Gene Summary

Gene:CXCL12; C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12
Summary:This antimicrobial gene encodes a stromal cell-derived alpha chemokine member of the intercrine family. The encoded protein functions as the ligand for the G-protein coupled receptor, chemokine (C-X-C motif) receptor 4, and plays a role in many diverse cellular functions, including embryogenesis, immune surveillance, inflammation response, tissue homeostasis, and tumor growth and metastasis. Mutations in this gene are associated with resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infections. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:stromal cell-derived factor 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


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 (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: CXCL12 (cancer-related)

Freire PP, Fernandez GJ, Cury SS, et al.
The Pathway to Cancer Cachexia: MicroRNA-Regulated Networks in Muscle Wasting Based on Integrative Meta-Analysis.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(8) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer cachexia is a multifactorial syndrome that leads to significant weight loss. Cachexia affects 50%-80% of cancer patients, depending on the tumor type, and is associated with 20%-40% of cancer patient deaths. Besides the efforts to identify molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle atrophy-a key feature in cancer cachexia-no effective therapy for the syndrome is currently available. MicroRNAs are regulators of gene expression, with therapeutic potential in several muscle wasting disorders. We performed a meta-analysis of previously published gene expression data to reveal new potential microRNA-mRNA networks associated with muscle atrophy in cancer cachexia. We retrieved 52 differentially expressed genes in nine studies of muscle tissue from patients and rodent models of cancer cachexia. Next, we predicted microRNAs targeting these differentially expressed genes. We also include global microRNA expression data surveyed in atrophying skeletal muscles from previous studies as background information. We identified deregulated genes involved in the regulation of apoptosis, muscle hypertrophy, catabolism, and acute phase response. We further predicted new microRNA-mRNA interactions, such as miR-27a/

Timin AS, Peltek OO, Zyuzin MV, et al.
Safe and Effective Delivery of Antitumor Drug Using Mesenchymal Stem Cells Impregnated with Submicron Carriers.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2019; 11(14):13091-13104 [PubMed] Related Publications
An important area in modern malignant tumor therapy is the optimization of antitumor drugs pharmacokinetics. The use of some antitumor drugs is limited in clinical practice due to their high toxicity. Therefore, the strategy for optimizing the drug pharmacokinetics focuses on the generation of high local concentrations of these drugs in the tumor area with minimal systemic and tissue-specific toxicity. This can be achieved by encapsulation of highly toxic antitumor drug (vincristine (VCR) that is 20-50 times more toxic than widely used the antitumor drug doxorubicin) into nano- and microcarriers with their further association into therapeutically relevant cells that possess the ability to migrate to sites of tumor. Here, we fundamentally examine the effect of drug carrier size on the behavior of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs), including internalization efficiency, cytotoxicity, cell movement, to optimize the conditions for the development of carrier-hMSCs drug delivery platform. Using the malignant tumors derived from patients, we evaluated the capability of hMSCs associated with VCR-loaded carriers to target tumors using a three-dimensional spheroid model in collagen gel. Compared to free VCR, the developed hMSC-based drug delivery platform showed enhanced antitumor activity regarding those tumors that express CXCL12 (stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1)) gene, inducing directed migration of hMSCs via CXCL12 (SDF-1)/CXCR4 pathway. These results show that the combination of encapsulated antitumor drugs and hMSCs, which possess the properties of active migration into tumors, is therapeutically beneficial and demonstrated high efficiency and low systematic toxicity, revealing novel strategies for chemotherapy in the future.

Shao S, Duan W, Xu Q, et al.
Curcumin Suppresses Hepatic Stellate Cell-Induced Hepatocarcinoma Angiogenesis and Invasion through Downregulating CTGF.
Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2019; 2019:8148510 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Microenvironment plays a vital role in tumor progression; we focused on elucidating the role of hepatic stellate cells (HSCs) in hepatocarcinoma (HCC) aggressiveness and investigated the potential protective effect of curcumin on HSC-driven hepatocarcinoma angiogenesis and invasion. Our data suggest that HSCs increase HCC reactive oxygen species (ROS) production to upregulate hypoxia-inducible factor-1

Duan M, Goswami S, Shi JY, et al.
Activated and Exhausted MAIT Cells Foster Disease Progression and Indicate Poor Outcome in Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 25(11):3304-3316 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Innate immunity is an indispensable arm of tumor immune surveillance, and the liver is an organ with a predominance of innate immunity, where mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are enriched. However, little is known about the phenotype, functions, and immunomodulatory role of MAIT cells in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
RESULTS: Despite their fewer densities in HCC tumor than normal liver, MAIT cells were significantly enriched in the HCC microenvironment compared with other mucosa-associated organs. Tumor-derived MAIT cells displayed a typical CCR7
CONCLUSIONS: HCC-infiltrating MAIT cells were functionally impaired and even reprogrammed to shift away from antitumor immunity and toward a tumor-promoting direction.

Yu X, Wang D, Wang X, et al.
CXCL12/CXCR4 promotes inflammation-driven colorectal cancer progression through activation of RhoA signaling by sponging miR-133a-3p.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):32 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Activation of CXCL12/CXCR4 axis has been found to be associated with invasion and metastasis in many cancers. However, the underlying mechanism remains elusive. Increasing data highlight that non-coding RNAs are linked to CRC progression.
METHODS: The effects of CXCR4 were investigated using villin-CXCR4 transgenic mice model by flow cytometry assay, immunohistochemistry, and Western blot. The mechanism was explored through bioinformatics, luciferase reporter assay and RNA immunoprecipitation assay.
RESULTS: We found that high CXCR4 expression exacerbated colitis-associated cancer in villin-CXCR4 transgenic mice. CXCR4
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings revealed the critical role of CXCR4 in promoting progression of inflammatory colorectal cancer through recruiting immunocytes and enhancing cytoskeletal remodeling by lncRNA XIST/ miR-133a-3p/ RhoA signaling. These results provide novel potential therapeutic targets for hindering CXCL12/CXCR4-induced CRC progression.

Chen L, Lu D, Sun K, et al.
Identification of biomarkers associated with diagnosis and prognosis of colorectal cancer patients based on integrated bioinformatics analysis.
Gene. 2019; 692:119-125 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The current study aimed to identify potential diagnostic and prognostic gene biomarkers for colorectal cancer (CRC) based on the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets and The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) dataset.
METHODS: Microarray data of gene expression profiles of CRC from GEO and RNA-sequencing dataset of CRC from TCGA were downloaded. After screening overlapping differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by R software, functional enrichment analyses of the DEGs were performed using the DAVID database. Then, the STRING database and Cytoscape were used to construct a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network and identify hub genes. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were conducted to assess the diagnostic values of the hub genes. Cox proportional hazards regression was performed to screen the potential prognostic genes. Kaplan-Meier curve and the time-dependent ROC curve were used to assess the prognostic values of the potential prognostic genes for CRC patients.
RESULTS: Integrated analysis of GEO and TCGA databases revealed 207 common DEGs in CRC. A PPI network consisted of 70 nodes and 170 edges were constructed and top 10 hub genes were identified. The area under curve (AUC) of the ROC curves of the hub genes were 0.900, 0.927, 0.869, 0.863, 0.980, 0.682, 0.903, 0.790, 0.995, and 0.989 for CCL19, CXCL1, CXCL5, CXCL11, CXCL12, GNG4, INSL5, NMU, PYY, and SST, respectively. A prognostic gene signature consisted of 9 genes including SLC4A4, NFE2L3, GLDN, PCOLCE2, TIMP1, CCL28, SCGB2A1, AXIN2, and MMP1 was constructed with a good performance in predicting overall survivals of CRC patients. The AUC of the time-dependent ROC curve was 0.741 for 5-year survival.
CONCLUSION: The results in this study might provide some directive significance for further exploring the potential biomarkers for diagnosis and prognosis prediction of CRC patients.

Baci D, Gallazzi M, Cascini C, et al.
Downregulation of Pro-Inflammatory and Pro-Angiogenic Pathways in Prostate Cancer Cells by a Polyphenol-Rich Extract from Olive Mill Wastewater.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(2) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Dietary phytochemicals are particularly attractive for chemoprevention and are able to modulate several signal transduction pathways linked with cancer. Olive oil, a major component of the Mediterranean diet, is an abundant source of phenolic compounds. Olive oil production is associated with the generation of a waste material, termed 'olive mill wastewater' (OMWW) that have been reported to contain water-soluble polyphenols. Prostate cancer (PCa) is considered as an ideal cancer type for chemopreventive approaches, due to its wide incidence but relatively long latency period and progression time. Here, we investigated activities associated with potential preventive properties of a polyphenol-rich olive mill wastewater extract, OMWW (A009), on three in vitro models of PCa. A009 was able to inhibit PCa cell proliferation, adhesion, migration, and invasion. Molecularly, we found that A009 targeted NF-κB and reduced pro-angiogenic growth factor, VEGF, CXCL8, and CXCL12 production. IL-6/STAT3 axis was also regulated by the extract. A009 shows promising properties, and purified hydroxytyrosol (HyT), the major polyphenol component of A009, was also active but not always as effective as A009. Finally, our results support the idea of repositioning a food waste-derived material for nutraceutical employment, with environmental and industrial cost management benefits.

Li N, Xu H, Ou Y, et al.
LPS-induced CXCR7 expression promotes gastric Cancer proliferation and migration via the TLR4/MD-2 pathway.
Diagn Pathol. 2019; 14(1):3 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Helicobacter pylori (HP) plays an important role in gastric cancer occurrence and development. Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and myeloid differential protein-2 (MD-2) are also reported to be involved in gastric cancer cell proliferation and invasion. CXC chemokine receptor 7 (CXCR7), a second receptor for CXCL12, has been detected in multiple types of tumor tissues. Nevertheless, the biological function and regulation of CXCR7 and its relationship with TLR4 and MD-2 in gastric cancer are not completely understood and therefore warrant further study.
METHODS: CXCR7 expression was examined in 150 gastric cancer tissues using immunohistochemistry (IHC). RT-PCR and western blotting were used to detect CXCR7 expression in several gastric cancer cell lines (SGC7901, AGS, MGC-803, MKN-45 and BGC823). shRNAs were designed using a pGPU6/GFP/Neo vector. A CCK-8 assay was used to assess cell proliferation, and transwell assays were performed to assess cell migration. In addition, a gastric cancer xenograft model was generated.
RESULTS: The LPS-TLR4-MD-2 pathway elevates CXCR7 expression in SGC7901 cells, and TLR4/MD-2-mediated increases in CXCR7 levels modulate the proliferation and migration of tumor cells. Knockdown of TLR4 and MD-2 demonstrated that both are essential for LPS-induced CXCR7 expression, which in turn is responsible for LPS-induced SGC7901 cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, higher TLR4, MD-2 and CXCR7 expression was detected in gastric cancer tissues than in paracancerous normal control tissues. The expression levels of TLR4, MD-2 and CXCR7 were closely related to gastric cancer TNM stage and lymph node metastasis. In an animal model, significant differences in CXCR7 expression in tumor masses were observed between the control group and experimental group.
CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study indicate that CXCR7 plays an important role in gastric cancer progression via inflammatory mechanisms, suggesting that CXCR7 could provide a basis for the development and clinical application of a targeted drug for gastric cancer.

Gerashchenko GV, Grygoruk OV, Kononenko OA, et al.
Expression pattern of genes associated with tumor microenvironment in prostate cancer.
Exp Oncol. 2018; 40(4):315-322 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To assess relative expression (RE) levels of CAF-, TAM-specific, immune defense-associated genes in prostate tumors and to show correlation of RE with clinical, pathological and molecular characteristics, with the aim to define clinically significant specific alterations in a gene expression pattern.
METHODS: RE of 23 genes was analyzed by a quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 37 freshly frozen samples of prostate cancer tissues of a different Gleason score (GS) and at various tumor stages, compared with RE in 37 paired conventionally normal prostate tissue (CNT) samples and 20 samples of prostate adenomas.
RESULTS: Differences in RE were shown for 11 genes out of 23 studied, when tumor samples were compared with corresponding CNTs. 7 genes, namely ACTA2, CXCL14, CTGF, THY1, FAP, CD163, CCL17 were upregulated in tumors. 4 genes, namely CCR4, NOS2A, MSMB, IL1R1 were downregulated in tumors. 14 genes demonstrated different RE in TNA at different stages: CXCL12, CXCL14, CTGF, FAP, HIF1A, THY1, CCL17, CCL22, CCR4, CD68, CD163, NOS2A, CTLA4, IL1R1. RE changes of 9 genes - CXCL12, CXCL14, HIF1A, CCR4, CCL17, NOS2A, CTLA4, IL1R1, IL2RA - were found in tumors with different GS. Moreover, 9 genes showed differences in RE in TNA, dependently on the presence or absence of the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion and 7 genes showed differences in RE of groups with differential PTEN expression. Significant correlations were calculated between RE of 9 genes in adenocarcinomas and the stage, and GS; also, between RE of 2 genes and the fusion presence; and between RE of 4 genes and PTEN expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Several gene expression patterns were identified that correlated with the GS, stage and molecular characteristics of tumors, i.e. presence of the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion and alterations in PTEN expression. These expression patterns can be used for molecular profiling of prostate tumors, with the aim to develop personalized medicine approaches. However, the proposed profiling requires a more detailed analysis and a larger cohort of patients with prostate tumor.

Peng J, Xu H, Chen Y, et al.
Screening for therapeutic targets of tumor angiogenesis signatures in 31 cancer types and potential insights.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2019; 508(2):465-471 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor vessel normalization can increase pericyte coverage, perfusion efficiency and immune infiltration, while reducing hypoxia, vessel leakage, CTC and metastasis. In this study, we systemically presented the expression pattern of tumor angiogenesis gene signatures in 31 cancer types and its association with immune infiltration and cancer metastasis. Specifically, READ, COAD etc. have relatively similar expression patterns with low GPAGs and high PPAGs. Patients with this expression pattern may benefit from tumor vessel normalization. COAD was selected for further investigation and we found GPAG CXCL12 was downregulated while PPAG EPHB3 was overexpressed in COAD, which were further validated using two independent colon cancer dataset. Further study indicated that CXCL12 expression was positively correlated innate inflammation pathways such as NFκB and negatively correlated with metastasis, while EPHB3 had a reverse result. Moreover, CXCL12 was positively correlated with cancer immune infiltration while EPHB3 was negatively correlated with cancer immune infiltration. Besides, the association between CXCL12/EPHB3 and mutation/CNA landscape were also explored. We also discussed the potential application of gut microbiota in cancer treatment. In summary, blood vessel normalization could promote immune infiltration and repress cancer metastasis while immune cell infiltration can promote blood vessel normalization through a positive feedback loop.

Sodroski C, Lowey B, Hertz L, et al.
MicroRNA-135a Modulates Hepatitis C Virus Genome Replication through Downregulation of Host Antiviral Factors.
Virol Sin. 2019; 34(2):197-210 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cellular microRNAs (miRNAs) have been shown to modulate HCV infection via directly acting on the viral genome or indirectly through targeting the virus-associated host factors. Recently we generated a comprehensive map of HCV-miRNA interactions through genome-wide miRNA functional screens and transcriptomics analyses. Many previously unappreciated cellular miRNAs were identified to be involved in HCV infection, including miR-135a, a human cancer-related miRNA. In the present study, we investigated the role of miR-135a in regulating HCV life cycle and showed that it preferentially enhances viral genome replication. Bioinformatics-based integrative analyses and subsequent functional assays revealed three antiviral host factors, including receptor interacting serine/threonine kinase 2 (RIPK2), myeloid differentiation primary response 88 (MYD88), and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), as bona fide targets of miR-135a. These genes have been shown to inhibit HCV infection at the RNA replication stage. Our data demonstrated that repression of key host restriction factors mediated the proviral effect of miR-135a on HCV propagation. In addition, miR-135a hepatic abundance is upregulated by HCV infection in both cultured hepatocytes and human liver, likely mediating a more favorable environment for viral replication and possibly contributing to HCV-induced liver malignancy. These results provide novel insights into HCV-host interactions and unveil molecular pathways linking miRNA biology to HCV pathogenesis.

Ando N, Furuichi Y, Kasai S, et al.
Chemosensitivity is differentially regulated by the SDF-1/CXCR4 and SDF-1/CXCR7 axes in acute lymphoblastic leukemia with MLL gene rearrangements.
Leuk Res. 2018; 75:36-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although recent advances in chemotherapy have markedly improved outcome of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), infantile ALL with MLL gene rearrangements (MLL+ALL) is refractory to chemotherapy. We have shown that specific cytokines FLT3 ligand and TGFβ1 both of which are produced from bone marrow stromal cells synergistically induced MLL+ALL cells into chemo-resistant quiescence, and that treatment of MLL+ALL cells with inhibitors against FLT3 and/or TGFβ1 receptor partially but significantly converts them toward chemo-sensitive. In the present study, we showed that MLL+ALL cells expressed CXCR4 and CXCR7, both receptors for the same chemokine stromal cell derived factor-1 (SDF-1), but their biological events were differentially regulated by the SDF-1/CXCR4 and SDF-1/CXCR7 axes and particularly exerted an opposite effect for determining chemo-sensitivity of MLL+ALL cells; enhancement via the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis vs. suppression via the SDF-1/CXCR7 axis. Because cytosine-arabinoside-induced apoptosis of MLL+ALL cells was inhibited by pretreatment with the CXCR4 inhibitor but rather accelerated by pretreatment with the CXCR7 inhibitor, an application of the CXCR7 inhibitor may become a good treatment option in future for MLL+ALL patients. MLL+ALL has a unique gene profile distinguishable from other types of ALL and AML, and should be investigated separately in responses to biological active agents including chemokine inhibitors.

Orciani M, Caffarini M, Torresetti M, et al.
Breast Implant Texturization Does Not Affect the Crosstalk Between MSC and ALCL Cells.
Inflammation. 2019; 42(2):721-730 [PubMed] Related Publications
In the last decade, there has been a growing interest about the possible association between anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL) and breast implants (BIA-ALCL). Many variables, such as breast implants texturization, have been investigated. Breast implants often lead to the formation of a periprosthetic capsule, characterized by inflammation. The presence of the inflamed capsule has been found in the majority of patients with BIA-ALCL. Inflammation may be sustained or counteracted by mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) by the secretion of pro- or anti-inflammatory cytokines. MSCs were isolated from three capsules surrounding micro-textured (micro-MSCs) and from three capsules surrounding macro-textured (macro-MSCs) implants; after characterization, MSCs were co-cultured with KI-JK cells (a cell line derived from the cutaneous form of ALCL). The secretion of cytokines related to inflammation, the proliferation rate, and the expression of genes referred to pro-tumoral mechanisms were evaluated. Co-cultures of KI-JK cells with micro- or macro-MSCs gave the same results about the secretion of cytokines (increase of IL10, G-CSF, and TGF-β1 and decrease of IL4, IL5, IL12, IL13, IL17A, IFN-γ (p < 0.05) with respect to mock sample), expression of selected genes (increase for ACVR1, VEGF, TGF-βR2, CXCL12, and MKi67 (p < 0.05) with respect to control sample), and the proliferation rate (no variation between mock and co-cultured samples). Our results suggest that MSCs derived from capsules surrounding micro- and macro-textured implants display the same effects on the ALCL cells.

Pazzaglia L, Pollino S, Vitale M, et al.
miR‑494.3p expression in synovial sarcoma: Role of CXCR4 as a potential target gene.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(1):361-369 [PubMed] Related Publications
Synovial sarcoma (SS) is a rare tumour, with dismal survival when metastasis occurs. SS contains a characteristic translocation (X;18)(p11;q11) and the fusion genes appear to be mutually exclusive and concordant in primary and metastatic tumours. Novel prognostic and predictive factors are required. The C‑X‑C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12)/C‑X‑C chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) axis is involved in tumour development and metastatic spread in many types of cancer and previous data have demonstrated a pivotal role of CXCR4 in SS cell migration and invasion. Bioinformatics and biological data indicated CXCR4 is a possible candidate target of miR‑494.3p, known to be involved in tumour progression. In this study, we analysed the expression of miR‑494.3p and its potential target, CXCR4, in a series of SS specimens. A significantly lower miR‑494.3p expression was found in the tumour compared to normal tissue associated with higher levels of CXCR4 both at the gene and protein level. The role of CXCR4 as a potential target of miR‑494.3p was assessed in two SS cell lines (SW982 and SYO‑I). Transfection with miR‑494.3p expression plasmid led to a marked decrease in CXCR4 gene and protein expression, concomitant with a transitory decrease in cell proliferation and migration. The SYO‑I cells also responded with an increased apoptotic fraction. The data of this study also demonstrate that the downregulation of miR‑494.3p in SS surgical specimens, concomitant with an increased expression of its potential target, CXCR4, was more evident in the metastatic subset. In vitro experiments confirmed that miR‑494.3p functioned as a tumour suppressor through the involvement of CXCR4 and ongoing studies are directed to better clarify its role in SS therapeutic strategies.

Ishii N, Araki K, Yokobori T, et al.
Conophylline suppresses pancreatic cancer desmoplasia and cancer-promoting cytokines produced by cancer-associated fibroblasts.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(1):334-344 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite recent advances in cancer treatment, pancreatic cancer is a highly malignant tumor type with a dismal prognosis and it is characterized by dense desmoplasia in the cancer tissue. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) are responsible for this fibrotic stroma and promote cancer progression. We previously reported that a novel natural compound conophylline (CnP) extracted from the leaves of a tropical plant reduced liver and pancreatic fibrosis by suppression of stellate cells. However, there have been no studies to investigate the effects of CnP on CAF, which is the aim of this work. Here, we showed that CAF stimulated indicators of pancreatic cancer malignancy, such as proliferation, invasiveness, and chemoresistance. We also showed that CnP suppressed CAF activity and proliferation, and inhibited the stimulating effects of CAF on pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, CnP strongly decreased the various cytokines involved in cancer progression, such as interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12), secreted by CAF. In vivo, CAF promoted tumor proliferation and desmoplastic formation in a mouse xenograft model, CnP reduced desmoplasia of tumors composed of pancreatic cancer cells + CAF, and combination therapy of CnP with gemcitabine remarkably inhibited tumor proliferation. Our findings suggest that CnP is a promising therapeutic strategy of combination therapy with anticancer drugs to overcome refractory pancreatic cancers.

Fu Z, Zhang P, Luo H, et al.
CXCL12 modulates the radiosensitivity of cervical cancer by regulating CD44.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(6):5101-5108 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of the present study was to investigate the regulation of stromal cell‑derived factor 1 (CXCL12) in the radioresistance of cervical cancer, which was upregulated in tumors in our previous study. A CCK‑8 assay was used to detect cell viability. Flow cytometry was used to measure cell apoptosis and the expression levels of CD44 and CXCR4. ELISA was performed to measure the expression level of CXCL12 protein and CXCL12 mRNA was detected by reverse transcription‑quantitative polymerase chain reaction assays. Cell viability and apoptosis were determined with or without treatment with CXCL12 small interfering (si)RNA to examine the function of CXCL12 in Hela cells. The expression level of CD44 antigen (CD44) and C‑X‑C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) were measured using flow cytometry in the presence of CXCL12 and irradiation. In the present study, it was demonstrated that inhibition of CXCL12 reduced cell viability and increased cellular apoptosis in Hela cells treated with irradiation. Following treatment with CXCL12 siRNA, the expression level of CD44 was downregulated and the expression level of CXCR4 was upregulated. This effect of regulation additionally occurred in the presence of irradiation. In conclusion, the present data demonstrated that CXCL12 served an important role in the radioresistance of cervical cancer, suggestinh a novel therapeutic target.

He C, Zhang H, Wang B, et al.
SDF-1/CXCR4 axis promotes the growth and sphere formation of hypoxic breast cancer SP cells by c-Jun/ABCG2 pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2018; 505(2):593-599 [PubMed] Related Publications
ATP-binding cassette sub-family G member 2 (ABCG2) confers to the major phenotypes of side population (SP) cells, the cancer stem-like cells. In this study, the SP cells displayed a distinctly higher ABCG2 expression level, sphere formation efficiency (SFE) and growth rate even under hypoxia condition. CXCR4 overexpression by pcDNA-CXCR4 transfection robustly increased ABCG2 expression, and promoted SFE and growth of hypoxic SP cells, while CXCR4 inhibitor AMD3100 could suppress the promotion. Additionally, we found that CXCR4 promoted the expression of c-Jun, a major gene in the oncogenic JNK/c-Jun pathway. Our data on electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays both showed that c-Jun directly bound with the ABCG2 promoter sequence. Moreover, overexpression of JNK/c-Jun promoted ABCG2 expression, SFE, and growth of hypoxic SP cells and the promotion could be rescued by c-Jun inhibitor SP600125. In conclusion, CXCR4 increases the growth and SFE of breast cancer SP cells under hypoxia through c-Jun-mediated transcriptional activation of ABCG2.

Xiong Y, Deng Y, Wang K, et al.
Profiles of alternative splicing in colorectal cancer and their clinical significance: A study based on large-scale sequencing data.
EBioMedicine. 2018; 36:183-195 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Alternative splicing (AS), as a potent and pervasive mechanism of transcriptional regulatory, expands the genome's coding capacity and involves in the initiation and progression of cancer. Systematic analysis of alternative splicing in colorectal cancer (CRC) is lacking and greatly needed.
METHODS: RNA-Seq data and corresponding clinical information of CRC cohort were downloaded from the TCGA data portal. Then, a java application, known as SpliceSeq, was used to evaluate the RNA splicing patterns and calculate the Percent Spliced In (PSI) value. Differently expressed AS events (DEAS) were identified based on PSI value between paired CRC and adjacent tissues. DEAS and its splicing networks were further analyzed by bioinformatics methods. Kaplan-Meier, Cox proportional regression and unsupervised clustering analysis were used to evaluate the association between DEAS and patients' clinical features.
RESULTS: After strict filtering, a total of 34,334 AS events were identified, among which 421 AS events were found expressed differently. Parent genes of these DEAS play a important role in regulating CRC-related processes such as protein kinase activity (FDR<0.0001), PI3K-Akt signaling pathway (FDR = 0.0024) and p53 signaling pathway (FDR = 0.0143). 37 DEAS events were found to be associated with OS, and 68 DEAS events were found to be associated with DFS. Stratifying patients according to the PSI value of AT in CXCL12 and RI in CSTF3 formed significant Kaplan-Meier curves in both OS and DFS survival analysis. Unsupervised clustering analysis using DEAS revealed four clusters with distinct survival patterns, and associated with consensus molecular subtypes.
CONCLUSIONS: Large differences of AS events in CRC appear to exist, and these differences are likely to be important determinants of both prognosis and biological regulation. Our identified CRC-related AS events and uncovered splicing networks are valuable in deciphering the underlying mechanisms of AS in CRC, and provide clues of therapeutic targets to further validations.

Okuyama NCM, Cezar-Dos-Santos F, Pereira ÉR, et al.
Genetic variant in CXCL12 gene raises susceptibility to HPV infection and squamous intraepithelial lesions development: a case-control study.
J Biomed Sci. 2018; 25(1):69 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted virus in women worldwide. The persistence of the virus may cause warts that are considered benign lesions and low or high grade intraepithelial lesions (LSIL/HSIL). Immunological system plays an important role in the resolution of infections. In this context, we highlight the chemokines, which are important regulators in the development of viral infections and inflammation. Among which CXCL12 stands out, due to its pro-inflammatory features, acting as chemoattractant recruiting immune cells. Several polymorphisms were identified in CXCL12 gene including rs1801157 in the 3'-untranslated region, which is characterized by a substitution of a guanine for an adenine.
METHODS: In this study, 195 women were classified as HPV non-infected and 169 as HPV-infected. HPV-DNA was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the polymorphism was assessed in blood cells through restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.
RESULTS: HPV infection was more incident in women who had more than 4 sexual partners during lifetime (p = 0.007), among those who presented lower number of pregnancies (p = 0.017). HPV was more prevalent among allele A carriers confirmed by logistic regression analysis adjusted for several confounding factors [OR
CONCLUSIONS: In the present study, we demonstrated that CXCL12 rs1801157 is independently associated with HPV infection and exerts influence in HSIL development, suggesting it as a promising susceptibility biomarker for HPV infection and lesions development.

Pamuk GE, Tozkır H, Uyanık MS, et al.
CXCL12 rs18011157 polymorphısm in patients wıth non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: Is it associated with poor outcome?
J Cancer Res Ther. 2018 Jul-Sep; 14(5):1075-1078 [PubMed] Related Publications
Objective: We studied CXCL12-related rs18011157 polymorphism in non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients. We also determined the effect of this polymorphism on clinical features and outcome of NHL.
Methods: We included 90 NHL patients (54 males, 36 females) and 88 healthy controls (54 males, 34 females). CXCL12-related rs18011157 polymorphism was determined by polymerase chain reaction.
Results: rs18011157 polymorphism was significantly more frequent in NHL patients with GA genotype than in healthy controls (37.8% vs. 20.5%, P = 0.011). The frequency of patients with initially high lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level (65.8% vs. 38.5%) and extranodal involvement (61.1% vs. 43.8%) was significantly higher in the GA plus AA genotype groups when considered altogether (P = 0.01 and 0.09). Poor prognostic factors in univariate analysis were the presence of B symptoms, initially high International Prognostic Index (IPI), splenomegaly, nonresponse to first-line therapy, the presence of early relapse, and carrying A allele (GA plus AA genotypes). The independent prognostic factors in multivariate analysis were only early relapse and an initially high IPI score.
Discussion: CXCL12 rs1801157 polymorphism which was found to be associated with extranodal involvement and increased LDH in NHL might be a marker of poor prognosis in patients with GA and AA genotypes.
Conclusions: CXCL12-related rs18011517 polymorphism was more frequent in NHL patients: it might be associated with NHL pathogenesis and outcome.

Kalinkova L, Zmetakova I, Smolkova B, et al.
Decreased methylation in the SNAI2 and ADAM23 genes associated with de-differentiation and haematogenous dissemination in breast cancers.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):875 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: In breast cancer (BC), deregulation of DNA methylation leads to aberrant expressions and functions of key regulatory genes. In our study, we investigated the relationship between the methylation profiles of genes associated with cancer invasivity and clinico-pathological parameters. In detail, we studied differences in the methylation levels between BC patients with haematogenous and lymphogenous cancer dissemination.
METHODS: We analysed samples of primary tumours (PTs), lymph node metastases (LNMs) and peripheral blood cells (PBCs) from 59 patients with sporadic disseminated BC. Evaluation of the DNA methylation levels of six genes related to invasivity, ADAM23, uPA, CXCL12, TWIST1, SNAI1 and SNAI2, was performed by pyrosequencing.
RESULTS: Among the cancer-specific methylated genes, we found lower methylation levels of the SNAI2 gene in histologic grade 3 tumours (OR = 0.61; 95% CI, 0.39-0.97; P = 0.038) than in fully or moderately differentiated cancers. We also evaluated the methylation profiles in patients with different cancer cell dissemination statuses (positivity for circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and/or LNMs). We detected the significant association between reduced DNA methylation of ADAM23 in PTs and presence of CTCs in the peripheral blood of patients (OR = 0.45; 95% CI, 0.23-0.90; P = 0.023).
CONCLUSION: The relationships between the decreased methylation levels of the SNAI2 and ADAM23 genes and cancer de-differentiation and haematogenous dissemination, respectively, indicate novel functions of those genes in the invasive processes. After experimental validation of the association between the lower values of SNAI2 and ADAM23 methylation and clinical features of aggressive BCs, these methylation profiles could improve the management of metastatic disease.

Tang C, Li MH, Chen YL, et al.
Chemotherapy-induced niche perturbs hematopoietic reconstitution in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):204 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Considerable efforts have been devoted toward the uncovering of the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) by the normal bone marrow (BM) niche. Previously, we demonstrated that a chemotherapy-induced niche, which is mainly composed of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), protects the residual B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) cells from the insult of chemotherapeutic drugs. However, the roles of chemotherapy-induced niche on HSCs functions in B-ALL remain unclear.
METHODS: We established an oncogenic N-MYC-driven B-ALL mouse model, which were subsequently treated with common chemotherapy drug cytarabine (Ara-C) and daunorubicin (DNR). After treatment, the structures of the BM niche were imaged by immunofluorescence staining. Then, the self-renewal and differentiation capability of the MSCs in the BM after Ara-C and DNR treatment were studied by ex vivo culture and gene expression analysis with RNA-seq and qRT-PCR. The effects of chemotherapy-induced niche on the hematopoietic reconstitution of HSCs were determined with series transplantation assay. Furthermore, the cell cycle, ROS level, mitochondrial membrane potential and cell apoptosis of HSCs were detected by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The MSCs, which is the main component of chemotherapy-induced BM niche, have decreased self-renewal capability and are prone to differentiate into adipocytes and chondrocytes. The results of gene expression analysis with RNA-seq showed that the MSCs have reduced levels of cytokines, including SCF, CXCL12, ANGPT1, VCAM1, and IL7. Furthermore, the chemotherapy-induced niche perturbed the hematopoietic reconstitution of HSCs in our N-MYC-driven B-ALL mouse model by promoting HSCs to enter cell cycle and increasing intracellular ROS levels and mitochondrial membrane potential of HSCs, which lead to the cell apoptosis of HSCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Chemotherapy-induced BM niche perturbs the hematopoietic reconstitution of HSCs by increasing intracellular ROS level and inducing cell apoptosis.

Sbrissa D, Semaan L, Govindarajan B, et al.
A novel cross-talk between CXCR4 and PI4KIIIα in prostate cancer cells.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(3):332-344 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Chemokine signaling regulates cell migration and tumor metastasis. CXCL12, a member of the chemokine family, and its receptor, CXCR4, a G protein coupled receptor (GPCR), are key mediators of prostate-cancer (PC) bone metastasis. In PC cells androgens activate CXCR4 gene expression and receptor signaling on lipid rafts, which induces protease expression and cancer cell invasion. To identify novel lipid-raft-associated CXCR4 regulators supporting invasion/metastasis, we performed a SILAC-based quantitative proteomic analysis of lipid-rafts derived from PC3 stable cell lines with overexpression or knockdown of CXCR4. This analysis identified the evolutionarily conserved phosphatidylinositol 4-kinase IIIα (PI4KIIIα), and SAC1 phosphatase that dephosphorylates phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate as potential candidate CXCR4 regulators. CXCR4 interacted with PI4KIIIα membrane targeting machinery recruiting them to the plasma membrane for PI4P production. Consistent with this interaction, PI4KIIIα was found tightly linked to the CXCR4 induced PC cell invasion. Thus, ablation of PI4KIIIα in CXCR4-expressing PC3 cells reduced cellular invasion in response to a variety of chemokines. Immunofluorescence microscopy in CXCR4-expressing cells revealed localized production of PI4P on the invasive projections. Human tumor studies documented increased PI4KIIIα expression in metastatic tumors vs. the primary tumor counterparts, further supporting the PI4KIIIα role in tumor metastasis. Furthermore, we also identified an unexpected function of PI4KIIIα in GPCR signaling where CXCR4 regulates PI4KIIIα activity and mediate tumor metastasis. Altogether, our study identifies a novel cross-talk between PI4KIIIα and CXCR4 in promoting tumor metastasis and suggests that PI4KIIIα pharmacological targeting may have therapeutic benefit for advanced prostate cancer patients.

Qi W, Sun L, Liu N, et al.
Tetraspanin family identified as the central genes detected in gastric cancer using bioinformatics analysis.
Mol Med Rep. 2018; 18(4):3599-3610 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer has become a serious disease in the past decade. It has the second highest mortality rate among the four most common cancer types, leading to ~700,000 mortalities annually. Previous studies have attempted to elucidate the underlying biological mechanisms of gastric cancer. The present study aimed to obtain useful biomarkers and to improve the understanding of gastric cancer mechanisms at the genetic level. The present study used bioinformatics analysis to identify 1,829 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) which were obtained from the GSE54129 dataset. Using protein‑protein interaction information from the Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes database, disease modules were constructed for gastric cancer using Cytoscape software. In the Gene Ontology analysis of biology processes, upregulated genes were significantly enriched in 'extracellular matrix organization', 'cell adhesion' and 'inflammatory response', whereas downregulated DEGs were significantly enriched in 'xenobiotic metabolic process', 'oxidation‑reduction process' and 'steroid metabolic process'. During Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analysis, upregulated DEGs were significantly enriched in 'extracellular matrix‑receptor interaction', 'focal adhesion' and 'PI3K‑Akt signaling pathway', whereas the downregulated DEGs were significantly enriched in 'chemical carcinogenesis', 'metabolism of xenobiotics by cytochrome P450' and 'peroxisome'. The present study additionally identified 10 hub genes from the DEGs: Tumor protein p53 (TP53), C‑X‑C motif chemokine ligand 8 (CXCL8), tetraspanin 4 (TSPAN4), lysophosphatidic acid receptor 2 (LPAR2), adenylate cyclase 3 (ADCY3), phosphoinositide‑3‑kinase regulatory subunit 1 (PIK3R1), neuromedin U (NMU), C‑X‑C motif chemokine ligand (CXCL12), fos proto‑oncogene, AP‑1 transcription factor subunit (FOS) and sphingosine‑1‑phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1), which have high degrees with other DEGs. The survival analysis revealed that the high expression of ADCY3, LPAR2, S1PR1, TP53 and TSPAN4 was associated with a lower survival rate, whereas high expression of CXCL8, FOS, NMU and PIK3R1 was associated with a higher survival rate. No significant association was identified between CXCL12 and survival rate. Additionally, TSPAN1 and TSPAN8 appeared in the top 100 DEGs. Finally, it was observed that 4 hub genes were highly expressed in gastric cancer tissue compared with para‑carcinoma tissue in the 12 patients; the increased TSPAN4 was significant (>5‑fold). Tetraspanin family genes may be novel biomarkers of gastric cancer. The findings of the present study may improve the understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying the development of gastric cancer.

Wichert S, Pettersson Å, Hellmark T, et al.
Bone marrow eosinophils in plasma cell disorders.
Exp Hematol. 2018; 66:27-31.e5 [PubMed] Related Publications
In experimental studies, eosinophils have been shown to promote the survival, proliferation, and retention of plasma cells in the bone marrow (BM). The clinical significance of eosinophils in plasma cell disorders (PCDs) in humans is largely unknown. This study focuses on the frequency and phenotype of eosinophils in the BM and peripheral blood (PB) in patients with untreated PCD compared with healthy controls. The number of eosinophils per se did not correlate with the number of BM plasma cells or disease stage. The expression of chemokine receptor 4, which is important in the homing capacity to bone marrow stromal cells, was significantly higher in patient eosinophils and increased with disease stage. BM eosinophils from patients, especially from those with manifest disease, were more activated. Another finding in this study was that eosinophils in PB and BM from both patients and healthy controls expressed CD80 (B7-1). We discuss probable immunomodulatory consequences of surface expression of CD80 by eosinophils in conditions with marked T-cell exhaustion (e.g., multiple myeloma). Finally, we found that patients treated with corticosteroids had low levels of circulating eosinophils but preserved levels of eosinophils in the BM.

Hersi HM, Raulf N, Gaken J, et al.
MicroRNA-9 inhibits growth and invasion of head and neck cancer cells and is a predictive biomarker of response to plerixafor, an inhibitor of its target CXCR4.
Mol Oncol. 2018; 12(12):2023-2041 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCC) are associated with poor morbidity and mortality. Current treatment strategies are highly toxic and do not benefit over 50% of patients. There is therefore a crucial need for predictive and/or prognostic biomarkers to allow treatment stratification for individual patients. One class of biomarkers that has recently gained importance are microRNA (miRNA). MiRNA are small, noncoding molecules which regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally. We performed miRNA expression profiling of a cohort of head and neck tumours with known clinical outcomes. The results showed miR-9 to be significantly downregulated in patients with poor treatment outcome, indicating its role as a potential biomarker in HNSCC. Overexpression of miR-9 in HNSCC cell lines significantly decreased cellular proliferation and inhibited colony formation in soft agar. Conversely, miR-9 knockdown significantly increased both these features. Importantly, endogenous CXCR4 expression levels, a known target of miR-9, inversely correlated with miR-9 expression in a panel of HNSCC cell lines tested. Induced overexpression of CXCR4 in low expressing cells increased proliferation, colony formation and cell cycle progression. Moreover, CXCR4-specific ligand, CXCL12, enhanced cellular proliferation, migration, colony formation and invasion in CXCR4-overexpressing and similarly in miR-9 knockdown cells. CXCR4-specific inhibitor plerixafor abrogated the oncogenic phenotype of CXCR4 overexpression as well as miR-9 knockdown. Our data demonstrate a clear role for miR-9 as a tumour suppressor microRNA in HNSCC, and its role seems to be mediated through CXCR4 suppression. MiR-9 knockdown, similar to CXCR4 overexpression, significantly promoted aggressive HNSCC tumour cell characteristics. Our results suggest CXCR4-specific inhibitor plerixafor as a potential therapeutic agent, and miR-9 as a possible predictive biomarker of treatment response in HNSCC.

Guembarovski AL, Guembarovski RL, Hirata BKB, et al.
CXCL12 chemokine and CXCR4 receptor: association with susceptibility and prognostic markers in triple negative breast cancer.
Mol Biol Rep. 2018; 45(5):741-750 [PubMed] Related Publications
CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling has been implicated in breast carcinogenesis, and genetic polymorphisms in these molecules have been associated with different types of cancer. The present study analyzed genetic polymorphisms in CXCL12 (rs1801157, G > A) and CXCR4 (rs2228014, C > T) and CXCR4 immunostaining in tumor tissues from patients with triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) aiming to evaluate their possible role in its' susceptibility and prognosis. Genetic polymorphisms were analyzed in 59 TNBC patients and 150 control women; age-adjusted logistic regression showed no association when variants were considered in isolation; however, a statistically significant interaction was noted for heterozygosis for both allelic variants increasing the odds for TNBC (CXCL12-GA by CXCR4-CT: OR 7.23; 95% CI 1.15-45.41; p = 0.035). CXCL12 polymorphism was correlated negatively with proliferation index (Ki67) (Tau-b = - 0.406; p = 0.006). CXCR4 immunostaining was evaluated in 37 TNBC patients (22 with paired tumor-normal adjacent tissue). CXCR4 was detected more intensely in cell cytoplasm than in membrane, and was more expressed in tumor than in normal adjacent tissues, although not statistically significant. CXCR4 expression on the membrane of tumor cells was correlated positively with histopathological grade (Tau-b = 0.271; p = 0.036) and negatively with lymph node metastasis (Tau-b = - 0.478; p = 0.036). The present study indicates that CXCL12 and CXCR4 polymorphisms and CXCR4 immunostaining might have susceptibility and prognostic roles in TNBC pathogenesis.

Bertolini F, Casarotti G, Righi L, et al.
Human renal angiomyolipoma cells of male and female origin can migrate and are influenced by microenvironmental factors.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(6):e0199371 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Improving the knowledge of angiomyolipoma physiopathology might help in refining its pharmacological treatment. We investigated if angiomyolipoma cells have migratory properties, how their growth and motility can be influenced by the hormonal milieu, and if this can be related to a specific gender.
METHODS: Primary cells were isolated from angiomyolipomas surgically resected for therapeutical reasons in a female and in a male patient. The genetic control demonstrated no TSC2 deletion. Bi- (wound healing) and three-dimensional (transwell assay) migration were analyzed in vitro in basal conditions and under the influence of 17- β-estradiol and SDF-1α.
RESULTS: Treatment up to 72 hours with 17-β-estradiol (0.1-100 nM), tamoxifen (0.2-20 μM) or with both, does not modify angiomyolipoma cells proliferation. On the other hand, SDF-1α and 17-β-estradiol treatment induce a significant motility increase (both bi- and three-dimensional) which becomes evident already after 2 hours of incubation. Angiomyolipoma cells express mRNA coding for SDF-1α and 17-β-estradiol receptors and secrete both the metalloproteases principally involved in malignant phenotype acquisition, i.e. MMP-2 and MMP-9.
CONCLUSION: Angiomyolipoma cells behave similarly, despite their different source. Primary angiomyolipoma cells migrate in response to hormonal milieu and soluble factors, and produce active metalloproteases, both aspects being consistent with the theory claiming they can migrate to the lungs (and/or other organs) and colonizing them. No main feature, among the aspects we analyzed, seems to be referable to the gender of origin.

Moreno MJ, Gallardo A, Novelli S, et al.
CXCR7 expression in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma identifies a subgroup of CXCR4+ patients with good prognosis.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(6):e0198789 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The CXCR4/CXCL12 axis has been extensively associated with different types of cancer correlating with higher aggressiveness and metastasis. In diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 is involved in the dissemination of malignant B cells and is a marker of poor prognosis. CXCR7 is a chemokine receptor that binds to the same ligand as CXCR4 and regulates de CXCR4-CXCL12 axis. These findings together with the report of CXCR7 prognostic value in several tumor types, led us to evaluate the expression of CXCR7 in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma biopsies. Here, we describe that CXCR7 receptor is an independent prognostic factor that associates with good clinical outcome. Moreover, the expression of CXCR7 associates with increased survival in CXCR4+ but not in CXCR4- DLBCL patients. Thus, the combined immunohistochemical evaluation of both CXCR7 and CXCR4 expression in DLBCL biopsies may improve their prognostic value as single markers. Finally, we show that CXCR7 overexpression in vitro is able to diminish DLBCL cell survival and increase their sensitivity to antitumor drugs. Hence, further studies on the CXCR7 receptor may establish its role in DLBCL and the molecular mechanisms that modulate CXCR4 activity.

Sterner RM, Kremer KN, Dudakovic A, et al.
Tissue-Nonspecific Alkaline Phosphatase Is Required for MC3T3 Osteoblast-Mediated Protection of Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cells from Apoptosis.
J Immunol. 2018; 201(3):1086-1096 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The bone marrow microenvironment harbors and protects leukemic cells from apoptosis-inducing agents via mechanisms that are incompletely understood. We previously showed SDF-1 (CXCL-12), a chemokine readily abundant within the bone marrow microenvironment, induces apoptosis in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells that express high levels of the SDF-1 receptor CXCR4. However, differentiating osteoblasts found within this niche protect cocultured AML cells from apoptosis. Additionally, this protection was abrogated upon treatment of the differentiating osteoblasts with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi). In this study, we begin to characterize and target the molecular mechanisms that mediate this osteoblast protection. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that HDACi treatment of differentiating osteoblasts (mouse MC3T3 osteoblast cell line) reduced expression of multiple genes required for osteoblast differentiation, including genes important for producing mineralized bone matrix. Interestingly, pretreating differentiating osteoblasts with cyclosporine A, a drug known to inhibit osteoblast differentiation, similarly impaired osteoblast-mediated protection of cocultured AML cells (KG1a and U937 human AML cell lines). Both HDACi and cyclosporine A reduced osteoblast expression of the key mineralization enzyme tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP; encoded by

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