Aikun Fu, Bingqing Yao, Tingting Dong,
Yajing Guo, Nan Li, Shang Ca
Tumor-resident intracellular microbiota is an emerging tumor component that has been documented for a variety of cancer types with unclear biological functions. Here, we explored the functional significance of these intratumor bacteria, primarily using a murine spontaneous breast-tumor model MMTV-PyMT. We found that depletion of intratumor bacteria significantly reduced lung metastasis without affecting primary tumor growth. During metastatic colonization, intratumor bacteria carried by circulating tumor cells promoted host-cell survival by enhancing resistance to fluid shear stress by reorganizing actin cytoskeleton. We further showed that intratumor administration of selected bacteria strains isolated from tumor-resident microbiota promoted metastasis in two murine tumor models with significantly different levels of metastasis potential. Our findings suggest that tumor-resident microbiota, albeit at low biomass, play an important role in promoting cancer metastasis, intervention of which might therefore be worth exploring for advancing oncology care.