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Int J Oncol. 1999 May;14(5):927-34.

Reduced expression of the CXCR4 receptor mRNA in hepatocellular carcinoma and lack of inducibility of its ligand alpha-chemokine hIRH/SDF1alpha/PBSF in vitro.

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Departments of Medicine and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Worcester, MA 01655, USA.


Differential cDNA displays between hepatocellular carcinoma and adjacent non-malignant tissues have previously detected a PCR product, hIRH (human intercrine reduced in hepatomas), equivalent to SDF1alpha/PBSF whose mRNA was lost from human hepatocellular carcinoma and other malignant and pre-malignant samples and malignant cell lines. There are no reports to date of the mRNA status of the receptor for hIRH/SDF1alpha/PBSF, CXCR4 in malignant tissues. We report here that there is a reduction in the mRNA expression of CXCR4 in hepatocellular carcinoma as estimated by Northern blot and RT-PCR and compared to the adjacent non-malignant tissue. The average (mean SD) tumor/normal ratio for CXCR4 mRNA expression, determined by RT-PCR, was 0.65 0.36 in 10 pairs of hepatocellular carcinomas. There was no consistent loss of CXCR4 mRNA expression in a range of malignant cell lines. The 3'-non-coding region of hIRH, had typical early response gene element sequences. Despite the presence of these 3'-elements there was no induction of hIRH gene expression in human lung carcinoma A549 cells by tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-2, lipopolysaccharide or phorbol myristic acetate, nor in human melanoma cell line SB-2 by uv irradiation, under conditions which induced the homologue CXC intercrine IL-8 expression. Furthermore, there was no induction of hIRH gene expression, but rather a suppression, upon serum or cytokine addition to serum-deprived fibroblast cell lines, to an in vitro mouse bone marrow preparation, and to monocytic cell line THP-1.

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