Scientific reports

The IL-8/CXCR1 axis is associated with cancer stem cell-like properties and correlates with clinical prognosis in human pancreatic cancer cases.

PMID 25081383


CXCR1, a receptor for CXCL8/IL-8, has recently been demonstrated to be associated with cancer stem cell (CSC) populations in certain types of human cancers. However, the effect of CXCR1 on CSC and its prognostic value in human pancreatic cancer remain unknown. In this study, we evaluated the expression of CXCR1 in human pancreatic duct adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and found that positive CXCR1 expression correlated with lymph node metastasis (P = 0.017) and a poor survival rate (HR, 3.748; 95% CI, 1.822 to 7.712; P < 0.001) in patients with PDAC. In addition, we identified significant positive correlations between CXCR1 and CD44 (P = 0.002) and CD133 (P = 0.017). Further functional studies confirmed that IL-8 addition increased sphere formation, CSC populations, and cell invasion of pancreatic cancer cells and that these effects could be reversed by antagonizing CXCR1 with a CXCR1-specific antibody. Therefore, our study demonstrated that the IL-8/CXCR1 axis is associated with the CSC-like properties of pancratic cancer cells and prognosis in human pancreatic cancer. This suggested a way of targeting pancreatic CSCs by disrupting IL-8/CXCR1 axis.