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Cell biology international

C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 4 promotes tumor angiogenesis in gastric cancer via activation of JAK2/STAT3.


PMID 28544312

Abstract

C-X-C motif chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) overexpression promotes gastric cancer growth and metastasis. In this study, we determined its role in regulating tumor angiogenesis. We overexpressed CXCR4 in gastric cancer cells and examined the effects of conditioned medium on endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation. The effects of CXCR4 overexpression on vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) activation were analyzed. In vivo xenograft studies were done to confirm the role of CXCR4 in tumor angiogenesis. Conditioned medium from CXCR4-overexpressing gastric cancer cells stimulated endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation. Such effects were blocked by addition of a neutralizing anti-VEGF antibody. CXCR4 induced VEGF production and JAK2/STAT3 activation and enhanced STAT3 binding to VEGF promoter in gastric cancer cells. Delivery of a dominant negative variant of STAT3 significantly impaired CXCR4-induced upregulation of VEGF. Overexpression of CXCR4 facilitated tumor growth and angiogenesis in SGC7901 xenograft tumors, which was associated with increased levels of phospho-STAT3. CXCR4 contributes to tumor angiogenesis in gastric cancer by inducing STAT3-dependent VEGF expression and represents a promising therapeutic target for this malignancy.