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J Cell Mol Med. 2020 Jan;24(2):1588-1598. doi: 10.1111/jcmm.14848. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

IL-8 promotes cell migration through regulating EMT by activating the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in ovarian cancer.

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Deep Underground Space Medical Center, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
West China School of Basic Medical Sciences & Forensic Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
West China School of Stomatology Medicine, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Key Laboratory of Birth Defects and Related Diseases of Women and Children of MOE, West China Second University Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China.


Interleukin-8 (IL-8), as an inflammatory chemokine, has been previously shown to contribute to tumorigenesis in several malignancies including the ovarian cancer. However, little is known about how IL-8 promotes the metastasis and invasion of ovarian cancers cells. In this study, we found that IL-8 and its receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 were up-regulated in advanced ovarian serous cancer tissues. Furthermore, the level of IL-8 and its receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2 expression were associated with ovarian cancer stage, grade and lymph node metastasis. In vitro, IL-8 promoted ovarian cancer cell migration, initiated the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) program and activated Wnt/β-catenin signalling. However, when treated with Reparixin (inhibitor of both IL-8 receptors CXCR1 and CXCR2), effect of both endogenous and exogenous IL-8 was reversed. Together, our results indicated that IL-8 triggered ovarian cancer cells migration partly through Wnt/β-catenin pathway mediated EMT, and IL-8 may be an important molecule in the invasion and metastasis of ovarian cancer.


Wnt/β-catenin pathway; epithelial-mesenchymal transition; interleukin-8; migration; ovarian cancer

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