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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 789414, 10 pages
Research Article

Interleukin-1β Affects MDAMB231 Breast Cancer Cell Migration under Hypoxia: Role of HIF-1α and NFκB Transcription Factors

Department of Molecular and Developmental Medicine, Cellular and Molecular Physiology Unit, University of Siena, 53100 Siena, Italy

Received 1 September 2015; Revised 9 November 2015; Accepted 11 November 2015

Academic Editor: Eduardo López-Collazo

Copyright © 2015 Irene Filippi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Inflammation and tumor hypoxia are intimately linked and breast cancer provides a typical example of an inflammation-linked malignant disease. Indeed, breast cancer progression is actively supported by inflammatory components, including IL-1β, and by the hypoxia-inducible factor- (HIF-) 1α. In spite of many attempts where the role of either IL-1β or HIF-1α was evaluated, detailed mechanisms for their effects on breast cancer cell migration under hypoxia are still unclear. We here report that IL-1β increased MDAMB231 cell migration under hypoxic conditions along with HIF-1α accumulation and upregulation of CXCR1, which is transcriptionally regulated by HIF-1α, as well as an increased expression of CXCL8 and NFκB. In addition, IL-1β-induced cell migration in hypoxia was not affected when HIF-1α was inhibited by either siRNA or Topotecan, well known for its inhibitory effect on HIF-1α. Of interest, HIF-1α inhibition did not reduce NFκB and CXCL8 expression and the reduction of IL-1β-induced cell migration under hypoxia was achieved only by pharmacological inhibition of NFκB. Our findings indicate that inhibition of HIF-1α does not prevent the migratory program activated by IL-1β in hypoxic MDAMB231 cells. They also suggest a potential compensatory role of NFκB/CXCL8 pathway in IL-1β-induced MDAMB231 cell migration in a hypoxic microenvironment.