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Anticancer Res. 2012 Jul;32(7):2759-68.

SIVmac₂₃₉-Nef down-regulates cell surface expression of CXCR4 in tumor cells and inhibits proliferation, migration and angiogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Marburg Campus, Baldingerstrasse, D-35033 Marburg, Germany.



To evaluate if the lentiviral accessory protein Nef can down-regulate the C-X-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CXCR4) in tumor cells and affect tumor cell proliferation, migration and angiogenesis.


HeLa-(ACC) cells, which according to genotype analysis are virtually identical to the cervical cancer-derived HeLa cell line, were transfected with Nef from SIV(mac239) and expression levels of cell surface CXCR4 were monitored by flow cytometry. Real-time proliferation and migration of cells was measured with the xCELLigence system or with the in vitro scratch assay. In vitro tube formation was deployed to assess the effect of Nef on angiogenesis.


Cell surface down-regulation of CXCR4 was observed in HeLa-(ACC) cells after Nef transfection, as well as in the monkey kidney-derived COS-7 cell line after co-transfection of CXCR4 and Nef. Proliferation, as well as migration, of Nef-transfected HeLa-(ACC) cells appeared to be significantly reduced. In vitro tube formation was markedly lowered after Nef transfection, and CXCR4 knockdown with siRNA.


SIV-Nef could serve as an interesting tool to study the biological behavior of CXCR4-expressing tumor cells and could be helpful in the discovery of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of CXCR4-positive tumors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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