Gene Summary

Gene:CCR7; C-C motif chemokine receptor 7
Aliases: BLR2, EBI1, CCR-7, CD197, CDw197, CMKBR7, CC-CKR-7
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the G protein-coupled receptor family. This receptor was identified as a gene induced by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and is thought to be a mediator of EBV effects on B lymphocytes. This receptor is expressed in various lymphoid tissues and activates B and T lymphocytes. It has been shown to control the migration of memory T cells to inflamed tissues, as well as stimulate dendritic cell maturation. The chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 19 (CCL19/ECL) has been reported to be a specific ligand of this receptor. Signals mediated by this receptor regulate T cell homeostasis in lymph nodes, and may also function in the activation and polarization of T cells, and in chronic inflammation pathogenesis. Alternative splicing of this gene results in multiple transcript variants. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2014]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:C-C chemokine receptor type 7
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (9)

Latest Publications: CCR7 (cancer-related)

Zhou M, Wang S, Hu L, et al.
miR-199a-5p suppresses human bladder cancer cell metastasis by targeting CCR7.
BMC Urol. 2016; 16(1):64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) overexpression correlated with lymphatic metastasis and poor prognosis is a major obstacle to bladder cancer treatment. Recent studies have revealed that miR-199a-5p was significantly abnormal expressed in several solid tumors and functioned as oncogene or tumor suppressor. This study was aimed to further investigate the effects of miR-199a-5p on the cell metastasis mediated by CCR7 in bladder cancer.
METHODS: Quantitative Real Time PCR (qRT-PCR) was firstly performed to identified the expression of miR-199a-5p and CCR7 in human bladder cancer samples and cell lines. Following that, the effects of miR-199a-5p on cell migratory and invasive activities were assessed by wound healing and Matrigel invasion assays, respectively. Finally, luciferase reporter assay and western blot were employed to investigate whether CCR7 could directly interact with miR-199a-5p.
RESULTS: miR-199a-5p downregulation and CCR7 upregulation were firstly observed in bladder cancer samples and cell lines. In addition, both miR-199a-5p downregulation and CCR7 upregulation were significantly involved in bladder cancer clinicopathological features. Moreover, overexpression of miR-199a-5p could inhibit baldder cancer cell migration and invasion. miR-199a-5p was confirmed to be able to target the 3' untranslated region (UTR) of CCR7 and regulate the expression of CCR7, Matrix metalloproteinases 9 (MMP-9) and Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition (EMT)-related proteins.
CONCLUSION: Our findings added newer insights into the multifaceted role played by miR-199a-5p/CCR7 in bladder cancer, prompting for the first time this miRNA/chemokine axis that regulates cell metastasis. The results strongly supported miR-199a-5p as a potential therapeutic agent and diagnostic marker of bladder cancer.

Al-Shareef H, Hiraoka SI, Tanaka N, et al.
Use of NRP1, a novel biomarker, along with VEGF-C, VEGFR-3, CCR7 and SEMA3E, to predict lymph node metastasis in squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 36(5):2444-2454 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lymph node (LN) metastasis has been suggested as a major prognostic factor for oral cancer. Knockdown of the growth factors and receptors involved in these metastatic mechanisms could significantly reduce LN metastasis and improve the survival of oral cancer patients after treatment. The present study, therefore, aimed to evaluate the expression levels of the following growth factors and receptors in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) of the tongue: the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)‑C and VEGF‑D, which bind to the cell surface tyrosine kinase receptor VEGF receptor‑3 (VEGFR‑3); C‑C motif chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7); neuropilin (NRP)1 and NRP2; and semaphorin 3E (SEMA3E). Furthermore, we assessed microvessel density (MVD) and lymphatic vessel density (LVD) to demonstrate the correlation between these factors and regional LN metastasis, with respect to the clinicopathological features. Finally, we analyzed the correlation between these proteins and overall or disease‑free survival, in order to demonstrate their prognostic value. Univariate analysis revealed a significant association between LN metastasis and the expression levels of VEGF‑C, VEGFR‑3, CCR7, NRP1, and SEMA3E, as well as LVD, in SCC cells. In contrast, multivariate analysis identified associations between LN metastasis and NRP1 expression, as well as between LN metastasis and LVD; however, no correlation was found between LN metastasis and the expression levels of the other proteins. The expression levels of VEGF‑C, VEGFR‑3, NRP1, and SEMA3E, as well as LVD, were correlated with disease‑free survival time. These results indicate that LN metastasis is associated with poor survival in SCC. This study suggests that NRP1 expression and LVD are independent factors that are likely to predict the risk of LN metastasis in SCC of the tongue, whereas the expression of VEGF‑C, VEGFR‑3, CCR7, and SEMA3E are non‑independent predictive factors.

Mays AC, Feng X, Browne JD, Sullivan CA
Chemokine and Chemokine Receptor Profiles in Metastatic Salivary Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(8):4013-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To characterize the chemokine pattern in metastatic salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (SACC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was used to compare chemokine and chemokine receptor gene expression in two SACC cell lines: SACC-83 and SACC-LM (lung metastasis). Chemokines and receptor genes were then screened and their expression pattern characterized in human tissue samples of non-recurrent SACC and recurrent SACC with perineural invasion.
RESULTS: Expression of chemokine receptors C5AR1, CCR1, CCR3, CCR6, CCR7, CCR9, CCR10, CXCR4, CXCR6, CXCR7, CCRL1 and CCRL2 were higher in SACC-83 compared to SACC-LM. CCRL1, CCBP2, CMKLR1, XCR1 and CXCR2 and 6 chemokine genes (CCL13, CCL27, CXCL14, CMTM1, CMTM2, CKLF) were more highly expressed in tissues of patients without tumor recurrence/perineural invasion compared to those with tumor recurrence. CCRL1 (receptor), CCL27, CMTM1, CMTM2, and CKLF (chemokine) genes were more highly expressed in SACC-83 and human tissues of patients without tumor recurrence/perineural invasion.
CONCLUSION: CCRL1, CCL27, CMTM1, CMTM2 and CKLF may play important roles in the development of tumor metastases in SACC.

Fontana R, Paniccia A, Russo V
Detection and Functional Analysis of Tumor-Derived LXR Ligands.
Methods Mol Biol. 2016; 1393:53-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is growing evidence highlighting the ability of nuclear receptors to control not only metabolism, but also inflammation and cancer progression. In particular liver X receptors (LXRs), the nuclear receptors physiologically involved in cholesterol homeostasis, have been shown to regulate innate and adaptive immune responses in many pathological conditions, including cancer.We have recently demonstrated that LXR ligands (oxysterols) released by tumor cells may have an immunomodulatory role, affecting the immune cells involved in the antitumor immune response. Indeed, oxysterols inhibit the expression of the chemokine receptor CCR7 on dendritic cells (DC) in an LXR-dependent manner, thus impairing DC migration to secondary lymphoid organs, and therefore dampening the induction of successful antitumor responses.We have resorted to direct (i.e., luciferase-based LXR activation assay) and indirect (i.e., activation of LXR target genes in dendritic cells) methods in order to assess the presence of LXR ligands (oxysterols) in tumor-conditioned media.These two methods are also suitable to study strategies to block oxysterol release by tumor cells.

Hong H, He C, Zhu S, et al.
CCR7 mediates the TNF-α-induced lymphatic metastasis of gallbladder cancer through the "ERK1/2 - AP-1" and "JNK - AP-1" pathways.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:51 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CC-chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), which plays an important role in cell directional movement, is highly expressed in various cancers and positively related to lymph node metastasis. The inflammatory cytokine tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α promotes tumour progression and lymph node metastasis in gallbladder cancer (GBC). However, the expression of CCR7 in GBC is unclear, and its role in the TNF-α-induced lymphatic metastasis of GBC requires further research.
METHODS: The expression of CCR7 in clinical samples was detected by immunohistochemistry, and the relationship between CCR7 and clinicopathological factors or the TNF-α level of the bile was analyzed. After treatment with various concentrations of TNF-α, CCR7 expression in GBC cell lines was measured by Western blotting. The relative luciferase reporter assay, site-directed mutagenesis and chromatin immunoprecipitation were used to analyze the promoter activity and transcriptional regulation of CCR7. MAPKs inhibitors were used to explore the upstream signalling molecules of AP-1. We established a NOZ cell line stably expressing lentiviral CCR7 shRNA that effectively silenced the expression of CCR7, and to determine the role of TNF-α - CCR7 axis in the migration of GBC cells to the lymphatic system by transwell assays and animal experiments.
RESULTS: CCR7 was highly expressed in GBC samples. Higher expression of CCR7 was associated with American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) staging and lymph node metastasis. Moreover, we found that CCR7 expression in GBC tissue was positively correlated with the levels of TNF-α in the bile, and that TNF-α enhanced the promoter activity and protein expression of CCR7 through the "ERK1/2-AP-1" and "JNK-AP-1" pathways. Finally, we revealed that TNF-α could promote GBC cell migration to lymphatic endothelial cells or lymph nodes through upregulation of CCR7 in vitro and in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that CCR7 is highly expressed in GBC, and mediates the TNF-α-induced lymphatic metastasis of GBC through the "TNF-α - ERK1/2 - AP-1 - CCR7" and "TNF-α - JNK - AP-1 - CCR7" pathways.

Karim S, Mirza Z, Chaudhary AG, et al.
Assessment of Radiation Induced Therapeutic Effect and Cytotoxicity in Cancer Patients Based on Transcriptomic Profiling.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016; 17(2):250 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Toxicity induced by radiation therapy is a curse for cancer patients undergoing treatment. It is imperative to understand and define an ideal condition where the positive effects notably outweigh the negative. We used a microarray meta-analysis approach to measure global gene-expression before and after radiation exposure. Bioinformatic tools were used for pathways, network, gene ontology and toxicity related studies. We found 429 differentially expressed genes at fold change >2 and p-value <0.05. The most significantly upregulated genes were synuclein alpha (SNCA), carbonic anhydrase I (CA1), X-linked Kx blood group (XK), glycophorin A and B (GYPA and GYPB), and hemogen (HEMGN), while downregulated ones were membrane-spanning 4-domains, subfamily A member 1 (MS4A1), immunoglobulin heavy constant mu (IGHM), chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 7 (CCR7), BTB and CNC homology 1 transcription factor 2 (BACH2), and B-cell CLL/lymphoma 11B (BCL11B). Pathway analysis revealed calcium-induced T lymphocyte apoptosis and the role of nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT) in regulation of the immune response as the most inhibited pathways, while apoptosis signaling was significantly activated. Most of the normal biofunctions were significantly decreased while cell death and survival process were activated. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed the immune system process as the most overrepresented group under the biological process category. Toxicity function analysis identified liver, kidney and heart to be the most affected organs during and after radiation therapy. The identified biomarkers and alterations in molecular pathways induced by radiation therapy should be further investigated to reduce the cytotoxicity and development of fatigue.

Sun L, Zhang Q, Li Y, et al.
CCL21/CCR7 up-regulate vascular endothelial growth factor-D expression via ERK pathway in human non-small cell lung cancer cells.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(12):15729-38 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lymphangiogenesis has received considerable attention and become a new research hotspot of tumor metastasis. Recently, C-C chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) is known to promote metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells into lymph nodes. In this study, we investigated the relationship between CCL21/CCR7 and the lymphangiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-D in human lung cancer cells and its impact on patients' prognosis. We found that CCL21/CCR7 increase the expression of VEGF-D in NSCLC Cell Lines through induced ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation. In addition, our study found that the expression levels of CCR7 and CCL21 were correlated with VEGF-D, lymphatic vessels density (LVD), clinical stages, lymph node metastasis, and patient Survival in 90 human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens. Taken together, our results provide evidence that CCL21/CCR7 induce VEGF-D up-regulation and promote lymphangiogenesis via ERK/Akt pathway in lung cancer.

Bock S, Murgueitio MS, Wolber G, Weindl G
Acute myeloid leukaemia-derived Langerhans-like cells enhance Th1 polarization upon TLR2 engagement.
Pharmacol Res. 2016; 105:44-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Langerhans cells (LCs) represent a highly specialized subset of epidermal dendritic cells (DCs), yet not fully understood in their function of balancing skin immunity. Here, we investigated in vitro generated Langerhans-like cells obtained from the human acute myeloid leukaemia cell line MUTZ-3 (MUTZ-LCs) to study TLR- and cytokine-dependent activation of epidermal DCs. MUTZ-LCs revealed high TLR2 expression and responded robustly to TLR2 engagement, confirmed by increased CD83, CD86, PD-L1 and IDO expression, upregulated IL-6, IL-12p40 and IL-23p19 mRNA levels IL-8 release. TLR2 activation reduced CCR6 and elevated CCR7 mRNA expression and induced migration of MUTZ-LCs towards CCL21. Similar results were obtained by stimulation with pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β whereas ligands of TLR3 and TLR4 failed to induce a fully mature phenotype. Despite limited cytokine gene expression and production for TLR2-activated MUTZ-LCs, co-culture with naive CD4(+) T cells led to significantly increased IFN-γ and IL-22 levels indicating Th1 differentiation independent of IL-12. TLR2-mediated effects were blocked by the putative TLR2/1 antagonist CU-CPT22, however, no selectivity for either TLR2/1 or TLR2/6 was observed. Computer-aided docking studies confirmed non-selective binding of the TLR2 antagonist. Taken together, our results indicate a critical role for TLR2 signalling in MUTZ-LCs considering the leukemic origin of the generated Langerhans-like cells.

Teresa Pinto A, Laranjeiro Pinto M, Patrícia Cardoso A, et al.
Ionizing radiation modulates human macrophages towards a pro-inflammatory phenotype preserving their pro-invasive and pro-angiogenic capacities.
Sci Rep. 2016; 6:18765 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In order to improve the efficacy of conventional radiotherapy, attention has been paid to immune cells, which not only modulate cancer cell response to therapy but are also highly recruited to tumours after irradiation. Particularly, the effect of ionizing radiation on macrophages, using therapeutically relevant doses, is not well understood. To evaluate how radiotherapy affects macrophage behaviour and macrophage-mediated cancer cell activity, human monocyte derived-macrophages were subjected, for a week, to cumulative ionizing radiation doses, as used during cancer treatment (2 Gy/fraction/day). Irradiated macrophages remained viable and metabolically active, despite DNA damage. NF-kappaB transcription activation and increased Bcl-xL expression evidenced the promotion of pro-survival activity. A significant increase of pro-inflammatory macrophage markers CD80, CD86 and HLA-DR, but not CCR7, TNF and IL1B was observed after 10 Gy cumulative doses, while anti-inflammatory markers CD163, MRC1, VCAN and IL-10 expression decreased, suggesting the modulation towards a more pro-inflammatory phenotype. Moreover, ionizing radiation induced macrophage morphological alterations and increased their phagocytic rate, without affecting matrix metalloproteases (MMP)2 and MMP9 activity. Importantly, irradiated macrophages promoted cancer cell-invasion and cancer cell-induced angiogenesis. Our work highlights macrophage ability to sustain cancer cell activities as a major concern that needs to be addressed to improve radiotherapy efficacy.

Chi BJ, Du CL, Fu YF, et al.
Silencing of CCR7 inhibits the growth, invasion and migration of prostate cancer cells induced by VEGFC.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(10):12533-40 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Early in prostate cancer development, tumor cells express vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C), a secreted molecule that is important in angiogenesis progression. CC-chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), another protein involved in angiogenesis, is strongly expressed in most human cancers, where it activated promotes tumor growth as well as favoring tumor cell invasion and migration. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of down-regulating CCR7 expression on the growth of human prostate cancer cells stimulated by VEGFC. The CCR7-specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) plasmid vector was constructed and then transfected into prostate cancer cells. The expression of CCR7 mRNA and protein was detected by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and western blot analysis, respectively. Cell proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle distribution and cell migration were assessed following knockdown of CCR7 by RNA interference (RNAi). Western blot analysis was used to identify differentially expressed angiogenesis- and cell cycle-associated proteins in cells with silenced CCR7. The expression levels of CCR7 in prostate cancer cells transfected with siRNA were decreased, leading to a significant inhibition of prostate cancer cell proliferation, migration and invasion induced by VEGFC. Western blot analysis revealed that silencing of CCR7 may inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 protein expression. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that RNAi can effectively silence CCR7 gene expression and inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells, which indicates that there is a potential of targeting CCR7 as a novel gene therapy approach for the treatment of prostate cancer.

Shi M, Chen D, Yang D, Liu XY
CCL21-CCR7 promotes the lymph node metastasis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma by up-regulating MUC1.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2015; 34:149 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CCR7 and MUC1 are correlated with lymph node metastasis in ESCC, but the role of MUC1 in the CCR7-induced lymphatic metastasis and the underlying molecular mechanism is still unclear.
METHODS: The expression of CCR7 and MUC1 was detected in the ESCC samples by IHC, and the clinical significance of CCR7 and MUC1 in ESCC was analyzed. The expression of CCR7 and MUC1 in ESCC cell lines was detected by qRT-PCR and western blot. The effect of CCL21 on the migration and invasion of ESCC cells was determined by transwell assay. The activity of MUC1 promoter was determined by luciferase reporter assay. The activation of Erk, Akt and Sp1 was detected by western blot and the binding of Sp1 to the MUC1 promoter was determined by ChIP.
RESULTS: The co-expression of CCR7 and MUC1 was detected in 153 ESCC samples by IHC, and both were correlated with lymph node metastasis, regional lymphatic recurrence and poor prognosis. Correspondingly, increasing levels of MUC1 mRNA and protein were detected in the ESCC cell lines KYSE410 and Eca9706 after treatment with CCL21 in a time- and dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, silencing MUC1 could remarkably suppress the invasion and migration of ESCC cells induced by CCL21. Moreover, heterologous CCR7 promoted the invasion and migration of KYSE150 and up-regulated MUC1 expression. Increasing levels of activated ERK1/2 and Akt were detected in KYSE410 after treating the cells with CCL21, and inhibiting the activation of ERK1/2 but not Akt caused the increased transcription of MUC1. Finally, the phosphorylation of Sp1 induced by ERK1/2 and subsequent increases in the binding of Sp1 to the muc1 promoter at -99/-90 were confirmed to cause the up-regulation of MUC1 induced by CCL21-CCR7.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggested that MUC1 plays an important role in CCL21-CCR7-induced lymphatic metastasis and may serve as a therapeutic target in ESCC.

Kataoka K, Nagata Y, Kitanaka A, et al.
Integrated molecular analysis of adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma.
Nat Genet. 2015; 47(11):1304-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) is a peripheral T cell neoplasm of largely unknown genetic basis, associated with human T cell leukemia virus type-1 (HTLV-1) infection. Here we describe an integrated molecular study in which we performed whole-genome, exome, transcriptome and targeted resequencing, as well as array-based copy number and methylation analyses, in a total of 426 ATL cases. The identified alterations overlap significantly with the HTLV-1 Tax interactome and are highly enriched for T cell receptor-NF-κB signaling, T cell trafficking and other T cell-related pathways as well as immunosurveillance. Other notable features include a predominance of activating mutations (in PLCG1, PRKCB, CARD11, VAV1, IRF4, FYN, CCR4 and CCR7) and gene fusions (CTLA4-CD28 and ICOS-CD28). We also discovered frequent intragenic deletions involving IKZF2, CARD11 and TP73 and mutations in GATA3, HNRNPA2B1, GPR183, CSNK2A1, CSNK2B and CSNK1A1. Our findings not only provide unique insights into key molecules in T cell signaling but will also guide the development of new diagnostics and therapeutics in this intractable tumor.

Yu S, Hou Q, Sun H, et al.
Upregulation of C-C chemokine receptor type 7 expression by membrane-associated prostaglandin E synthase-1/prostaglandin E2 requires glycogen synthase kinase 3β-mediated signal transduction in colon cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2015; 12(5):7169-75 [PubMed] Related Publications
C-C chemokine receptor type 7 (CCR7) is involved in the development and progressions of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer; therefore, signaling pathways that regulate CCR7 expression may represent novel molecular therapeutic targets. Previous studies by our group revealed that CCR7 is important in colon cancer progression and a is linked with cyclooxygenase (COX)‑2‑derived prostaglandin (PG)E2. Induction of COX‑2 and membrane‑associated PGE synthase 1 (mPGES‑1), which are overexpressed in numerous cancer types, cooperatively enhance PGE2 expression, which contributes to carcinogenesis and cancer progression. The present study investigated whether CCR7 expression is associated with the levels of mPGES‑1-derived PGE2. The results showed that mPGES‑1‑dependent release of PGE2 was markedly induced in colon cancer cells after transient transfection with mPGES‑1 overexpression vector, accompanied by elevated CCR7 expression. PGE2 levels and CCR7 expression were markedly attenuated in colon cancer cells in which mPGES‑1 was blocked, which identified mPGES‑1 as a potential therapeutic target for the regulation of CCR7 expression. Finally, overexpression of CCR7 was partly mediated through the AKT/glycogen synthase kinase 3β signaling pathway dependent on the binding of mPGES‑1-derived PGE2 to the prostaglandin EP4 receptor. Thus, in addition to inhibitors of mPGES‑1 expression, EP4 antagonists and AKT/GSK-3β inhibitors may emerge as potential therapeutics to reduce CCR7 expression in colon cancer.

Yue Y, Li ZN, Fang QG, et al.
The role of Pyk2 in the CCR7-mediated regulation of metastasis and viability in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck cells in vivo and in vitro.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 34(6):3280-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the present study, we aimed to demonstrate whether praline-rich tyrosine kinase-2 (Pyk2) participates in the chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) downstream signaling network, and to determine the role of this molecule and the related mechanism in the CCR7-mediated regulation of viability and metastasis in vivo and in vitro of squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN). We constructed the stable Pyk2 related non-kinase (PRNK)-expressing SCCHN cell line, and examined the viability, apoptosis, migration, invasion and adhesion ability in the transfected and untransfected SCCHN cells. An SCCHN tumor model in nude mice was designed and the tumor growth rate was assayed. E-cadherin and vimentin expression was assessed when Pyk2 was inactivated. We found that the stable PRNK-expressing SCCHN cells exhibited low viability, a high rate of apoptosis, low migratory ability, low invasive ability and low adhesion capacity. In the nude mouse body, the tumors formed by these cells grew slowly when compared to the tumor growth in the control group. When Pyk2 was inactivated, CCR7-induced E-cadherin and vimentin expression levels were altered. Thus, Pyk2 is a key downstream signaling molecules of CCR7 in SCCHN, which promotes SCCHN tumorigenesis and progression.

Li K, Xu B, Xu G, Liu R
CCR7 regulates Twist to induce the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):419-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
As reported, the CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) trigger a series of signaling cascades in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) of some malignancies. Meanwhile, Twist promotes EMT in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) progression. Here, effects of Twist on CCR7-induced EMT in the PDAC were investigated in detail. The immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of Twist, and then, in vitro assays were applied. The expression rate of Twist was 72.0 % in PDAC samples and closely correlated with tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage and invasion. When PDAC cell line PANC1 was subjected to CCL19 stimulation, the expression of p-ERK, p-AKT, Twist, N-cadherin, MMP9, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) was induced, while the GSK1120212, BEZ235, and MK2206 prohibited the increase of Twist and EMT biomarkers. For another thing, the si-Twist treatment attenuated CCL19-stimulated EMT occurrence, migration, and invasion phenotypes of PANC1 cells. In conclusion, CCR7 pathway up-regulates Twist expression via ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling to manage the EMT of PDAC. Our work allows for clinical gene or protein-targeted regimen of PDAC patients in the near future.

Ma H, Gao L, Li S, et al.
CCR7 enhances TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition and is associated with lymph node metastasis and poor overall survival in gastric cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(27):24348-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
CCR7 is a G protein-coupled chemokine receptor. In this study, we used immunohistochemistry with tissue microarrays to measure CCR7 expression in tumor specimens from 122 patients with gastric cancer. We show that CCR7 expression is associated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.022) and overall survival (OS; P = 0.025), and is an independent factor associated with poorer overall survival (P = 0.032). The CCR7 mechanism was predicted based on bioinformatic analysis and verified in gastric cancer cell lines and primary tumor samples. The data show that CCR7 contributes to TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and that the effects of TGF-β1 are inhibited by a CCR7 neutralizing antibody or a NF-κB inhibitor. Increased TGF-β1 expression was accompanied by nuclear localization of NF-κB-p65 and higher levels of the mesenchymal marker vimentin in human gastric cancer samples. We conclude that the CCR7 axis mediates TGF-β1-induced EMT via crosstalk with NF-κB signaling, facilitating lymph node metastasis and poorer overall survival in patients with gastric cancer. These findings suggest CCR7 is a novel prognostic indicator and a potential target for gastric cancer therapy.

Pimienta G, Fok V, Haslip M, et al.
Proteomics and Transcriptomics of BJAB Cells Expressing the Epstein-Barr Virus Noncoding RNAs EBER1 and EBER2.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(6):e0124638 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) latent infection, the EBV-encoded RNAs EBER1 and EBER2 accumulate in the host cell nucleus to ~10(6) copies. While the expression of EBERs in cell lines is associated with transformation, a mechanistic explanation of their roles in EBV latency remains elusive. To identify EBER-specific gene expression features, we compared the proteome and mRNA transcriptome from BJAB cells (an EBV-negative B lymphoma cell line) stably transfected with an empty plasmid or with one carrying both EBER genes. We identified ~1800 proteins with at least 2 SILAC pair measurements, of which only 8 and 12 were up- and downregulated ≥ 2-fold, respectively. One upregulated protein was PIK3AP1, a B-cell specific protein adapter known to activate the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, which regulates alternative splicing and translation in addition to its pro-survival effects. In the mRNA-seq data, the mRNA levels for some of the proteins changing in the SILAC data did not change. We instead observed isoform switch events. We validated the most relevant findings with biochemical assays. These corroborated the upregulation of PIK3AP1 and AKT activation in BJAB cells expressing high levels of both EBERs and EBNA1 (a surrogate of Burkitt's lymphoma EBV latency I) relative to those expressing only EBNA1. The mRNA-seq data in these cells showed multiple upregulated oncogenes whose mRNAs are enriched for 3´-UTR AU-rich elements (AREs), such as ccl3, ccr7, il10, vegfa and zeb1. The CCL3, CCR7, IL10 and VEGFA proteins promote cell proliferation and are associated with EBV-mediated lymphomas. In EBV latency, ZEB1 represses the transcription of ZEBRA, an EBV lytic phase activation factor. We previously found that EBER1 interacts with AUF1 in vivo and proposed stabilization of ARE-containing mRNAs. Thus, the ~10(6) copies of EBER1 may promote not only cell proliferation due to an increase in the levels of ARE-containing genes like ccl3, ccr7, il10, and vegfa, but also the maintenance of latency, through higher levels of zeb1.

Pang MF, Georgoudaki AM, Lambut L, et al.
TGF-β1-induced EMT promotes targeted migration of breast cancer cells through the lymphatic system by the activation of CCR7/CCL21-mediated chemotaxis.
Oncogene. 2016; 35(6):748-60 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor cells frequently disseminate through the lymphatic system during metastatic spread of breast cancer and many other types of cancer. Yet it is not clear how tumor cells make their way into the lymphatic system and how they choose between lymphatic and blood vessels for migration. Here we report that mammary tumor cells undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in response to transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β1) become activated for targeted migration through the lymphatic system, similar to dendritic cells (DCs) during inflammation. EMT cells preferentially migrated toward lymphatic vessels compared with blood vessels, both in vivo and in 3D cultures. A mechanism of this targeted migration was traced to the capacity of TGF-β1 to promote CCR7/CCL21-mediated crosstalk between tumor cells and lymphatic endothelial cells. On one hand, TGF-β1 promoted CCR7 expression in EMT cells through p38 MAP kinase-mediated activation of the JunB transcription factor. Blockade of CCR7, or treatment with a p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, reduced lymphatic dissemination of EMT cells in syngeneic mice. On the other hand, TGF-β1 promoted CCL21 expression in lymphatic endothelial cells. CCL21 acted in a paracrine fashion to mediate chemotactic migration of EMT cells toward lymphatic endothelial cells. The results identify TGF-β1-induced EMT as a mechanism, which activates tumor cells for targeted, DC-like migration through the lymphatic system. Furthermore, it suggests that p38 MAP kinase inhibition may be a useful strategy to inhibit EMT and lymphogenic spread of tumor cells.

Khandelwal P, Lane A, Chaturvedi V, et al.
Peripheral Blood CD38 Bright CD8+ Effector Memory T Cells Predict Acute Graft-versus-Host Disease.
Biol Blood Marrow Transplant. 2015; 21(7):1215-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is mediated by allogeneic T cell responses. We hypothesized that increases of peripheral blood-activated CD8+ effector memory T (TEM) cells would be observed after hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) before onset of aGVHD symptoms. Blood was collected twice weekly after HSCT for 7 weeks in 49 consecutive pediatric and adult HSCT recipients. Samples were incubated with fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies against CD45, CD3, CD8, CD38, CD45RA, and CCR7 and analyzed using flow cytometry. TEM cells were defined as CD3+ CD8+ CCR7- CD45RA(-) lymphocytes. CD38 expression was used as a marker of T cell activation. Patients were followed for 100 days for development of aGVHD. Twenty-three patients developed grade 1 to 4 aGVHD at a median of 37 days (range, 15 to 79 days) after HCST. Absolute CD38 bright CD8+ TEM of > 35 cells/μL predicted aGVHD at a median of 8 days (range, 1 to 34) before aGVHD onset with a sensitivity of 82.6% and specificity of 91.6%. The cumulative incidence of aGVHD was 90% in patients with absolute CD38 bright CD8+ TEM >35 cells/μL and 15% in patients without (P < .0001). Quantification of CD38 bright CD8+ TEM cells may predict aGVHD in children and young adult HSCT recipients.

Tutunea-Fatan E, Majumder M, Xin X, Lala PK
The role of CCL21/CCR7 chemokine axis in breast cancer-induced lymphangiogenesis.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis facilitates breast cancer progression by generating new lymphatic vessels that serve as conduits for tumor dissemination to lymph nodes and beyond. Given the recent evidence suggesting the implication of C-C chemokine ligand 21/chemokine receptor 7 (CCL21/CCR7) in lymph node metastasis, the aim of our study was to define the role of this chemokine pair in breast cancer-associated lymphangiogenesis.
METHODS: The expression analysis of CCL21/CCR7 pair and lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) markers in breast cancer specimens was performed by means of quantitative real-time PCR. By utilizing CCR7 and CCL21 gene manipulated breast cancer cell implants into orthotopic sites of nude mice, lymphatic vessel formation was assessed through quantitative real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence assays. Finally, the lymphangiogenic potential of CCL21/CCR7 was assessed in vitro with primary LECs through separate functional assays, each attempting to mimic different stages of the lymphangiogenic process.
RESULTS: We found that CCR7 mRNA expression in human breast cancer tissues positively correlates with the expression of lymphatic endothelial markers LYVE-1, podoplanin, Prox-1, and vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C). We demonstrated that the expression of CCL21/CCR7 by breast cancer cells has the ability to promote tumor-induced lymph-vascular recruitment in vivo. In vitro, CCL21/CCR7 chemokine axis regulates the expression and secretion of lymphangiogenic factor VEGF-C and thereby promotes proliferation, migration, as well as tube formation of the primary human LECs. Finally, we showed that protein kinase B (AKT) signaling pathway is the intracellular mechanism of CCR7-mediated VEGF-C secretion by human breast cancer cells.
CONCLUSIONS: These results reveal that CCR7 and VEGF-C display a significant crosstalk and suggest a novel role of the CCL21/CCR7 chemokine axis in the promotion of breast cancer-induced lymphangiogenesis.

Cuesta-Mateos C, Loscertales J, Kreutzman A, et al.
Preclinical activity of anti-CCR7 immunotherapy in patients with high-risk chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2015; 64(6):665-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with deletions of the p53 locus on chromosome 17 and/or refractory to fludarabine chemoimmunotherapy remains a major clinical problem with few therapeutic options. Currently, these types of CLL are treated with approaches that do not target the p53 pathway, such as small molecules and monoclonal antibodies (mAb). We have previously postulated anti-CCR7 mAb therapy as a novel CLL treatment. In the present study, we evaluated the in vitro efficacy of anti-CCR7 mAb as a single agent in CLL patients with high-risk cytogenetics and/or refractory to fludarabine, by measuring CCR7 surface expression and complement-dependent cytotoxicity. Our results demonstrate that CCR7 is highly expressed in challenging and heavily treated CLL patients. In addition, the complement-mediated mechanism of action of this mAb effectively eradicates CLL cells while sparing subsets of T cells in these patients. Moreover, this mAb outperformed the activity of alemtuzumab, the mAb with the highest efficacy in these groups. Finally, in vitro activity was also demonstrated in patients with a disease refractory to both fludarabine and alemtuzumab, and patients harboring 11q22 deletion. Our results propose that anti-CCR7 mAb is an effective and promising future treatment in high-risk CLL.

Wu K, Fukuda K, Xing F, et al.
Roles of the cyclooxygenase 2 matrix metalloproteinase 1 pathway in brain metastasis of breast cancer.
J Biol Chem. 2015; 290(15):9842-54 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Brain is one of the major sites of metastasis in breast cancer; however, the pathological mechanism of brain metastasis is poorly understood. One of the critical rate-limiting steps of brain metastasis is the breaching of blood-brain barrier, which acts as a selective interface between the circulation and the central nervous system, and this process is considered to involve tumor-secreted proteinases. We analyzed clinical significance of 21 matrix metalloproteinases on brain metastasis-free survival of breast cancer followed by verification in brain metastatic cell lines and found that only matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1) is significantly correlated with brain metastasis. We have shown that MMP1 is highly expressed in brain metastatic cells and is capable of degrading Claudin and Occludin but not Zo-1, which are key components of blood-brain barrier. Knockdown of MMP1 in brain metastatic cells significantly suppressed their ability of brain metastasis in vivo, whereas ectopic expression of MMP1 significantly increased the brain metastatic ability of the cells that are not brain metastatic. We also found that COX2 was highly up-regulated in brain metastatic cells and that COX2-induced prostaglandins were directly able to promote the expression of MMP1 followed by augmenting brain metastasis. Furthermore, we found that COX2 and prostaglandin were able to activate astrocytes to release chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 7 (CCL7), which in turn promoted self-renewal of tumor-initiating cells in the brain and that knockdown of COX2 significantly reduced the brain metastatic ability of tumor cells. Our results suggest the COX2-MMP1/CCL7 axis as a novel therapeutic target for brain metastasis.

Chen Y, Tian Y, Ji Z, et al.
CC-chemokine receptor 7 is overexpressed and correlates with growth and metastasis in prostate cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(7):5537-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple studies have shown that CC-chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) promotes cell proliferation in several human cancers. We investigated the expression and clinical significance of CCR7 in our large collection of prostate cancer (PCa) samples and explored its function on the proliferation and migration of PCa cells. In this study, the expression of CCR7 was examined by immunohistochemical staining and quantitative RT-PCR in primary PCa tissues from 60 patients who underwent radical prostatectomy. Then, we investigated the functional role of CCR7 in PCa cell proliferation and migration by small interfering RNA-mediated depletion. The positive rate of CCR7 staining was 88.33 % (53/60) in the PCa group and 16.67 % (10/60) in cases of benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH); the difference of CCR7 expression between PCa and BPH was statistically significant. The results were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. CCR7 was significantly elevated in all five PCa cell lines when compared to the RWPE-1 cells. Silencing of CCR7 inhibited the proliferation of PC3 cells which have a relatively high level of CCR7 in a time-dependent manner, and the invasion and migration of PC3 cells were distinctly suppressed. Our data suggest that the pathogenesis of human PCa maybe mediated by the CCR7, and thus CCR7 could represent selective targets for the molecularly targeted treatments of PCa.

Huang HL, Chiang CH, Hung WC, Hou MF
Targeting of TGF-β-activated protein kinase 1 inhibits chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 7 expression, tumor growth and metastasis in breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(2):995-1007 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
TGF-β-activated protein kinase 1 (TAK1) is a critical mediator in inflammation, immune response and cancer development. Our previous study demonstrated that activation of TAK1 increases the expression of chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 7 (CCR7) and promotes lymphatic invasion ability of breast cancer cells. However, the expression and association of activated TAK1 and CCR7 in breast tumor tissues is unknown and the therapeutic effect by targeting TAK1 is also unclear. We showed that activated TAK1 (as indicated by phospho-TAK1) and its binding protein TAB1 are strongly expressed in breast tumor tissues (77% and 74% respectively). In addition, increase of phospho-TAK1 or TAB1 is strongly associated with overexpression of CCR7. TAK1 inhibitor 5Z-7-Oxozeaenol (5Z-O) inhibited TAK1 activity, suppressed downstream signaling pathways including p38, IκB kinase (IKK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and reduced CCR7 expression in metastatic MDA-MB-231 cells. In addition, 5Z-O repressed NF-κB- and c-JUN-mediated transcription of CCR7 gene. Knockdown of TAB1 attenuated CCR7 expression and tumor growth in an orthotopic animal study. More importantly, lymphatic invasion and lung metastasis were suppressed. Collectively, our results demonstrate that constitutive activation of TAK1 is frequently found in human breast cancer and this kinase is a potential therapeutic target for this cancer.

Lin SS, Fan W, Sun L, et al.
The saponin DT-13 inhibits gastric cancer cell migration through down-regulation of CCR5-CCL5 axis.
Chin J Nat Med. 2014; 12(11):833-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To investigate the effect of DT-13 on gastric cancer cell migration, and to explore the possible mechanisms underlying the anti-metastasis activity of DT-13.
METHODS: Growth inhibition of DT-13 was analyzed by the MTT assay. Cell migration was measured by the scratch-wound assay and transwell double chamber assay. To investigate the possible mechanisms underlying the anti-metastasis activity of DT-13, chemokine receptors that are involved in cancer metastasis (CCR2, CCR5, CCR7, CXCR4, and CXCR6) were detected by conventional PCR. The effect of DT-13 on CCR5 and CXCR4 expression was further evaluated by quantitative PCR and Western blot, respectively. The secretion of CCL5 (ligand of CCR5) and SDF-1 (ligand of CXCR4) were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
RESULTS: DT-13 inhibited BGC-823 and HGC-27 cell growth in a dose dependent manner, and the estimated IC50 value for 24 h treatment was 23.5 ± 5.1 μmol·L(-1) for BGC-823 cells and 35.6 ± 7.6 μmol·L(-1) for HGC-27 cells. DT-13 also significantly decreased gastric cancer cell migration. DT-13 significantly decreased the gene expression of CCR5 in both BGC-823 and HGC-27 gastric cancer cells, and moderately reduced the expression of CXCR4. Similar to the results of gene expression, significant down-regulation of CCR5 protein was observed, but CXCR4 protein levels were much less affected. CCL5 secretion, but not SDF-1 production, was inhibited by DT-13.
CONCLUSION: DT-13 inhibited gastric cancer cell migration by down-regulation of the CCR5-CCL5 axis.

Xu Z, Zheng X, Yang L, et al.
Chemokine receptor 7 promotes tumor migration and invasiveness via the RhoA/ROCK pathway in metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(2):849-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) has been shown to express chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7), which can activate signaling pathways to promote invasion and survival of SCCHN cells. We hypothesized that the RhoA/Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) pathway is involved in the CCR7-induced invasion and migration of metastatic SCCHN cells. Thus, using migration, matrigel invasion and scrape wound-healing assays, we elucidated the role of RhoA in mediating CCR7-associated cellular mobility. Pull-down assays and western blotting were used to measure RhoA and its downstream expression. Immunohistochemical staining and analysis were useful in identifying the correlation between CCR7 and RhoA expression and clinicopathological factors. The results showed that inhibition of RhoA/ROCK reduced the tumor cell migration and invasiveness induced by CCL19. Activated RhoA, proline-rich tyrosine kinase-2 (Pyk2) and cofilin induced by CCL19 were elevated, and increased RhoA, Pyk2 and cofilin activity was eliminated by CCR7mAb, RhoA/ROCK and Pyk2 inhibitors, indicating involvement of the RhoA/ROCK-Pyk2-cofilin cascade. In summary, CCR7 via RhoA/ROCK-Pyk2 cofilin pathway promotes invasion and migration of metastatic SCCHN cells.

Liu FY, Safdar J, Li ZN, et al.
CCR7 regulates cell migration and invasion through JAK2/STAT3 in metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck.
Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014:415375 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (SCCHN) frequently involves metastasis at diagnosis. Our previous research has demonstrated that CCR7 plays a key role in regulating SCCHN metastasis, and this process involves several molecules, such as PI3K/cdc42, pyk2, and Src. In this study, the goals are to identify whether JAK2/STAT3 also participates in CCR7's signal network, its relationship with other signal pathways, and its role in SCCHN cell invasion and migration. The results showed that stimulation of CCL19 could induce JAK2/STAT3 phosphorylation, which can be blocked by Src and pyk2 inhibitors. After activation, STAT3 was able to promote low expression of E-cadherin and had no effect on vimentin. This JAk2/STAT3 pathway not only mediated CCR7-induced cell migration but also mediated invasion speed. The immunohistochemistry results also showed that the phosphorylation of STAT3 was correlated with CCR7 expression in SCCHN, and CCR7 and STAT3 phosphorylation were all associated with lymph node metastasis. In conclusion, JAk2/STAT3 plays a key role in CCR7 regulating SCCHN metastasis.

Liu FY, Safdar J, Li ZN, et al.
CCR7 regulates cell migration and invasion through MAPKs in metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(6):2502-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
Migration and invasion of tumor cells are essential prerequisites for the formation of metastasis in malignant diseases. Previously, we have reported that CC chemokine receptor 7 (CCR7) regulates the mobility of squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN) cells through several pathways, such as integrin and cdc42. In this study, we investigated the connection between CCR7 and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) family members, and their influence on cell invasion and migration in metastatic SCCHN cells. Western blotting, immunostaining and fluorescence microcopy were used to detect the protein expression and distribution of MAPKs, and the Migration assay, Matrigel invasion assay and wound-healing assay to detect the role of MAPKs in CCR7 regulating cell mobility. To analyze the correlation between CCR7 and MAPK activity and clinicopathological factors immunohistochemical staining was emplyed. The results showed stimulation of CCL19 and the activation of CCR7 could induce ERK1/2 and JNK phosphorylation, while it had no efect on p38. After activation, ERK1/2 and JNK promoted E-cadherin low expression and Vimentin high expression. The MAPK pathway not only mediated CCR7 induced cell migration, but also mediated invasion speed. The immunohistochemistry results showed that CCR7 was correlated with the phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and JNK in SCCHN, and these molecules were all associated with lymph node metastasis. Therefore, our study demonstrates that MAPK members (ERK1/2 and JNK) play a key role in CCR7 regulating SCCHN metastasis.

Peng C, Zhou K, An S, Yang J
The effect of CCL19/CCR7 on the proliferation and migration of cell in prostate cancer.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(1):329-35 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple studies have shown that CC motif chemokine ligand 19 (CCL19) promotes cell proliferation in several human cancers. In this study, we investigated the clinical significance of CCL19 and its specific receptor CCR7 and its function in our large collection of prostate samples. Between August 2000 and December 2013, 108 patients with histologically confirmed prostate cancer (PCa) and 80 with benign prostate hyperplasia (BPH) were recruited into the study. Quantitative RT-PCR immunohistochemistry analyses were used to quantify CCL19 and CCR7 expression in PCa cell lines and clinical samples. The functional role of CCL19 in PCa cell lines was evaluated by small interfering RNA-mediated depletion of the protein followed by analyses of cell proliferation and invasion. The positive rate of CCL19 staining was 87.04 % (94/108) in 108 cases of prostatic carcinoma and 16.25 % (13/80) in 80 cases of BPH, and high expression of CCR7 was observed in 83.33 % (90/108) of the PCa tissues versus (17.50 %; 14/80) of the BPH tissues, the difference of CCL19 and CCR7 expression between two groups was statistically significant, respectively. The results were confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. CCL19 and CCR7 were significantly elevated in all five PCa cell lines when compared to the RWPE-1 cells. Silencing of CCL19 inhibited the proliferation of DU-145 cells which have a relatively high level of CCL19 in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, and the invasion and migration of DU-145 cells were distinctly suppressed. Our data suggest that the pathogenesis of human PCa maybe mediated by the CCL19/CCR7 axis, and CCL19 inhibition treatment may provide a promising strategy for the anti-tumor therapy of PCa.

Shi JY, Yang LX, Wang ZC, et al.
CC chemokine receptor-like 1 functions as a tumour suppressor by impairing CCR7-related chemotaxis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Pathol. 2015; 235(4):546-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Atypical chemokine receptors (ACRs) have been discovered to participate in the regulation of tumour behaviour. Here we report a tumour-suppressive role of a novel ACR member, CC chemokine receptor like 1 (CCRL1), in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Both mRNA and protein expressions of CCRL1 correlated with the malignant phenotype of HCC cells and were significantly down-regulated in tumour tissue compared with paired normal liver tissue. In both the initial and validation cohorts (n = 240 and n = 384, respectively), CCRL1 deficiency was associated with advanced tumour stage and was an independent index for worse survival and increased recurrence. Furthermore, knock-down or forced expression of CCRL1 revealed that CCRL1 suppressed the proliferation and invasion of HCC cells in vitro and reduced tumour growth and lung metastasis in vivo, with depressed levels of CCL19 and CCL21. By sequestrating CCL19 and CCL21, CCRL1 reduced their binding to CCR7 and consequently mitigated the detrimental impact of CCR7, including Akt-GSK3β pathway activation and nuclear accumulation of β-catenin in tumour cells. Clinically, the prognostic value of the CCR7 expression in HCC depended on the expression level of CCRL1, suggesting that CCRL1 may serve as an upstream switch for the CCR7 signalling cascade. Together, our findings suggest that CCRL1 impairs chemotactic events associated with CCR7 in the progression and metastasis of HCC. Our results also show a potential interplay between typical and atypical chemokine receptors in human cancer. Copyright © 2014 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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