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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2003 Jun 15;167(12):1676-86. Epub 2003 Mar 5.

The stromal derived factor-1/CXCL12-CXC chemokine receptor 4 biological axis in non-small cell lung cancer metastases.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, 90024, USA.


Non-small cell lung cancer is characterized by a specific metastatic pattern. The mechanism for organ-specific metastasis is poorly understood, although evidence has suggested that the chemokine stromal derived factor-1 (CXCL12) and its cognate receptor CXCR4 may regulate breast cancer metastasis. We hypothesized that the CXCL12-CXCR4 biological axis is important in mediating non-small cell lung cancer metastases. Our results indicate that both non-small cell lung cancer tumor specimens resected from patients and non-small cell lung cancer cell lines express CXCR4, but not CXCL12. Non-small cell lung cancer cell lines undergo chemotaxis in response to CXCL12. CXCL12-CXCR4 activation of non-small cell lung cancer cell lines showed intracellular calcium mobilization and mitogen-activated protein kinase activation with enhanced extracellular signal-related kinase-1/2 phosphorylation without change in either proliferation or apoptosis. Target organs in a murine model that are the preferred destination of human non-small cell lung cancer metastases elaborate higher levels of CXCL12 than does the primary tumor, and suggest the generation of chemotactic gradients. The administration of specific neutralizing anti-CXCL12 antibodies to severe combined immunodeficient mice expressing human non-small cell lung cancer abrogated organ metastases, without affecting primary tumor-derived angiogenesis. These data suggest that the CXCL12-CXCR4 biological axis is involved in regulating the metastasis of non-small cell lung cancer.

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