixed lineage kinase domain-like protein (MLKL) was found to be a key executor of the death and oligomerization process and its translocation to the plasma membrane results in release of cell surface proteins and rupture of the plasma membrane of necroptotic cells. The role of various forms of PCD in tumorigenesis has been extensively investigated.

While apoptosis and ferroptosis inhibit tumor development, necroptosis appears to have an important role in tumor development. Researchers here recently discovered that necroptosis is the main form of cell death observed in tumor necrosis, foci of cell death in dense tumor core regions under hypoxia and nutrient deprivation. More importantly, they found that blocking necroptosis leads to inhibition of metastasis in a mouse model of breast cancer.

“Developing novel necroptosis inhibitors by targeting other proteins such as MLKL may be important for successfully blocking necroptosis in cancer and reducing metastasis.”

Read the full editorial: DOI:

Correspondence to: Zheng Gang Liu

Email: (email protected)

Keywords: necroptosis, breast cancer, metastases, E-cadherin, immunity

About Oncotarget: Oncotarget (oncology-focused, peer-reviewed, open access journal) aims to maximize research impact through insightful peer-reviews; blurring the boundaries between specialties by linking different fields of oncology, cancer research, and biomedical sciences; and encourage the application of basic and clinical sciences.

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