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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