CXCR4 is a major chemokine receptor on glioma cells and mediates their survival

Yan Zhou, Peter H. Larsen, Chunhai Hao, V. Wee Yong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

315 Scopus citations


Chemokines were described originally in the context of providing migrational cues for leukocytes. They are now known to have broader activities, including those that favor tumor growth. We addressed whether and which chemokines may be important promoters of the growth of the incurable brain neoplasm, malignant gliomas. Analyses of 16 human glioma lines for the expression of chemokine receptors belonging to the CXCR and CCR series revealed low to negligible levels of all receptors, with the exception of CXCR4 that was expressed by 13 of 16 lines. All six resected human glioma specimens showed similarly high CXCR4 expression. The CXCR4 on glioma lines is a signaling receptor in that its agonist, stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1; CXCL12), produced rapid phosphorylation of mitogen-activated protein kinases. Furthermore, SDF-1 induced the phosphorylation of Akt (protein kinase B), a kinase associated with survival, and prevented the apoptosis of glioma cells when serum was withdrawn from the culture medium. SDF-1 also mediated glioma chemotaxis, in accordance with this better known role of chemokines. We conclude that glioma cells express a predominant chemokine receptor, CXCR4, and that this functions to regulate survival in part through activating pathways such as Akt.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49481-49487
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 20 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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