Autocrine induction of invasive and metastatic phenotypes by the MIF-CXCR4 axis in drug-resistant human colon cancer cells

Dessein, A. F.; Stechly, L.; Jonckheere, N.; Dumont, P.; Monte, D.; Leteurtre, E.; Truant, S.; Pruvot, F. R.; Figeac, M.; Hebbar, M.; Lecellier, C. H.; Lesuffleur, T.; Dessein, R.; Grard, G.; Dejonghe, M. J.; de Launoit, Y.; Furuichi, Y.; Prevost, G.; Porchet, N.; Gespach, C.; Huet, G.

Cancer Res

2010-06-01 / vol 70 / pages 4644-54


Metastasis and drug resistance are major problems in cancer chemotherapy. The purpose of this work was to analyze the molecular mechanisms underlying the invasive potential of drug-resistant colon carcinoma cells. Cellular models included the parental HT-29 cell line and its drug-resistant derivatives selected after chronic treatment with either 5-fluorouracil, methotrexate, doxorubicin, or oxaliplatin. Drug-resistant invasive cells were compared with noninvasive cells using cDNA microarray, quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, flow cytometry, immunoblots, and ELISA. Functional and cellular signaling analyses were undertaken using pharmacologic inhibitors, function-blocking antibodies, and silencing by retrovirus-mediated RNA interference. 5-Fluorouracil- and methotrexate-resistant HT-29 cells expressing an invasive phenotype in collagen type I and a metastatic behavior in immunodeficient mice exhibited high expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR4. Macrophage migration-inhibitory factor (MIF) was identified as the critical autocrine CXCR4 ligand promoting invasion in drug-resistant colon carcinoma HT-29 cells. Silencing of CXCR4 and impairing the MIF-CXCR4 signaling pathways by ISO-1, pAb FL-115, AMD-3100, monoclonal antibody 12G5, and BIM-46187 abolished this aggressive phenotype. Induction of CXCR4 was associated with the upregulation of two genes encoding transcription factors previously shown to control CXCR4 expression (HIF-2alpha and ASCL2) and maintenance of intestinal stem cells (ASCL2). Enhanced CXCR4 expression was detected in liver metastases resected from patients with colon cancer treated by the standard FOLFOX regimen. Combination therapies targeting the CXCR4-MIF axis could potentially counteract the emergence of the invasive metastatic behavior in clonal derivatives of drug-resistant colon cancer cells.

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0008-5472.CAN-09-3828 [pii] 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3828

1538-7445 (Electronic) 0008-5472 (Linking)


Humans; Animals; Mice; Signal Transduction; Phenotype; Gene Expression Profiling; Gene Silencing; Neoplasm Metastasis; Up-Regulation; Neoplasm Invasiveness; Drug Resistance, Neoplasm; Colonic Neoplasms/*drug therapy/genetics/metabolism/*pathology; Doxorubicin/pharmacology; Fluorouracil/pharmacology; HT29 Cells; Intramolecular Oxidoreductases/*metabolism; Macrophage Migration-Inhibitory Factors/*metabolism; Methotrexate/pharmacology; Organoplatinum Compounds/pharmacology; Receptors, CXCR4/*biosynthesis/genetics/metabolism

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