Rebecca Cook
Faculty Member
Last active: 4/15/2019

CXCR4 drives the metastatic phenotype in breast cancer through induction of CXCR2 and activation of MEK and PI3K pathways.

Sobolik T, Su YJ, Wells S, Ayers GD, Cook RS, Richmond A
Mol Biol Cell. 2014 25 (5): 566-82

PMID: 24403602 · PMCID: PMC3937084 · DOI:10.1091/mbc.E13-07-0360

Aberrant expression of CXCR4 in human breast cancer correlates with metastasis to tissues secreting CXCL12. To understand the mechanism by which CXCR4 mediates breast cancer metastasis, MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells were transduced to express wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4WT) or constitutively active CXCR4 (CXCR4ΔCTD) and analyzed in two-dimensional (2D) cultures, three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane (3D rBM) cultures, and mice using intravital imaging. Two-dimensional cultures of MCF-7 CXCR4ΔCTD cells, but not CXCR4WT, exhibited an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) characterized by up-regulation of zinc finger E box-binding homeobox 1, loss of E-cadherin, up-regulation of cadherin 11, p120 isoform switching, activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2, and matrix metalloproteinase-2. In contrast to the 2D environment, MCF-7 CXCR4WT cells cultured in 3D rBM exhibited an EMT phenotype, accompanied by expression of CXCR2, CXCR7, CXCL1, CXCL8, CCL2, interleukin-6, and granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor. Dual inhibition of CXCR2 with CXCR4, or inhibition of either receptor with inhibitors of mitogen-activated protein kinase 1 or phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, reversed the aggressive phenotype of MCF-7 CXCR4-expressing or MDA-MB-231 cells in 3D rBM. Intravital imaging of CXCR4-expressing MCF-7 cells revealed that tumor cells migrate toward blood vessels and metastasize to lymph nodes. Thus CXCR4 can drive EMT along with an up-regulation of chemokine receptors and cytokines important in cell migration, lymphatic invasion, and tumor metastasis.

MeSH Terms (25)

Animals Breast Neoplasms Cell Line, Tumor Cell Movement Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition Female Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic Genetic Association Studies HEK293 Cells HL-60 Cells Humans Lymph Nodes MAP Kinase Signaling System MCF-7 Cells Mice Mice, Inbred BALB C Mice, Nude Models, Biological Neoplasm Invasiveness Neoplasm Metastasis Phosphatidylinositol Phosphates Receptors, CXCR4 Receptors, Interleukin-8B Signal Transduction Up-Regulation

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