Experimental and therapeutic medicine

CXCR7 functions in colon cancer cell survival and migration.

PMID 26640542


C-X-C chemokine receptor 7 (CXCR7) is a known promoter of tumor progression and metastasis; however, little is known about its role in colon cancer. The aim of the present study was to investigate the function of CXCR7 in human colon cancer cells. CXCR7 mRNA levels were examined in HT-29 and SW-480 human colon cancer cell lines using a quantitative polymerase chain reaction. CXCR7-knockdown was performed with small interfering RNA and lentiviral-mediated gene delivery. Immunofluorescence (IF) was conducted to examine CXCR7 expression and localization in colon cancer cells. Cell survival and migration were evaluated using MTT and migration assays, respectively. HT-29 cells expressed higher levels of CXCR7 mRNA and were therefore used in subsequent experiments. IF staining revealed that the CXCR7 protein was expressed on the cell membrane, and its expression decreased following CXCR7-short hairpin RNA lentiviral transfection. Lentiviral CXCR7-knockdown resulted in decreased cell survival and migration; however, MTT assays revealed that the lentiviral vector itself was cytotoxic. This cytotoxicity was indicated as the cell survival of the negative control group cells was significantly decreased compared with that of the blank control group cells (P<0.05). In conclusion, it is becoming increasingly evident that CXCR7 plays a role in colon cancer promotion, suggesting that CXCR7 is a promising biomarker for chemokine receptor-based drug development. Furthermore, the fact that CXCR7 is expressed on the membrane and not intracellularly makes it a prime target for drug-based intervention.