Gene Summary

Gene:CCR2; chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2
Aliases: CKR2, CCR-2, CCR2A, CCR2B, CD192, CKR2A, CKR2B, CMKBR2, MCP-1-R, CC-CKR-2
Summary:This gene encodes two isoforms of a receptor for monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, a chemokine which specifically mediates monocyte chemotaxis. Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 is involved in monocyte infiltration in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as in the inflammatory response against tumors. The receptors encoded by this gene mediate agonist-dependent calcium mobilization and inhibition of adenylyl cyclase. This gene is located in the chemokine receptor gene cluster region. Two alternatively spliced transcript variants are expressed by the gene. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2009]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:C-C chemokine receptor type 2
Source:NCBIAccessed: 25 June, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (48)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 25 June 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Chromosome 3
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Receptors, CCR2
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenograft Models
  • Temperance
  • Odds Ratio
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Angiogenesis
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Messenger RNA
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness
  • Taiwan
  • Breast Cancer
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Polymorphism
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Cell Movement
  • Young Adult
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Smoking
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Genotype
  • Vaginal Smears
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Turkey
  • WT1
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Translational Medical Research
  • Disease Progression
  • Statistics as Topic
  • CXCR4
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
Tag cloud generated 25 June, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CCR2 (cancer-related)

Srivastava K, Hu J, Korn C, et al.
Postsurgical adjuvant tumor therapy by combining anti-angiopoietin-2 and metronomic chemotherapy limits metastatic growth.
Cancer Cell. 2014; 26(6):880-95 [PubMed] Related Publications
Antiangiogenic tumor therapy has failed in the adjuvant setting. Here we show that inhibition of the Tie2 ligand angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) effectively blocks metastatic growth in preclinical mouse models of postsurgical adjuvant therapy. Ang2 antibody treatment combines well with low-dose metronomic chemotherapy (LDMC) in settings in which maximum-dose chemotherapy does not prove effective. Mechanistically, Ang2 blockade could be linked to quenching the inflammatory and angiogenic response of endothelial cells (ECs) in the metastatic niche. Reduced EC adhesion molecule and chemokine expression inhibits the recruitment of tumor-promoting CCR2(+)Tie2(-) metastasis-associated macrophages. Moreover, LDMC contributes to therapeutic efficacy by inhibiting the recruitment of protumorigenic bone marrow-derived myeloid cells. Collectively, these data provide a rationale for mechanism-guided adjuvant tumor therapies.

Chen W, Gao Q, Han S, et al.
The CCL2/CCR2 axis enhances IL-6-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition by cooperatively activating STAT3-Twist signaling.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(2):973-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
The pattern of secreted factors in the tumor microenvironment has been shown to initiate tumor epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); however, little is known about their interplay undergoing this phenotypic switch. In this study, we revealed obvious coactions of cytokine IL-6 and chemokine CCL2 during EMT induction. We found that IL-6 effectively induced EMT and promoted tumor cell invasion, which could be markedly enhanced by addition of CCL2 in a CCR2-dependent manner. IL-6 and CCL2 induced each other and cooperatively elicited STAT3 phosphorylation; conversely, STAT3 regulated the production of IL-6 and CCL2, thus constituting a positive feedback loop to maintain and amplify STAT3 signaling, consequently promoting additional EMT events. Furthermore, CCL2 greatly enhanced IL-6-induced EMT events mainly by upregulating the expression of Twist. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of STAT3 disrupted STAT3-centered loop and markedly suppressed Twist expression as well as IL-6/CCL2-mediated EMT induction. Thus, our findings highlighted the synergy of the two secreted factors of tumor microenvironment, in regulating transformed properties of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Mandal RK, Agrawal T, Mittal RD
Genetic variants of chemokine CCL2 and chemokine receptor CCR2 genes and risk of prostate cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(1):375-81 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemokines and their receptors acts as mediators of migration of immune cells to the site of inflammation and deregulated inflammatory response is associated with increased risk of cancer. We performed a case-control study to analyze the frequencies of CCL2 (I/D, rs3917887), -2518 (A > G, rs1024611), and CCR2 (G > A, rs1799864) polymorphisms for prostate cancer (PCa) risk. In this hospital-based case-control study, histologically confirmed 195 PCa patients and 250 unrelated healthy controls of similar ethnicity were genotyped by PCR-RFLP. The result showed that heterozygous ID (odds ratio (OR) = 1.71; p = 0.010) carrier genotype of CCL2 gene were at increased risk for developing PCa. Variant allele D carriers (ID + DD) demonstrated a 1.67-fold increased risk (OR = 1.67; p = 0.010), suggesting a dominant effect model involved in PCa risk. Similarly, variant allele D of CCL2 gene also had a higher risk (OR = 1.53; p = 0.040) for developing PCa. High risk to PCa was also observed with respect to diplotypes, I-G (OR = 1.83; Bonferroni corrected p value (P c) = 0.004) and D-A (OR = 2.11; P c = 0.004) of CCL2 I/D and -2518 (A > G). In association of genotypes with clinic-pathological grade of tumor, homozygous DD (OR = 7.40; P c = 0.042) and variant allele carrier ID + DD (OR = 2.42; P c = 0.036) genotypes of CCL2 gene conferred risk in high Gleason grade tumor of PCa. We observed a significantly enhanced risk for PCa due to interaction between CCL2 I/D, -2518 (A > G), and CCR2 (G > A) genotypes. However, -2518 (A > G) and CCR2 V64I (G > A) gene polymorphisms were not significantly associated with PCa risk. Our results supported that CCL2 I/D gene variant contribute to the susceptibility and clinic-pathological characteristic of PCa and could be considered as an important risk factor for this malignancy in North Indian men.

Ding X, Yang DR, Lee SO, et al.
TR4 nuclear receptor promotes prostate cancer metastasis via upregulation of CCL2/CCR2 signaling.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(4):955-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
Testicular nuclear receptor 4 (TR4) plays protective roles against oxidative stress and DNA damage and might contribute to aging. Our recent clinical tumor tissue staining results showed higher expression of TR4 in prostate cancer (PCa) patients with high Gleason scores compared to the tissues with the low Gleason scores. In vitro migration/invasion assays after manipulation of the TR4 expression in PCa cells showed that TR4 promoted PCa cells migration/invasion. Mechanism dissection found that the CCL2/CCR2 signal plays the key role in the mediation of TR4-promoted PCa cells migration/invasion. Chromatin immunoprecipitation and Luciferase assays further confirmed TR4 modulation of CCL2 at the transcriptional level and addition of the CCR2 antagonist led to interruption of the TR4-enhanced PCa cells migration/invasion. Finally, the orthotopic xenografted mice studies using the luciferase expressing CWR22Rv1 cells found that TR4 enhanced PCa metastasis and this increased metastasis was reversed when the CCR2 antagonist was injected into the mice. Together, these in vitro and in vivo results revealed a positive role of TR4 in PCa metastasis and demonstrated CCL2/CCR2 signaling as an important mediator in exerting TR4 action. This finding suggests that TR4 may represent a biomarker related to PCa metastasis and targeting the TR4-CCL2/CCR2 axis may become a new therapeutic approach to battle PCa metastasis.

Maxwell PJ, Neisen J, Messenger J, Waugh DJ
Tumor-derived CXCL8 signaling augments stroma-derived CCL2-promoted proliferation and CXCL12-mediated invasion of PTEN-deficient prostate cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(13):4895-908 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Impaired PTEN function is a genetic hallmark of aggressive prostate cancers (CaP) and is associated with increased CXCL8 expression and signaling. The current aim was to further characterize biological responses and mechanisms underpinning CXCL8-promoted progression of PTEN-depleted prostate cancer, focusing on characterizing the potential interplay between CXCL8 and other disease-promoting chemokines resident within the prostate tumor microenvironment. Autocrine CXCL8-stimulation (i) increased expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 in PTEN-deficient CaP cells suggesting a self-potentiating signaling axis and (ii) induced expression of CXCR4 and CCR2 in PTEN-wild-type and PTEN-depleted CaP cells. In contrast, paracrine CXCL8 signaling induced expression and secretion of the chemokines CCL2 and CXCL12 from prostate stromal WPMY-1 fibroblasts and monocytic macrophage-like THP-1 cells. In vitro studies demonstrated functional co-operation of tumor-derived CXCL8 with stromal-derived chemokines. CXCL12-induced migration of PC3 cells and CCL2-induced proliferation of prostate cancer cells were dependent upon intrinsic CXCL8 signaling within the prostate cancer cells. For example, in co-culture experiments, CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling but not CCL2/CCR2 signaling supported fibroblast-mediated migration of PC3 cells while CXCL12/CXCR4 and CCL2/CCR2 signaling underpinned monocyte-enhanced migration of PC3 cells. Combined inhibition of both CXCL8 and CXCL12 signaling was more effective in inhibiting fibroblast-promoted cell motility while repression of CXCL8 attenuated CCL2-promoted proliferation of prostate cancer cells. We conclude that tumor-derived CXCL8 signaling from PTEN-deficient tumor cells increases the sensitivity and responsiveness of CaP cells to stromal chemokines by concurrently upregulating receptor expression in cancer cells and inducing stromal chemokine synthesis. Combined chemokine targeting may be required to inhibit their multi-faceted actions in promoting the invasion and proliferation of aggressive CaP.

Pei X, Sun Q, Zhang Y, et al.
PC3-secreted microprotein is a novel chemoattractant protein and functions as a high-affinity ligand for CC chemokine receptor 2.
J Immunol. 2014; 192(4):1878-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
PC3-secreted microprotein (PSMP) or microseminoprotein is a newly discovered secreted protein whose function is currently unknown. In this study, PSMP was found to possess chemotactic ability toward monocytes and lymphocytes, and its functional receptor was identified as CCR2B. PSMP was identified as a chemoattractant protein from a PBMC chemoattractant platform screen that we established. The mature secreted PSMP was able to chemoattract human peripheral blood monocytes, PBLs, and CCR2B-expressing THP-1 cells, but not peripheral blood neutrophils, even though it does not contain the classical structure of chemokines. CCR2B was identified as one receptor for PSMP-mediated chemotaxis by screening HEK293 cells that transiently expressed classical chemokine receptors; results obtained from the chemotaxis, calcium flux, receptor internalization, and radioligand-binding assays all confirmed this finding. To further identify the major function of PSMP, we analyzed its expression profile in tissues. PSMP is highly expressed in benign prostatic hyperplasia and in some prostate cancers, and can also be detected in breast tumor tissue. In response to PSMP stimulation, phosphorylated ERK levels downstream of CCR2B signaling were upregulated in the PC3 cell line. Taken together, our data collectively suggest that PSMP is a chemoattractant protein acting as a novel CCR2 ligand that may influence inflammation and cancer development.

Gao J, Wang A, Zhang M, et al.
RNAi targeting of CCR2 gene expression induces apoptosis and inhibits the proliferation, migration, and invasion of PC-3M cells.
Oncol Res. 2013; 21(2):73-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second most lethal malignancy in men. It has been reported that chemokines, produced by cancer cells, have linked with tumor progression and metastatic spread. We have proven that chemokine (C-C) motif ligand 2 (CCL2) is involved in the growth and invasion of PCa. In this study, we studied whether CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2), the receptor of CCL2, also contributes to PCa progression. We constructed the recombinant plasmid pGCsi-CCR2 and investigated the effects of pGCsi-CCR2 on proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and invasion of PC-3M cells. RT-PCR and Western blot assay showed that transfection with the plasmid pGCsi-CCR2 successfully inhibited the CCR2 expression. The cell proliferation rate was significantly slow, and the apoptotic rate was increased in PC-3M cells treated with CCR2-siRNA, indicated by MTT cell viability and TUNEL assay, respectively. As expected, CCR2 knockdown also reduced the migration and invasion of PC-3M cells, as illustrated through wound-healing assay and Transwell assay. The possible molecular mechanism was the regulation of several signal pathways involved in survival, apoptosis, migration, and metastasis. Altogether, the present finding suggests that CCR2 expression is crucial for CCL2-induced proliferation and invasion of PC-3M cells, and CCR2 could also be a promising molecular target for prevention of PCa growth and metastasis.

Shi M, Chen MS, Sekar K, et al.
A blood-based three-gene signature for the non-invasive detection of early human hepatocellular carcinoma.
Eur J Cancer. 2014; 50(5):928-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Identifying early stages of disease in high-risk individuals for the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) would greatly improve the clinical outcomes of these individuals. The aim of this study was to develop a blood-based gene set that could identify early-stage HCC.
METHODS: Comprehensive gene expression profiling of purified RNA of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was performed using microarrays. Gene signatures were developed through bioinformatics-driven approaches and their diagnostic value was evaluated by custom-designed, quantitative, multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays.
RESULTS: Bioinformatics-driven analysis of microarray data derived from PBMC RNA samples of patients with HCC (N=10), pancreatic cancer (N=3), gastric cancer (N=3) and 10 normal individuals identified six genes that were differentially expressed in HCC. Subsequent multiplex-PCR validation and univariate analyses performed with an independent cohort of 114 HCC patients, 48 normal individuals and 14 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) validated that three genes, namely Chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 2 (CXCR2), C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2) and E1A-Binding Protein P400 (EP400), were able to identify HCC individually with accuracies of 82.4%, 78.4% and 65%, respectively. In combination, these three genes gave an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.96 (95% confidence interval (CI), 0.93-0.99) using multivariate logistic regression and yielded a sensitivity of 93% and a specificity of 89%. When these three genes were used in combination with alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) to predict HCC, the accuracy of predicting HCC improved slightly with an AUC of 0.99 (95% CI, 0.98-1.0), sensitivity of 93% and specificity of 95%.
CONCLUSIONS: CXCR2, CCR2 and EP400 can provide a promising non-invasive multiplex PCR diagnostic assay to monitor high-risk individuals for the development of HCC.

Wyler L, Napoli CU, Ingold B, et al.
Brain metastasis in renal cancer patients: metastatic pattern, tumour-associated macrophages and chemokine/chemoreceptor expression.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(3):686-94 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The mechanisms of brain metastasis in renal cell cancer (RCC) patients are poorly understood. Chemokine and chemokine receptor expression may contribute to the predilection of RCC for brain metastasis by recruitment of monocytes/macrophages and by control or induction of vascular permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
METHODS: Frequency and patterns of brain metastasis were determined in 246 patients with metastatic RCC at autopsy. Expression of CXCR4, CCL7 (MCP-3), CCR2 and CD68(+) tumour-associated macrophages (TAMs) were analysed in a separate series of 333 primary RCC and in 48 brain metastases using immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Fifteen percent of 246 patients with metastasising RCC had brain metastasis. High CXCR4 expression levels were found in primary RCC and brain metastases (85.7% and 91.7%, respectively). CCR2 (52.1%) and CCL7 expression (75%) in cancer cells of brain metastases was more frequent compared with primary tumours (15.5% and 16.7%, respectively; P<0.0001 each). The density of CD68(+) TAMs was similar in primary RCC and brain metastases. However, TAMs were more frequently CCR2-positive in brain metastases than in primary RCC (P<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Our data demonstrate that the monocyte-specific chemokine CCL7 and its receptor CCR2 are expressed in tumour cells of RCC. We conclude that monocyte recruitment by CCR2 contributes to brain metastasis of RCC.

Sarkar S, Döring A, Zemp FJ, et al.
Therapeutic activation of macrophages and microglia to suppress brain tumor-initiating cells.
Nat Neurosci. 2014; 17(1):46-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) contribute to the genesis and recurrence of gliomas. We examined whether the microglia and macrophages that are abundant in gliomas alter BTIC growth. We found that microglia derived from non-glioma human subjects markedly mitigated the sphere-forming capacity of glioma patient-derived BTICs in culture by inducing the expression of genes that control cell cycle arrest and differentiation. This sphere-reducing effect was mimicked by macrophages, but not by neurons or astrocytes. Using a drug screen, we validated amphotericin B (AmpB) as an activator of monocytoid cells and found that AmpB enhanced the microglial reduction of BTIC spheres. In mice harboring intracranial mouse or patient-derived BTICs, daily systemic treatment with non-toxic doses of AmpB substantially prolonged life. Notably, microglia and monocytes cultured from glioma patients were inefficient at reducing the sphere-forming capacity of autologous BTICs, but this was rectified by AmpB. These results provide new insights into the treatment of gliomas.

Mascia F, Lam G, Keith C, et al.
Genetic ablation of epidermal EGFR reveals the dynamic origin of adverse effects of anti-EGFR therapy.
Sci Transl Med. 2013; 5(199):199ra110 [PubMed] Related Publications
Cancer patients treated with anti-EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) drugs often develop a dose-limiting pruritic rash of unknown etiology. The aims of our study were to define causal associations from a clinical study of cutaneous and systemic changes in patients treated with gefitinib and use these to develop and characterize a mouse model that recapitulates the human skin rash syndrome caused by anti-EGFR therapy. We examined the patients' plasma before and after treatment with gefitinib and documented changes in chemokines and leukocyte counts associated with the extent of rash or the presence of pruritus. We established a parallel mouse model by ablating EGFR in the epidermis. These mice developed skin lesions similar to the human rash. Before lesion development, we detected increased mRNA expression of chemokines in the skin associated with early infiltration of macrophages and mast cells and later infiltration of eosinophils, T cells, and neutrophils. As the skin phenotype evolved, changes in blood counts and circulating chemokines reproduced those seen in the gefitinib-treated patients. Crossing the mutant mice with mice deficient for tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) receptors, MyD88, NOS2, CCR2, T cells, or B cells failed to reverse the skin phenotype. However, local depletion of macrophages provided partial resolution, suggesting that this model can identify targets that may be effective in preventing the troublesome and dose-limiting skin response to anti-EGFR drugs. These results highlight the importance of EGFR signaling in maintaining skin immune homeostasis and identify a macrophage contribution to a serious adverse consequence of cancer chemotherapy.

Cho YA, Kim J
Association of polymorphisms in the MCP-1 and CCR2 genes with the risk of cancer: a meta-analysis.
Cytokine. 2013; 64(1):213-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
Studies investigating the impact of polymorphisms on monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) on the risk of cancer have reported inconsistent results. We performed a meta-analysis of 23 eligible studies to summarize the data describing the association between cancer risk and polymorphisms in MCP-1 A2518G and CCR2 V64I. Q-statistics and I(2) statistics were calculated to examine heterogeneity and summary odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were calculated using a random effects model. Potential sources of heterogeneity were investigated via subgroup and sensitivity analyses, and publication biases were estimated. Overall, MCP-1 and CCR2 polymorphisms showed no significant associations with cancer risk (MCP-1-2518A/G, GG + GA vs. AA: OR=0.94, 95% CI=0.76-1.17; CCR2 V64I, AA+AG vs. GG: OR=1.27, 95% CI=0.87-1.86). However, strong evidence of heterogeneity was found among the investigated studies, and subgroup analyses were therefore conducted according to study location, cancer type, source of controls, and presence of deviation from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). When the data were stratified by study location, the increased risk of cancer among A allele carriers of CCR2 V64I was observed only in studies conducted in Asian countries (AA+AG vs. GG: OR=1.65; 95% CI=1.25-2.18). This meta-analysis suggests that genetic polymorphisms of CCR2 V64I may influence the susceptibility of cancer in Asian countries. Further well-designed studies with larger sample sizes should be conducted.

Dorjgochoo T, Zheng Y, Gao YT, et al.
No association between genetic variants in angiogenesis and inflammation pathway genes and breast cancer survival among Chinese women.
Cancer Epidemiol. 2013; 37(5):619-24 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis and inflammation are implicated in breast cancer prognosis; however, the role of individual germline variation in related genes is unknown.
METHODS: A two-stage candidate pathway association study was conducted among 6983 Chinese women. Stage 1 included 2884 women followed for a median of 5.7 years; Stage 2 included 4099 women followed for a median of 4.0 years. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to estimate the effects of genetic variants on disease-free survival (DFS) and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: Stage 1 included genotyping of 506 variants in 22 genes; analysis was conducted for 370 common variants. Nominally significant associations with DFS and/or OS were found for 20 loci in ten genes in Stage 1; variants in 19 loci were successfully genotyped and evaluated in Stage 2. In analyses of both study stages combined, nominally significant associations were found for nine variants in seven genes; none of these associations surpassed a significance threshold level corrected for the total number of variants evaluated in this study.
CONCLUSIONS: No association with survival was found for 370 common variants in 22 angiogenesis and inflammation pathway genes among Chinese women with breast cancer.
IMPACT: Our data do not support a large role for common genetic variation in 22 genes in breast cancer prognosis; research on angiogenesis and inflammation genes should focus on common variation in other genes, rare host variants, or tumor alterations.

Li J, Liu Y, Wang B, et al.
Myeloid TGF-β signaling contributes to colitis-associated tumorigenesis in mice.
Carcinogenesis. 2013; 34(9):2099-108 [PubMed] Related Publications
Myeloid cells have a critical role in maintaining intestinal homeostasis and regulating the development of inflammatory bowel disease and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). However, the signaling pathways that control the function of colonic myeloid cells in these pathological processes are still poorly defined. In this study, we demonstrate that transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) signaling in colonic myeloid cells is significantly involved in the development of CAC. Myeloid TGF-β receptor II (Tgfbr2)-deficient mice showed reduced susceptibility to chemically induced colitis-associated tumorigenesis, as evidenced by decreases in number and size of tumors. Myeloid Tgfbr2 deficiency markedly decreased the production of interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α, two proinflammatory cytokines that are essential for colonic tumorigenesis; in addition, a marked increase in the proportions of Foxp3+CD4+ regulatory T cells was observed in the colonic lamina propria in the initial stage of CAC. Loss of myeloid Tgfbr2 was associated with a decrease in the presence of F4/80 positive macrophages and a downregulation of phosphorylated STAT3, proliferative cell nuclear antigen and cyclin D1 expression in colonic adenoma tissues. TGF-β enhanced macrophage recruitment, at least in part, through modulating the expression of the chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2 (CCR2) ligands in tumor environment and the CCR2 signaling in macrophages. Collectively, these results suggest that myeloid TGF-β signaling modulates intestinal inflammation and significantly promotes tumorigenesis in the development of colitis-associated colon cancer.

Liu GX, Zhang X, Li S, et al.
Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 and CC chemokine receptor 2 polymorphisms and prognosis of renal cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2013; 34(5):2741-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) and its receptor CC chemokine receptor 2 (CCR2) play a major role in inflammation and proliferation of cancers. We investigated a possible association between polymorphisms in MCP-1 and CCR2 genes (MCP-1 -2518A/G and CCR2 190G/A or V64I) and the risk as well as prognosis of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Genotypes were determined by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism in 416 RCC cases and 458 age-matched healthy controls. Frequency of MCP-1 2518GG genotype for cases and controls was 0.384 and 0.286, respectively; individuals carrying the GG genotype had a 1.89-fold increased risk of RCC than those with AA genotype (95 % confidence interval [CI] 1.24-2.81, p = 0.002; data were adjusted for age and sex). Frequency of CCR2 190AA (64I/64I) genotype for cases and controls was 0.175 and 0.076, respectively; subjects having AA genotype had a 2.68-fold increased risk of RCC compared to those with the wild-type GG genotype (95 %CI 1.71-4.17, p = 4.3 × 10(-6); data were adjusted for age and sex). When analyzing the survival rate of RCC, patients with MCP-1 -2518GG genotype revealed significantly shorter survival time compared to cases with MCP-1 -2518AA and AG genotypes (p = 0.003). Similarly, RCC cases carrying CCR2 190AA genotype showed significantly shorter survival rate than patients with GG or GA genotypes (p < 0.001). These data suggested that MCP-1 -2518A/G and CCR2 190G/A polymorphisms are new risk factors for RCC and could be used as prognostic markers for this malignancy.

Sanford DE, Belt BA, Panni RZ, et al.
Inflammatory monocyte mobilization decreases patient survival in pancreatic cancer: a role for targeting the CCL2/CCR2 axis.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(13):3404-15 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine the role of the CCL2/CCR2 axis and inflammatory monocytes (CCR2(+)/CD14(+)) as immunotherapeutic targets in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Survival analysis was conducted to determine if the prevalence of preoperative blood monocytes correlates with survival in patients with pancreatic cancer following tumor resection. Inflammatory monocyte prevalence in the blood and bone marrow of patients with pancreatic cancer and controls was compared. The immunosuppressive properties of inflammatory monocytes and macrophages in the blood and tumors, respectively, of patients with pancreatic cancer were assessed. CCL2 expression by human pancreatic cancer tumors was compared with normal pancreas. A novel CCR2 inhibitor (PF-04136309) was tested in an orthotopic model of murine pancreatic cancer.
RESULTS: Monocyte prevalence in the peripheral blood correlates inversely with survival, and low monocyte prevalence is an independent predictor of increased survival in patients with pancreatic cancer with resected tumors. Inflammatory monocytes are increased in the blood and decreased in the bone marrow of patients with pancreatic cancer compared with controls. An increased ratio of inflammatory monocytes in the blood versus the bone marrow is a novel predictor of decreased patient survival following tumor resection. Human pancreatic cancer produces CCL2, and immunosuppressive CCR2(+) macrophages infiltrate these tumors. Patients with tumors that exhibit high CCL2 expression/low CD8 T-cell infiltrate have significantly decreased survival. In mice, CCR2 blockade depletes inflammatory monocytes and macrophages from the primary tumor and premetastatic liver resulting in enhanced antitumor immunity, decreased tumor growth, and reduced metastasis.
CONCLUSIONS: Inflammatory monocyte recruitment is critical to pancreatic cancer progression, and targeting CCR2 may be an effective immunotherapeutic strategy in this disease.

Zambra FM, Biolchi V, Brum IS, Chies JA
CCR2 and CCR5 genes polymorphisms in benign prostatic hyperplasia and prostate cancer.
Hum Immunol. 2013; 74(8):1003-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) and prostate cancer (PCa) are two chronic conditions, very common in aged men, that have been associated to inflammatory process. Chemokines and their receptors are recognized as critical mediators of inflammatory responses, they regulate immune cell migration and are implicated in tumor pathogenesis. The impact of two chemokine receptor gene polymorphisms, CCR2-64I (rs1799864) and CCR5-Δ32 (rs333), was evaluated in BPH and PCa. 385 DNA samples (130 BPH, 136 PCa, 119 healthy control) were genotyped. The allele frequencies were similar among control, BPH and PCa groups. Median of serum PSA levels was different between groups: 0.79, 1.45 and 6.91 ng/mL in control, BPH and PCa groups, respectively (all p<0.001). The prostate volume median was 20.00 cm(3) in the control group, thus, lower than BPH (35.35 cm(3)) and PCa (35.80 cm(3)) (both p<0.001), nevertheless no statistical significant difference was observed between BPH and PCa patients (p=0.172). Remarkably, CCR2-64I was a protective factor to PCa when compared with BPH (OR=0.550; 95%CI=0.311-0.975), although the statistically significant difference was lost after correction for multiple comparisons. No significant associations of CCR5-Δ32 variant were observed with BPH, PCa or PCa clinicopathologic status. Our data suggest the influence of CCR2-64I variant in the development of prostate cancer.

Huang Y, Chen H, Wang J, et al.
Relationship between CCR2-V64I polymorphism and cancer risk: a meta-analysis.
Gene. 2013; 524(1):54-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: The role of CCR2-V64I polymorphism in various cancers has been reported in many studies. However, results from published studies on the association between CCR2-V64I polymorphism and cancer risk are conflicting. Therefore, we performed a meta-analysis to estimate the overall cancer risk associated with the polymorphism.
METHODS: Electronic searches of PubMed and EMBASE were conducted for all publications on the association between this variant and cancer. Odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were used to access the strength of this association.
RESULTS: Sixteen studies with 2661 cancer patients and 5801 healthy controls were included. Overall, significant association was found between the CCR2-V64I polymorphism and cancer risk (OR=1.84, 95% CI=1.35-2.51, AA vs GA/GG, P=0.37). In the subgroup analysis stratified by cancer types, there was a significant association between this polymorphism and bladder cancer (OR=2.06, 95% CI=1.02-4.15, AA vs GA/GG, P=0.11), cervical cancer (OR=3.34, 95% CI=1.48-7.50, AA vs GG, P=0.56), and oral cancer (OR=2.04, 95% CI=1.46-2.84, GA vs GG, P=0.70). In the subgroup analysis stratified by ethnicities, an increased cancer risk was also found in Europeans (OR=2.31, 95% CI=1.45-3.68, AA vs GA/GG, P=0.16) and Asians (OR=1.88, 95% CI=1.12-3.16, AA vs GA/GG, P=0.92).
CONCLUSION: This meta-analysis suggested that CCR2-V64I polymorphism may contribute to an increased risk of cancer.

Kim EK, Kim YS, Milner JA, Wang TT
Indole-3-carbinol and 3',3'-diindolylmethane modulate androgen's effect on C-C chemokine ligand 2 and monocyte attraction to prostate cancer cells.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2013; 6(6):519-29 [PubMed] Related Publications
Inflammation has a role in prostate tumorigenesis. Recruitment of inflammatory monocytes to the tumor site is mediated by C-C chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2) through binding to its receptor CCR2. We hypothesized that androgen could modulate CCL2 expression in hormone-responsive prostate cancer cells and thereby promote recruitment of monocytes. Given the inhibitory effect of broccoli-derived compounds indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and 3,3'-diindolylmethane (DIM) on androgen-dependent pathways, we also reasoned that I3C and DIM could modulate the effect of androgen on CCL2-mediated pathways. Dihydrotestosterone was found to induce a time-dependent (0-72 hours) and concentration-dependent (0-1 nmol/L) increase in CCL2 mRNA levels in androgen-responsive human prostate cancer cells (LNCaP). This increase in CCL2 mRNA corresponded with increased secretion of CCL2 protein. The effect of dihydrotestosterone was mediated through an androgen receptor (AR)-dependent pathway as small inhibitor RNA against AR negated the induction of CCL2. Although dihydrotestosterone also induced TWIST1 mRNA, an epithelial-mesenchymal transition-related factor, and purported inducer of CCL2, blocking its expression with small inhibitor RNA did not inhibit dihydrotestosterone induction of CCL2 mRNA. Moreover, conditioned media from androgen-treated cells promoted human monocyte THP-1 cell migration and this effect was blocked by antibody against CCL-2. Both I3C and DIM inhibited promotional effects of dihydrotestosterone on CCL2 and migration. These results show that androgen may regulate CCL2 and promote inflammatory microenvironment in prostate tumors and that this process can be blocked by broccoli-derived compounds.

Pils D, Tong D, Hager G, et al.
A combined blood based gene expression and plasma protein abundance signature for diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer--a study of the OVCAD consortium.
BMC Cancer. 2013; 13:178 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The immune system is a key player in fighting cancer. Thus, we sought to identify a molecular 'immune response signature' indicating the presence of epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) and to combine this with a serum protein biomarker panel to increase the specificity and sensitivity for earlier detection of EOC.
METHODS: Comparing the expression of 32,000 genes in a leukocytes fraction from 44 EOC patients and 19 controls, three uncorrelated shrunken centroid models were selected, comprised of 7, 14, and 6 genes. A second selection step using RT-qPCR data and significance analysis of microarrays yielded 13 genes (AP2A1, B4GALT1, C1orf63, CCR2, CFP, DIS3, NEAT1, NOXA1, OSM, PAPOLG, PRIC285, ZNF419, and BC037918) which were finally used in 343 samples (90 healthy, six cystadenoma, eight low malignant potential tumor, 19 FIGO I/II, and 220 FIGO III/IV EOC patients). Using new 65 controls and 224 EOC patients (thereof 14 FIGO I/II) the abundances of six plasma proteins (MIF, prolactin, CA125, leptin, osteopondin, and IGF2) was determined and used in combination with the expression values from the 13 genes for diagnosis of EOC.
RESULTS: Combined diagnostic models using either each five gene expression and plasma protein abundance values or 13 gene expression and six plasma protein abundance values can discriminate controls from patients with EOC with Receiver Operator Characteristics Area Under the Curve values of 0.998 and bootstrap .632+ validated classification errors of 3.1% and 2.8%, respectively. The sensitivities were 97.8% and 95.6%, respectively, at a set specificity of 99.6%.
CONCLUSIONS: The combination of gene expression and plasma protein based blood derived biomarkers in one diagnostic model increases the sensitivity and the specificity significantly. Such a diagnostic test may allow earlier diagnosis of epithelial ovarian cancer.

Knight DA, Ngiow SF, Li M, et al.
Host immunity contributes to the anti-melanoma activity of BRAF inhibitors.
J Clin Invest. 2013; 123(3):1371-81 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The BRAF mutant, BRAF(V600E), is expressed in nearly half of melanomas, and oral BRAF inhibitors induce substantial tumor regression in patients with BRAF(V600E) metastatic melanoma. The inhibitors are believed to work primarily by inhibiting BRAF(V600E)-induced oncogenic MAPK signaling; however, some patients treated with BRAF inhibitors exhibit increased tumor immune infiltration, suggesting that a combination of BRAF inhibitors and immunotherapy may be beneficial. We used two relatively resistant variants of Braf(V600E)-driven mouse melanoma (SM1 and SM1WT1) and melanoma-prone mice to determine the role of host immunity in type I BRAF inhibitor PLX4720 antitumor activity. We found that PLX4720 treatment downregulated tumor Ccl2 gene expression and decreased tumor CCL2 expression in both Braf(V600E) mouse melanoma transplants and in de novo melanomas in a manner that was coincident with reduced tumor growth. While PLX4720 did not directly increase tumor immunogenicity, analysis of SM1 tumor-infiltrating leukocytes in PLX4720-treated mice demonstrated a robust increase in CD8(+) T/FoxP3(+)CD4(+) T cell ratio and NK cells. Combination therapy with PLX4720 and anti-CCL2 or agonistic anti-CD137 antibodies demonstrated significant antitumor activity in mouse transplant and de novo tumorigenesis models. These data elucidate a role for host CCR2 in the mechanism of action of type I BRAF inhibitors and support the therapeutic potential of combining BRAF inhibitors with immunotherapy.

Asai H, Fujiwara H, An J, et al.
Co-introduced functional CCR2 potentiates in vivo anti-lung cancer functionality mediated by T cells double gene-modified to express WT1-specific T-cell receptor.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(2):e56820 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Although gene-modification of T cells to express tumor-related antigen-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) or chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) has clinically proved promise, there still remains room to improve the clinical efficacy of re-directed T-cell based antitumor adoptive therapy. In order to achieve more objective clinical responses using ex vivo-expanded tumor-responsive T cells, the infused T cells need to show adequate localized infiltration into the tumor.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Human lung cancer cells variously express a tumor antigen, Wilms' Tumor gene product 1 (WT1), and an inflammatory chemokine, CCL2. However, CCR2, the relevant receptor for CCL2, is rarely expressed on activated T-lymphocytes. A HLA-A2402(+) human lung cancer cell line, LK79, which expresses high amounts of both CCL2 and WT1 mRNA, was employed as a target. Normal CD8(+) T cells were retrovirally gene-modified to express both CCR2 and HLA-A*2402-restricted and WT1(235-243) nonapeptide-specific TCR as an effector. Anti-tumor functionality mediated by these effector cells against LK79 cells was assessed both in vitro and in vivo. Finally the impact of CCL2 on WT1 epitope-responsive TCR signaling mediated by the effector cells was studied. Introduced CCR2 was functionally validated using gene-modified Jurkat cells and human CD3(+) T cells both in vitro and in vivo. Double gene-modified CD3(+) T cells successfully demonstrated both CCL2-tropic tumor trafficking and cytocidal reactivity against LK79 cells in vitro and in vivo. CCL2 augmented the WT1 epitope-responsive TCR signaling shown by relevant luciferase production in double gene-modified Jurkat/MA cells to express luciferase and WT1-specific TCR, and CCL2 also dose-dependently augmented WT1 epitope-responsive IFN-γ production and CD107a expression mediated by these double gene-modified CD3(+) T cells.
CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Introduction of the CCL2/CCR2 axis successfully potentiated in vivo anti-lung cancer reactivity mediated by CD8(+) T cells double gene-modified to express WT1-specific TCR and CCR2 not only via CCL2-tropic tumor trafficking, but also CCL2-enhanced WT1-responsiveness.

Wu HH, Lee TH, Tee YT, et al.
Relationships of single nucleotide polymorphisms of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 and chemokine receptor 2 with susceptibility and clinicopathologic characteristics of neoplasia of uterine cervix in Taiwan women.
Reprod Sci. 2013; 20(10):1175-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
Few studies reported the implication of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) and its receptor chemokine receptor 2 (CCR-2) in clinical significance of cancer of uterine cervix. We hypothesized that SNPs of MCP-1 and CCR-2 may affect the expression of these genes and then proteins. Therefore, we investigated the influence of the gene polymorphisms of MCP-1 and CCR-2 on the susceptibility and clinicopathologic characteristics of cervical neoplasia in Taiwan women. We recruited 86 patients with invasive cancer and 61 with high-grade dysplasia and 253 control women and selected 1 MCP-1 SNP rs1024611 (-2518G/A) and 1 CCR-2 SNP rs1799864 (190G/A; V64I) to determine their genotypes distribution using polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. In comparison to normal individuals with homozygotes GG in MCP-2 SNP, women with GA or AA carried a 2.01 odds ratio of developing cervical cancer. Nevertheless, it was not demonstrated in CCR-2 SNP. Furthermore, women with mutant homozygote (AA) of MCP-1 SNP increased the risk of deep stromal invasion, large tumor diameter, and parametrium invasion of cervical cancer, when compared to those with wild homozygote GG or heterozygote GA. However, women with mutant homozygotes (AA) of CCR-2 SNP did not increase the risk of poor clinicopathologic characteristics. In conclusion, MCP-1 SNP may be correlated with the development, deep stromal invasion, large tumor diameter, and parametrium invasion of cervical cancer but not with cancer recurrence or survival of Taiwan women patients with cancer. However, the SNP of its receptor, CCR-2, is not implicated in cervical cancer.

Ryder M, Gild M, Hohl TM, et al.
Genetic and pharmacological targeting of CSF-1/CSF-1R inhibits tumor-associated macrophages and impairs BRAF-induced thyroid cancer progression.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(1):e54302 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Advanced human thyroid cancers are densely infiltrated with tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and this correlates with a poor prognosis. We used BRAF-induced papillary thyroid cancer (PTC) mouse models to examine the role of TAMs in PTC progression. Following conditional activation of BRAF(V600E) in murine thyroids there is an increased expression of the TAM chemoattractants Csf-1 and Ccl-2. This is followed by the development of PTCs that are densely infiltrated with TAMs that express Csf-1r and Ccr2. Targeting CCR2-expressing cells during BRAF-induction reduced TAM density and impaired PTC development. This strategy also induced smaller tumors, decreased proliferation and restored a thyroid follicular architecture in established PTCs. In PTCs from mice that lacked CSF-1 or that received a c-FMS/CSF-1R kinase inhibitor, TAM recruitment and PTC progression was impaired, recapitulating the effects of targeting CCR2-expressing cells. Our data demonstrate that TAMs are pro-tumorigenic in advanced PTCs and that they can be targeted pharmacologically, which may be potentially useful for patients with advanced thyroid cancers.

Sundarasetty BS, Singh VK, Salguero G, et al.
Lentivirus-induced dendritic cells for immunization against high-risk WT1(+) acute myeloid leukemia.
Hum Gene Ther. 2013; 24(2):220-37 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Wilms' tumor 1 antigen (WT1) is overexpressed in acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a high-risk neoplasm warranting development of novel immunotherapeutic approaches. Unfortunately, clinical immunotherapeutic use of WT1 peptides against AML has been inconclusive. With the rationale of stimulating multiantigenic responses against WT1, we genetically programmed long-lasting dendritic cells capable of producing and processing endogenous WT1 epitopes. A tricistronic lentiviral vector co-expressing a truncated form of WT1 (lacking the DNA-binding domain), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), and interleukin-4 (IL-4) was used to transduce human monocytes ex vivo. Overnight transduction induced self-differentiation of monocytes into immunophenotypically stable "SmartDC/tWT1" (GM-CSF(+), IL-4(+), tWT1(+), IL-6(+), IL-8(+), TNF-α(+), MCP-1(+), HLA-DR(+), CD86(+), CCR2(+), CCR5(+)) that were viable for 3 weeks in vitro. SmartDC/tWT1 were produced with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from an FLT3-ITD(+) AML patient and surplus material from a donor lymphocyte infusion (DLI) and used to expand CD8(+) T cells in vitro. Expanded cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) showed antigen-specific reactivity against WT1 and against WT1(+) leukemia cells. SmartDC/tWT1 injected s.c. into Nod.Rag1(-/-).IL2rγc(-/-) mice were viable in vivo for more than three weeks. Migration of human T cells (huCTLs) to the immunization site was demonstrated following adoptive transfer of huCTLs into mice immunized with SmartDC/tWT1. Furthermore, SmartDC/tWT1 immunization plus adoptive transfer of T cells reactive against WT1 into mice resulted in growth arrest of a WT1(+) tumor. Gene array analyses of SmartDC/tWT1 demonstrated upregulation of several genes related to innate immunity. Thus, SmartDC/tWT1 can be produced in a single day of ex vivo gene transfer, are highly viable in vivo, and have great potential for use as immunotherapy against malignant transformation overexpressing WT1.

Kehlen A, Haegele M, Menge K, et al.
Role of glutaminyl cyclases in thyroid carcinomas.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2013; 20(1):79-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
CCL2 is a chemokine known to recruit monocytes/macrophages to sites of inflammation. CCL2 is also associated with tumor progression in several cancer types. Recently, we showed that the N-terminus of CCL2 is modified to a pyroglutamate (pE)-residue by both glutaminyl cyclases (QC (QPCT)) and its isoenzyme (isoQC (QPCTL)). The pE-residue increases stability against N-terminal degradation by aminopeptidases. Here, we report an upregulation of QPCT expression in tissues of patients with thyroid carcinomas compared with goiter tissues, whereas QPCTL was not regulated. In thyroid carcinoma cell lines, QPCT gene expression correlates with the mRNA levels of its substrate CCL2. Both QPCT and CCL2 are regulated in a NF-κB-dependent pathway shown by stimulation with TNFa and IL1b as well as by inhibition with the IKK2 inhibitor and RNAi of p50. In the culture supernatant of thyroid carcinoma cells, equal amounts of pECCL2 and total CCL2 were detected by two ELISAs discriminating between total CCL2 and pECCL2, concluding that all CCL2 is secreted as pECCL2. Activation of the CCL2/CCR2 pathway by recombinant CCL2 increased tumor cell migration of FTC238 cells in scratch assays as well as thyroid carcinoma cell-derived CCL2-induced migration of monocytic THP1 cells. Suppression of CCL2 signaling by CCR2 antagonist, IKK2 inhibitor, and QPCT RNAi reduced FTC238 cell growth measured by WST8 proliferation assays. Our results reveal new evidence for a novel role of QC in thyroid carcinomas and provide an intriguing rationale for the use of QC inhibitors as a means of blocking pECCL2 formation and preventing thyroid cancer metastasis.

Kucukgergin C, Isman FK, Dasdemir S, et al.
The role of chemokine and chemokine receptor gene variants on the susceptibility and clinicopathological characteristics of bladder cancer.
Gene. 2012; 511(1):7-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
The gene variants of the chemokine and chemokine receptor genes associated with inflammation may be involved in cancer initiation and progression. The aim of this study was to explore the possible association of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) A2518G, stromal cell derived factor 1 (SDF-1) 3'A and chemokine receptors CCR2A V64I, CCR5 Δ32, CCR5 59029 and CXCR4 gene polymorphisms with the risk and clinicopathological characteristics of bladder cancer (BC) in a Turkish population. The genotyping was done by PCR and PCR-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) methods in 142 histologically confirmed BC patients and 197 controls. The SDF-1 3'AA genotype conferred significantly increased susceptibility to BC. The carriers with AA genotype or at least one A allele of CCR2 had an increased risk of developing BC. CCR5 wt/Δ32 genotype and CCR5 Δ32 allele were also observed to be involved in the susceptibility to BC. Additionally, the combination of CCR2 V64I and CCR5 Δ32 (i.e., GG-wt/Δ32) was found to be associated with BC risk. With respect to the stage of BC, the AA genotype of SDF-1 and at least one T allele of CXCR4 were significantly associated with high T stage as compared to GG genotype of SDF-1 and CC genotype of CXCR4. Furthermore, BC patients with AA genotype or at least one A allele of CCR2 had an increased risk of high grade and stage tumors as compared to those with GG genotype. Our results suggest that the genetic variants of SDF-1 3'A, CCR2A V64I and CCR5 Δ32 gene polymorphisms may modify the BC risk. Furthermore, SDF-1 3'A, CCR2A V64I and CXCR4 gene polymorphisms may contribute to the muscle invasive BC in a Turkish population.

Singh V, Srivastava P, Srivastava N, et al.
Association of inflammatory chemokine gene CCL2I/D with bladder cancer risk in North Indian population.
Mol Biol Rep. 2012; 39(10):9827-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chemokine genes have been proposed as good candidate genes for conferring susceptibility to Bladder cancer (BC). We examined the combined effect of multiple alleles of pro inflammatory chemokine genes for determining the risk of BC. We tested association of three gene polymorphisms of CCL2I/D (rs3917887), CCL2A2518G (rs1024611) and CCR2V64I (rs1799864) with BC risk in North Indian population. Genotypes were assessed in hospital-based case-control study comprising of 200 BC patients and 200 healthy controls. Genomic DNA was isolated from blood and genotyping done using PCR-RFLP method. In CCL2I/D polymorphism, the heterozygous genotype (I/D) showed high risk of BC p < 0.001 OR = 2.56 and combination of ID + DD showed significant high risk for BC (p = 0.001 OR = 2.12). Haplotype analysis of CCL2I/D, CCL2A2518G gene polymorphisms demonstrated that combination of D-A was associated with 1.5-fold increased risk of BC. Variant genotype (DD) of CCL2I/D gene was associated with high risk of recurrence (p < 0.001 HR = 15.18) in superficial BC patients receiving BCG treatment thus showing least survival (log rank = 0.019). Our study suggested CCL2I/D polymorphism to be associated with higher BC risk and no contribution of CCR2V64I and CCL2A2518G genes. However, study with large sample size and diverse ethnicity is required to validate our observations.

Gehad AE, Lichtman MK, Schmults CD, et al.
Nitric oxide-producing myeloid-derived suppressor cells inhibit vascular E-selectin expression in human squamous cell carcinomas.
J Invest Dermatol. 2012; 132(11):2642-51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) are sun-induced skin cancers that are particularly numerous and aggressive in immunosuppressed individuals. SCCs evade immune detection at least in part by downregulating E-selectin on tumor vessels, thereby restricting entry of skin-homing T cells into tumors. We find that nitric oxide (NO) potently suppresses E-selectin expression on human endothelial cells and that SCCs are infiltrated by NO-producing iNOS(+) CD11b(+) CD33(+) CD11c(-) HLA-DR(-) myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). MDSCs from SCCs produced NO, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), and arginase, and inhibited endothelial E-selectin expression in vitro. MDSCs from SCCs expressed the chemokine receptor CCR2 (chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 2) and tumors expressed the CCR2 ligand human β-defensin 3 (HBD3), suggesting that CCR2/HBD3 interactions may contribute to MDSC recruitment to SCCs. Treatment of SCCs in vitro with the inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine(L-NNA) induced E-selectin expression at levels comparable to imiquimod-treated SCCs undergoing immunologic destruction. Our results suggest that local production of NO in SCCs may impair vascular E-selectin expression. We show that MDSCs are critical producers of NO in SCCs and that NO inhibition restores vascular E-selectin expression, potentially enhancing T-cell recruitment. The iNOS inhibitors and other therapies that reduce NO production may therefore be effective in the treatment of SCCs and their premalignant precursor lesions, actinic keratoses.

Chiu HY, Sun KH, Chen SY, et al.
Autocrine CCL2 promotes cell migration and invasion via PKC activation and tyrosine phosphorylation of paxillin in bladder cancer cells.
Cytokine. 2012; 59(2):423-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
The amount of monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL2) produced by a transitional cell carcinoma is directly correlated with high recurrence and poor prognosis in bladder cancer. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of CCL2 on tumor progression remain unexplored. To investigate the role played by CCL2, we examined cell migration in various bladder cancer cell lines. We found that high-grade cancer cells expressing high levels of CCL2 showed more migration activity than low-grade bladder cancer cells expressing low levels of the chemokine. Although the activation of CCL2/CCR2 signals did not appreciably affect cell growth, it mediated cell migration and invasion via the activation of protein kinase C and phosphorylation of tyrosine in paxillin. Blocking CCL2 and CCR2 with small hairpin RNA (shCCL2) or a specific inhibitor reduced CCL2/CCR2-mediated cell migration. The antagonist of CCR2 promoted the survival of mice bearing MBT2 bladder cancer cells, and CCL2-depleted cells showed low tumorigenicity compared with shGFP cells. In addition to observing high-levels of CCL2 in high-grade human bladder cancer cells, we showed that the CCL2/CCR2 signaling pathway mediated migratory and invasive activity, whereas blocking the pathway decreased migration and invasion. In conclusion, high levels of CCL2 expressed in bladder cancer mediates tumor invasion and is involved with advanced tumorigenesis. Our findings suggest that this CCL2/CCR2 pathway is a potential candidate for the attenuation of bladder cancer metastases.

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