L. braziliensis causes cutaneous (CL) and mucosal (ML) leishmaniasis. Wound healing neutrophil (PMN) and macrophage responses made following the bite of the vector sand fly contribute to disease progression in mice. To look at the interplay between PMN and macrophages in disease progression in humans we asked whether polymorphisms at genes that regulate their infiltration or function are associated with different clinical phenotypes. Specifically, CXCR1 (IL8RA) and CXCR2 (IL8RB) are receptors for chemokines that attract PMN to inflammatory sites. They lie 30-260 kb upstream of SLC11A1, a gene known primarily for its role in regulating macrophage activation, resistance to leishmaniasis, and wound healing responses in mice, but also known to be expressed in PMN, macrophages and dendritic cells.
Polymorphic variants at CXCR1, CXCR2 and SLC11A1 were analysed using Taqman or ABI fragment separation technologies in cases (60 CL; 60 ML), unrelated controls (n = 120), and multicase families (104 nuclear families; 88 ML, 250 CL cases) from Brazil. Logistic regression analysis, family-based association testing (FBAT) and haplotype analysis (TRANSMIT) were performed.
Case-control analysis showed association between the common C allele (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.23-4.57; P = 0.009) of CXCR1_rs2854386 and CL, supported by family-based (FBAT; Z score 2.002; P = 0.045) analysis (104 nuclear families; 88 ML, 250 CL cases). ML associated with the rarer G allele (Z score 1.999; P = 0.046). CL associated with a 3' insertion/deletion polymorphism at SLC11A1 (Z score 2.549; P = 0.011).
The study supports roles for CXCR1 and SLC11A1 in the outcome of L. braziliensis infection in humans. Slc11a1 does not influence cutaneous lesion development following needle injection of Leishmania in mice, suggesting that its role here might relate to the action of PMN, macrophage and/or dendritic cells in the wound healing response to the sand fly bite. Together with the CXCR1 association, the data are consistent with hypotheses relating to the possible role of PMN in initiation of a lesion following the delivery of parasites via the sand fly bite. Association of ML with the rare derived G allele suggests that PMN also have an important positive role to play in preventing this form of the disease.
The chemokine receptor 1 CXCR-1 (or IL8R-alpha) is a specific receptor for the interleukin 8 (IL-8), which is chemoattractant for neutrophils and has an important role in the inflammatory response. The polymorphism rs2234671 at position Ex2+860G > C of the CXCR1 gene causes a conservative amino acid substitution (S276T). This single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) seemed to be functional as it was associated with decreased lung cancer risk. Previous studies of our group found association of haplotypes in the IL8 and in the CXCR2 genes with the multifactorial disease chronic periodontitis. In this study we investigated the polymorphism rs2234671 in 395 Brazilian subjects with and without chronic periodontitis.
Similar distribution of the allelic and genotypic frequencies were observed between the groups (p > 0.05).
The polymorphism rs2234671 in the CXCR1 gene was not associated with the susceptibility to chronic periodontitis in the studied Brazilian population.
CXCR1; chemokine; cytokine; genetic polymorphism; periodontal disease
CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) is activated by phosphorylation and is essential for migration of hematopoietic precursors to bone marrow. CXCR4 overexpression predicts unfavorable prognosis in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Nucleophosmin (NPM1) mutation is the most frequent genetic abnormality in AML patients and predicts a favorable prognosis. In vitro studies have suggested that mutant NPM decreases CXCR4-mediated chemotaxis by downregulating CXCR4, thereby linking the NPM and CXCR4 pathways.
PATIENTS AND METHODS
In a group of 117 untreated adults with AML we used immunohistochemistry to assess bone marrow specimens for CXCR4 and phosphorylated (p) CXCR4 (pCXCR4) expression. All cases were also analyzed for NPM1 mutations using PCR-based methods.
CXCR4 expression was detected in 75 (64%) and pCXCR4 expression was detected in 31 (26%) patients. NPM1 mutations were detected in 63 (54%) patients. NPM1 mutations did not correlate with CXCR4 (p = 0.212) or pCXCR4 (p = 0.355) expression. The median 5-year overall survival was 27% (95% CI: 19-36%), with a median follow-up of 8 months (95%CI: 6-15). In a multivariate Cox proportional hazards model, reduced overall and progression-free survival rates were associated with a history of antecedent hematological disorder, failure to achieve complete remission, thrombocytopenia, unfavorable cytogenetics, CXCR4 expression, and wild type NPM1. pCXCR4 expression was independently associated with shorter progression-free survival.
There is no correlation between NPM1 mutations and CXCR4 or phosphorylated CXCR4 expression suggesting that the CXCR4 and NPM pathways act independently in adult AML.
Acute myeloid leukemia; AML; CXCR4; CXCR4 phosphorylation; CXCR4 activation; NPM1; prognosis
The migration of neutrophils through infected tissues is mediated by the CXC chemokines and its receptors (CXCR1 and CXCR2). It has been proposed that a CXCR1 deficiency could confer susceptibility to acute pyelonephritis in children. The objective of the study is to assess the surface expression of CXCR1 and CXCR2 and the existence of polymorphisms in the CXCR1 gene in premenopausal women with recurrent urinary tract infections. The study included 20 premenopausal women with recurrent urinary infections, with normal urinary tracts, and without diseases potentially associated with relapsing urinary infections and 30 controls without previous urinary infections. The levels of CXCR1 and CXCR2 expression on neutrophils were measured and analyzed by flow cytometry by measuring the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) channel. The promoter and coding regions of the CXCR1 gene were analyzed for the presence of polymorphisms by a sequence-based typing method. Patients with recurrent urinary tract infections exhibited median levels of CXCR1 expression, determined from MFI values, similar to those of the controls. The analysis of CXCR2 showed that patients with recurrent urinary infections had lower median levels of expression, determined from the MFI values, than the controls (P = 0.002, Mann-Whitney U test). No polymorphisms were detected at the promoter or at the exon 1 region of the CXCR1 gene either in the patients or in the controls. Polymorphisms were detected at the exon 2 of CXCR1, but their frequencies did not differ between patients and controls. We have found a low level of CXCR2 expression in patients with recurrent urinary tract infections. These results suggest that a low level of CXCR2 expression may increase the susceptibilities of premenopausal women to urinary tract infections.
Interleukin-8 (IL-8/CXCL-8) is a prototype of the ELR+CXC chemokines that play an important role in the promotion and progression of many human cancers including breast cancer. We have recently showed the implication of polymorphism (-251) T/A of IL-8 gene in the susceptibility and prognosis of breast carcinoma. IL-8 acts through its CXCR1 and CXCR2 receptors. CXCR2, expressed on the endothelial cells, is the receptor involved in mediating the angiogenic effects of ELR+CXC chemokines and in particular IL-8.
In the current study, we investigated the susceptibility and prognostic implications of the genetic variation in CXCR2 in breast carcinoma. We also confirmed the implication of IL-8 (-251) T/A polymorphism in a larger cohort. Finally, we combined the IL-8 and CXCR2 variant alleles and analyzed their effects in breast cancer risk and prognosis.
We used the allele-specific polymerase chain reaction to characterize the variation of IL-8 and CXCR2 for 409 unrelated Tunisian patients with breast carcinoma and 301 healthy control subjects. To estimate the relative risks, Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated using unconditional logistic regression after adjusting for the known risk factors for breast cancer. Associations of the genetic marker with the rates of breast carcinoma-specific overall survival and disease-free survival were assessed using univariate and multivariate analyses.
A highly significant association was found between the homozygous CXCR2 (+ 1208) TT genotype (adjusted OR = 2.89; P = 0.008) and breast carcinoma. A significantly increased risk of breast carcinoma was associated with IL-8 (-251) A allele (adjusted OR = 1.86; P = 0.001). The presence of two higher risk genotypes (the TA and TT in IL-8, and the TT in CXCR2) significantly increased the risk of developing breast carcinoma (adjusted OR = 4.15; P = 0.0004).
The CXCR2 (+ 1208) T allele manifested a significant association with an aggressive phenotype of breast carcinoma as defined by a large tumor size, a high histological grade, and auxiliary's lymph node metastasis. A significant association between the IL-8 (-251) A allele and the aggressive form of breast carcinoma was also found.
Moreover, the presence of the IL-8 (-251) A and/or the CXCR2 (+ 1208) T allele showed a significant association with a decreased overall survival and disease-free survival in breast carcinoma patients.
Our results indicated that the polymorphisms in IL-8 and CXCR2 genes are associated with increased breast cancer risk, as well as disease progress, supporting our hypothesis for IL-8 and ELR+CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR2) involvement in breast cancer pathogenesis.
Chemokine stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1α and its receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) have been shown to impact cancer progression. Accumulating evidence suggests that CXCR4 and SDF-1α expression is useful for evaluating the risk of gastric cancer progression. Thus, combined analysis of SDF-1α and CXCR4 should have high prognostic potential as a molecular marker for gastric cancer. We investigated the expression of SDF-1α and CXCR4 using immunohistochemistry in relation to prognosis, clinicopathological features and clinical outcomes in 221 cases of primary gastric cancer. Patients were categorized into three groups according to CXCR4 and SDF-1α expression: high CXCR4/high SDF-1α, low CXCR4/low SDF-1α, and high CXCR4/low SDF-1α – low CXCR4/high SDF-1α. No significant differences were noted in age, gender, histology, tumor location, lymphovascular invasion or proportion of tumor size >5 cm among the three groups. However, high CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression in tumor cells was significantly associated with depth of invasion of the tumor, lymph node involvement, and higher tumor stage compared to tumors with low CXCR4/low SDF-1α expression or high CXCR4/low SDF-1α – low CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression. Furthermore, patients with high CXCR4/high SDF-1α expression had the worst patient prognosis, whereas patients who had low CXCR4/low SDF-1α expression showed the most favorable prognosis. In conclusion, CXCR4 and SDF-1α are useful prognostic factors in gastric cancer, and the combination of high CXCR4 protein expression with high SDF-1α expression suggests a dismal prognosis.
stromal cell-derived factor-1α; CXC chemokine receptor 4; gastric cancer; prognosis
During the first two decades of the U.S. AIDS epidemic, and unlike some malignancies, breast cancer risk was significantly lower for women with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection compared to the general population. This deficit in HIV-associated breast cancer could not be attributed to differences in survival, immune deficiency, childbearing or other breast cancer risk factors. HIV infects mononuclear immune cells by binding to the CD4 molecule and to CCR5 or CXCR4 chemokine coreceptors. Neoplastic breast cells commonly express CXCR4 but not CCR5. In vitro, binding HIV envelope protein to CXCR4 has been shown to induce apoptosis of neoplastic breast cells. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that breast cancer risk would be lower among women with CXCR4-tropic HIV infection.
Methods and Findings
We conducted a breast cancer nested case-control study among women who participated in the WIHS and HERS HIV cohort studies with longitudinally collected risk factor data and plasma. Cases were HIV-infected women (mean age 46 years) who had stored plasma collected within 24 months of breast cancer diagnosis and an HIV viral load ≥500 copies/mL. Three HIV-infected control women, without breast cancer, were matched to each case based on age and plasma collection date. CXCR4-tropism was determined by a phenotypic tropism assay. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for breast cancer were estimated by exact conditional logistic regression. Two (9%) of 23 breast cancer cases had CXCR4-tropic HIV, compared to 19 (28%) of 69 matched controls. Breast cancer risk was significantly and independently reduced with CXCR4 tropism (adjusted odds ratio, 0.10, 95% CI 0.002–0.84) and with menopause (adjusted odds ratio, 0.08, 95% CI 0.001–0.83). Adjustment for CD4+ cell count, HIV viral load, and use of antiretroviral therapy did not attenuate the association between infection with CXCR4-tropic HIV and breast cancer.
Low breast cancer risk with HIV is specifically linked to CXCR4-using variants of HIV. These variants are thought to exclusively bind to and signal through a receptor that is commonly expressed on hyperplastic and neoplastic breast duct cells. Additional studies are needed to confirm these observations and to understand how CXCR4 might reduce breast cancer risk.
Chromosome 6q26–27 is linked to susceptibility to visceral leishmaniasis (VL) in Brazil and Sudan. DLL1 encoding the Delta-like 1 ligand for Notch 3 was implicated as the etiological gene. DLL1 belongs to the family of Notch ligands known to selectively drive antigen-specific CD4 T helper 1 cell responses, which are important in protective immune response in leishmaniasis. Here we provide further genetic and functional evidence that supports a role for DLL1 in a well-powered population-based study centred in the largest global focus of VL in India. Twenty-one single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) at PHF10/C6orf70/DLL1/FAM120B/PSMB1/TBP were genotyped in 941 cases and 992 controls. Logistic regression analysis under an additive model showed association between VL and variants at DLL1 and FAM120B, with top associations (rs9460106, OR=1.17, 95%CI 1.01–1.35, P=0.033; rs2103816, OR=1.16, 95%CI 1.01–1.34, P=0.039) robust to analysis using caste as a covariate to take account of population substructure. Haplotype analysis taking population substructure into account identified a common 2-SNP risk haplotype (frequency 0.43; P=0.028) at FAM120B, while the most significant protective haplotype (frequency 0.18; P=0.007) was a 5-SNP haplotype across the interval 5’ of both DLL1 (negative strand) and FAM120B (positive strand) and extending to intron 4 of DLL1. Quantitative RT/PCR was used to compare expression of 6q27 genes in paired pre- and post-treatment splenic aspirates from VL patients (N=19). DLL1 was the only gene to show differential expression that was higher (P<0.0001) in pre- compared to post-treatment samples, suggesting that regulation of gene expression was important in disease pathogenesis. This well-powered genetic and functional study in an Indian population provides evidence supporting DLL1 as the etiological gene contributing to susceptibility to VL at Chromosome 6q27, confirming the potential for polymorphism at DLL1 to act as a genetic risk factor across the epidemiological divides of geography and parasite species.
visceral leishmaniasis; DLL1; genetic association; Notch signalling
Genetic predisposition plays a major role in the etiology of melanoma, but known genetic markers only account for a limited fraction of family history-associated melanoma cases. Expression microarrays have offered the opportunity to identify further genomic profiles correlated with family history of melanoma. We aimed to distinguish mRNA expression signatures between melanoma cases with and without a family history of melanoma.
Based on the Nurses’ Health Study, family history was defined as having one or more first-degree family members diagnosed with melanoma. Melanoma diagnosis was confirmed by reviewing pathology reports and tumor blocks were collected by mail from across the United States. Genomic interrogation was accomplished through evaluating expression profiling of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissues from 78 primary cutaneous invasive melanoma cases, on either a 6K or whole-genome (24K) Illumina gene chip. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis was performed for each batch to determine the differentially enriched pathways and key contributing genes.
The CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) pathway was consistently up-regulated within cases of familial melanoma in both platforms. Leading edge analysis showed four genes from the CXCR4 pathway, including MAPK1, PLCG1, CRK, and PTK2, were among the core members that contributed to the enrichment of this pathway. There was no association between the enrichment of CXCR4 pathway and NRAS, BRAF mutation, or Breslow thickness of the primary melanoma cases.
We found that the CXCR4 pathway might constitute a novel susceptibility pathway associated with family history of melanoma in first-degree relatives.
melanoma; genetic pathway analysis; genome-wide expression profiling
The functional role of ELR-positive CXC chemokines in host defense during acute viral-induced encephalomyelitis was determined. Inoculation of the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) into the central nervous system (CNS) of mice resulted in the rapid mobilization of PMNs expressing the chemokine receptor CXCR2 into the blood. Migration of PMNs to the CNS coincided with increased expression of transcripts specific for the CXCR2 ELR-positive chemokine ligands CXCL1, CXCL2, and CXCL5 within the brain. Treatment of JHMV-infected mice with anti-CXCR2 blocking antibody reduced PMN trafficking into the CNS by >95%, dampened MMP-9 activity, and abrogated blood-brain-barrier (BBB) breakdown. Correspondingly, CXCR2 neutralization resulted in diminished infiltration of virus-specific T cells, an inability to control viral replication within the brain, and 100% mortality. Blocking CXCR2 signaling did not impair the generation of virus-specific T cells, indicating that CXCR2 is not required to tailor anti-JHMV T cell responses. Evaluation of mice in which CXCR2 is genetically silenced (CXCR2−/− mice) confirmed that PMNs neither expressed CXCR2 nor migrated in response to ligands CXCL1, CXCL2, or CXCL5 in an in vitro chemotaxis assay. Moreover, JHMV infection of CXCR2−/− mice resulted in an approximate 60% reduction of PMN migration into the CNS, yet these mice survived infection and controlled viral replication within the brain. Treatment of JHMV-infected CXCR2−/− mice with anti-CXCR2 antibody did not modulate PMN migration nor alter viral clearance or mortality, indicating the existence of compensatory mechanisms that facilitate sufficient migration of PMNs into the CNS in the absence of CXCR2. Collectively, these findings highlight a previously unappreciated role for ELR-positive chemokines in enhancing host defense during acute viral infections of the CNS.
Consequences of viral infection of the central nervous system (CNS) can range from encephalitis and paralytic poliomyelitis to relatively benign infections with limited clinical outcomes. The localized expression of proinflammatory chemokines within the CNS in response to viral infection has been shown to be important in host defense by attracting antigen-specific lymphocytes from the microvasculature into the parenchyma that control and eventually eliminate the replicating pathogen. However, the relationship between chemokine expression and recruitment of myeloid cells, e.g. neutrophils, to the CNS following infection with a neurotropic virus is not well characterized. Emerging evidence has indicated that the mobilization of neutrophils into the blood and recruitment to the CNS following microbial infection or injury contributes to permeabilization of the blood-brain-barrier that subsequently allows entry of inflammatory leukocytes. Therefore, we have defined the chemokines involved in promoting the directional migration of neutrophils to the CNS in response to viral infection. Using the neurotropic JHM strain of mouse hepatitis virus (JHMV) as a model of acute viral encephalomyelitis, we demonstrate a previously unappreciated role for members of the ELR-positive CXC chemokine family in host defense by attracting PMNs bearing the receptor CXCR2 to the CNS in response to viral infection.
There is substantial germline genetic variability within angiogenesis pathway genes, thereby causing inter-individual differences in angiogenic capacity and resistance to anti-angiogenesis therapy. We investigated germline polymorphisms in genes involved in VEGF-dependent and –independent angiogenesis pathways to predict clinical outcome and tumor response in metastatic colorectal cancer patients (mCRC) treated with bevacizumab (BV) and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.
A total of 132 patients treated with first-line BV and FOLFOX or XELOX were included in this study. Genomic DNA was isolated from whole blood samples by PCR-RFLP or direct DNA-sequencing. The endpoints of the study were progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS) and response rate (RR).
The minor alleles of EGF rs444903 A>G and IGF-1 rs6220 A>G were associated with increased OS and remained significant in multivariate COX regression analysis (HR 0.52; 95%CI 0.31–0.87; adjusted-P=0.012 and HR 0.60; 95%CI 0.36–0.99; adjusted-P=0.046, respectively). The minor allele of HIF1α rs11549465 C>T was significantly associated with increased PFS, but lost its significance in multivariate analysis. CXCR1 rs2234671 G>C, CXCR2 rs2230054 T>C, EGFR rs2227983 G>A and VEGFR-2 rs2305948 C>T predicted tumor response, with CXCR1 rs2234671 G>C remaining significant in multiple testing (Pact=0.003).
In this study we identified common germline variants in VEGF-dependent and – independent angiogenesis genes predicting clinical outcome and tumor response in patients with mCRC receiving first-line BV and oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy.
bevacizumab; oxaliplatin; colorectal cancer; angiogenesis; polymorphisms
Although several studies suggest that genetic factors are associated with human UTI susceptibility, the role of DNA variation in regulating early in vivo urine inflammatory responses has not been fully examined. We examined whether candidate gene polymorphisms were associated with altered urine inflammatory profiles in asymptomatic women with or without bacteriuria.
We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) in 1,261 asymptomatic women ages 18-49 years originally enrolled as participants in a population-based case-control study of recurrent UTI and pyelonephritis. We genotyped polymorphisms in CXCR1, CXCR2, TLR1, TLR2, TLR4, TLR5, and TIRAP in women with and without ASB. We collected urine samples and measured levels of uropathogenic bacteria, neutrophils, and chemokines.
Polymorphism TLR2_G2258A, a variant associated with decreased lipopeptide-induced signaling, was associated with increased ASB risk (odds ratio 3.44, 95%CI; 1.65–7.17). Three CXCR1 polymorphisms were associated with ASB caused by gram-positive organisms. ASB was associated with urinary CXCL-8 levels, but not CXCL-5, CXCL-6, or sICAM-1 (P≤0.0001). Urinary levels of CXCL-8 and CXCL-6, but not ICAM-1, were associated with higher neutrophil levels (P≤0.0001). In addition, polymorphism CXCR1_G827C was associated with increased CXCL-8 levels in women with ASB (P = 0.004).
TLR2 and CXCR1 polymorphisms were associated with ASB and a CXCR1 variant was associated with urine CXCL-8 levels. These results suggest that genetic factors are associated with early in vivo human bladder immune responses prior to the development of symptomatic UTIs.
The chemokine receptor CXCR2 plays a pivotal role in migration of neutrophils, macrophages and endothelial cells, modulating several biological responses such as angiogenesis, wound healing and acute inflammation. CXCR2 is also involved in pathogenesis of chronic inflammation, sepsis and atherosclerosis. The ability of CXCR2 to associate with a variety of proteins dynamically is responsible for its effects on directed cell migration or chemotaxis. The dynamic network of such CXCR2 binding proteins is termed as “CXCR2 chemosynapse”. Proteomic analysis of proteins that co-immunoprecipitated with CXCR2 in neutrophil-like dHL-60 cells revealed a novel protein, LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP-1), binds CXCR2 under both basal and ligand activated conditions. LASP-1 is an actin binding cytoskeletal protein, involved in the cell migration.
We demonstrate that CXCR2 and LASP-1 co-immunoprecipitate and co-localize at the leading edge of migrating cells. The LIM domain of LASP-1 directly binds to the carboxy-terminal domain (CTD) of CXCR2. Moreover, LASP-1 also directly binds the CTD of CXCR1, CXCR3 and CXCR4. Using a site-directed and deletion mutagenesis approach, Iso323-Leu324 of the conserved LKIL motif on CXCR2-CTD was identified as the binding site for LASP-1. Interruption of the interaction between CXCR2-CTD and LIM domain of LASP-1 by dominant negative and knock down approaches inhibited CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis. Analysis for the mechanism for inhibition of CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis indicated that LASP-1/CXCR2 interaction is essential for cell motility and focal adhesion turnover involving activation of Src, paxillin, PAK1, p130CAS and ERK1/2.
We demonstrate here for the first time that LASP-1 is a key component of the “CXCR2 chemosynapse” and LASP-1 interaction with CXCR2 is critical for CXCR2-mediated chemotaxis. Furthermore, LASP-1 also directly binds the CTD of CXCR1, CXCR3 and CXCR4, suggesting that LASP-1 is a general mediator of CXC chemokine mediated chemotaxis. Thus, LASP-1 may serve as a new link coordinating the flow of information between chemokine receptors and nascent focal adhesions, especially at the leading edge. Thus the association between the chemokine receptors and LASP-1 suggests to the presence of a CXC chemokine receptor-LASP-1 pro-migratory module in cells governing the cell migration.
Chemokine CXCL12 is proposed to promote multiple steps in growth of primary tumors and progression to metastatic disease in more than 20 different cancers. Functions of CXCL12 previously were believed to be controlled only by receptor CXCR4, but CXCR7 was recently identified as a second receptor for this chemokine. CXCR7 increases tumor formation and metastasis in mouse models, suggesting that this receptor may also be a key target for blocking effects of CXCL12 in cancer. To image activation of CXCR7 in intact cells and living mice, we tested the hypothesis that binding of chemokine ligands to CXCR7 recruits β-arrestins, a family of cytosolic adapter proteins that interact with many activated chemokine and related seven-transmembrane receptors. Using firefly luciferase protein fragment complementation, we established that chemokine ligands CXCL12 and CXCL11 significantly increase association of CXCR7 and β-arrestins with preferential interaction of the receptor with β-arrestin 2. The magnitude of interactions between CXCR7 and β-arrestin 2 increased over time after treatment with ligands, contrasting with transient association of β-arrestin 2 and CXCR4. β-Arrestin 2 increased uptake of CXCL12 in cells expressing CXCR7, emphasizing the functional relevance of the interaction between CXCR7 and β-arrestin 2. In an orthotopic xenograft model of human breast cancer, we used bioluminescence imaging to quantify changes in the association of CXCR7 and β-arrestin 2. These studies demonstrate ligand-dependent interactions of CXCR7 with β-arrestin 2 that promote accumulation of chemokines and establish an imaging assay for the dynamic regulation of CXCR7 by chemokines and candidate therapeutic agents in cell-based assays and living mice.
The emergence of CXCR4-using human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants is associated with accelerated disease progression. CXCR4-using variants are believed to evolve from CCR5-using variants, but due to the extremely low frequency at which transitional intermediate variants are often present, the kinetics and mutational pathways involved in this process have been difficult to study and are therefore poorly understood. Here, we used ultra-deep sequencing of the V3 loop of the viral envelope in combination with the V3-based coreceptor prediction tools PSSMNSI/SI and geno2pheno[coreceptor] to detect HIV-1 variants during the transition from CCR5- to CXCR4-usage. We analyzed PBMC and serum samples obtained from eight HIV-1-infected individuals at three-month intervals up to one year prior to the first phenotypic detection of CXCR4-using variants in the MT-2 assay. Between 3,482 and 10,521 reads were generated from each sample. In all individuals, V3 sequences of predicted CXCR4-using HIV-1 were detected at least three months prior to phenotypic detection of CXCR4-using variants in the MT-2 assay. Subsequent analysis of the genetic relationships of these V3 sequences using minimum spanning trees revealed that the transition in coreceptor usage followed a stepwise mutational pathway involving sequential intermediate variants, which were generally present at relatively low frequencies compared to the major predicted CCR5- and CXCR4-using variants. In addition, we observed differences between individuals with respect to the number of predicted CXCR4-using variants, the diversity among major predicted CCR5-using variants, and the presence or absence of intermediate variants with discordant phenotype predictions. These results provide the first detailed description of the mutational pathways in V3 during the transition from CCR5- to CXCR4-usage in natural HIV-1 infection.
The first step in the infection of a target cell by human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is binding of the envelope spike to its receptor CD4 and a coreceptor on the cellular surface. HIV-1 variants present early in the course of infection mainly use the coreceptor CCR5, while virus variants that use CXCR4 can appear later in infection. This change in coreceptor usage is associated with mutations in the third variable (V3) loop of the envelope spike, but has been difficult to study due to the low presence of intermediate variants. Using ultra-deep sequencing, we obtained thousands of sequences of the V3 loop from HIV-1 infected individuals in the year before CXCR4-using variants were first detected, including sequences from almost all intermediate variants. We show that mutations are introduced sequentially in the V3 loop during the evolution from CCR5- to CXCR4-usage. Furthermore, we describe differences and similarities between HIV-1-infected individuals that are related to this change in coreceptor usage, which provides the first detailed overview of this evolutionary process during natural HIV-1 infection.
WHIM is an acronym for a rare immunodeficiency syndrome (OMIM #193670) caused by autosomal dominant mutations truncating the C-terminus of the chemokine receptor CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). WHIM mutations may potentiate CXCR4 signalling, suggesting that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved CXCR4 antagonist AnorMED3100 (AMD3100) (also known as Plerixafor) may be beneficial in WHIM syndrome. We have tested this at the preclinical level by comparing Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) and K562 cell lines matched for expression of recombinant wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4WT) and the most common WHIM variant of CXCR4 (CXCR4R334X), as well as leucocytes from a WHIM patient with the CXCR4R334X mutation versus healthy controls. We found that CXCR4R334X mediated modestly increased signalling (∼2-fold) in all functional assays tested, but strongly resisted ligand-dependent down-regulation. AMD3100 was equipotent and equieffective as an antagonist at CXCR4R334X and CXCR4WT. Together, our data provide further evidence that CXCR4R334X is a gain-of-function mutation, and support clinical evaluation of AMD3100 as mechanism-based treatment in patients with WHIM syndrome.
Plerixafor; immunodeficiency; neutropenia; human; genetics; warts; hypogammaglobulinemia; human papillomavirus
The CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) contributes to the metastasis of human breast cancer cells. The CXCR4 COOH-terminal domain (CTD) seems to play a major role in regulating receptor desensitization and down-regulation. We expressed either wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4-WT) or CTD-truncated CXCR4 (CXCR4-ΔCTD) in MCF-7 human mammary carcinoma cells to determine whether the CTD is involved in CXCR4-modulated proliferation of mammary carcinoma cells. CXCR4-WT-transduced MCF-7 cells (MCF-7/CXCR4-WT cells) do not differ from vector-transduced MCF-7 control cells in morphology or growth rate. However, CXCR4-ΔCTD-transduced MCF-7 cells (MCF-7/CXCR4-ΔCTD cells) exhibit a higher growth rate and altered morphology, potentially indicating an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Furthermore, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation and cell motility are increased in these cells. Ligand induces receptor association with β-arrestin for both CXCR4-WT and CXCR4-ΔCTD in these MCF-7 cells. Overexpressed CXCR4-WT localizes predominantly to the cell surface in unstimulated cells, whereas a significant portion of overexpressed CXCR4-ΔCTD resides intracellularly in recycling endosomes. Analysis with human oligomicroarray, Western blot, and immunohistochemistry showed that E-cadherin and Zonula occludens are down-regulated in MCF-7/CXCR4-ΔCTD cells. The array analysis also indicates that mesenchymal marker proteins and certain growth factor receptors are up-regulated in MCF-7/CXCR4-ΔCTD cells. These observations suggest that (a) the overexpression of CXCR4-ΔCTD leads to a gain-of-function of CXCR4-mediated signaling and (b) the CTD of CXCR4-WT may perform a feedback repressor function in this signaling pathway. These data will contribute to our understanding of how CXCR4-ΔCTD may promote progression of breast tumors to metastatic lesions.
The CXCL12/CXCR4 axis is involved in kidney development by regulating formation of the glomerular tuft. Recently, a second CXCL12 receptor was identified and designated CXCR7. Although it is established that CXCR7 regulates heart and brain development in conjunction with CXCL12 and CXCR4, little is known about the influence of CXCR7 on CXCL12 dependent kidney development.
We provided analysis of CXCR7 expression and function in the developing mouse kidney. Using in situ hybridization, we identified CXCR7 mRNA in epithelial cells including podocytes at all nephron stages up to the mature glomerulus. CXCL12 mRNA showed a striking overlap with CXCR7 mRNA in epithelial structures. In addition, CXCL12 was detected in stromal cells and the glomerular tuft. Expression of CXCR4 was complementary to that of CXCR7 as it occurred in mesenchymal cells, outgrowing ureteric buds and glomerular endothelial cells but not in podocytes. Kidney examination in CXCR7 null mice revealed ballooning of glomerular capillaries as described earlier for CXCR4 null mice. Moreover, we detected a severe reduction of CXCR4 protein but not CXCR4 mRNA within the glomerular tuft and in the condensed mesenchyme. Malformation of the glomerular tuft in CXCR7 null mice was associated with mesangial cell clumping.
We established that there is a similar glomerular pathology in CXCR7 and CXCR4 null embryos. Based on the phenotype and the anatomical organization of the CXCL12/CXCR4/CXCR7 system in the forming glomerulus, we propose that CXCR7 fine-tunes CXCL12/CXCR4 mediated signalling between podocytes and glomerular capillaries.
Cutaneous leishmaniasis, caused mainly by Leishmania major, an obligate intracellular parasite, is a disfiguring disease characterized by large skin lesions and is transmitted by a sand fly vector. We previously showed that the chemokine receptor CXCR3 plays a critical role in mediating resistance to cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania major. Furthermore, T cells from L. major-susceptible BALB/c but not L. major-resistant C57BL/6 mice fail to efficiently upregulate CXCR3 upon activation. We therefore examined whether transgenic expression of CXCR3 on T cells would enhance resistance to L. major infection in susceptible BALB/c mice. We generated BALB/c and C57BL/6 transgenic mice, which constitutively overexpressed CXCR3 under a CD2 promoter, and then examined the outcomes with L. major infection. Contrary to our hypothesis, transgenic expression of CXCR3 (CXCR3Tg) on T cells of BALB/c mice resulted in increased lesion sizes and parasite burdens compared to wild-type (WT) littermates after L. major infection. Restimulated lymph node cells from L. major-infected BALB/c-CXCR3Tg mice produced more interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10 and less gamma interferon (IFN-γ). Cells in draining lymph nodes from BALB/c-CXCR3Tg mice showed enhanced Th2 and reduced Th1 cell accumulation associated with increased neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes. However, monocytes displayed an immature phenotype which correlated with increased parasite burdens. Interestingly, transgenic expression of CXCR3 on T cells did not impact the outcome of L. major infection in C57BL/6 mice, which mounted a predominantly Th1 response and spontaneously resolved their infection similar to WT littermates. Our findings demonstrate that transgenic expression of CXCR3 on T cells increases susceptibility of BALB/c mice to L. major.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) induces a disease state in the domestic cat that is similar to AIDS in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals. As with HIV, FIV can be divided into primary and cell culture-adapted isolates. Adaptation of FIV to replicate and form syncytia in the Crandell feline kidney (CrFK) cell line is accompanied by an increase in the net charge of the V3 loop of the envelope glycoprotein, mirroring the changes observed in the V3 loop of HIV gp120 with the switch from a non-syncytium-inducing phenotype to a syncytium-inducing phenotype. These data suggest a common mechanism of infection with FIV and HIV. In this study, we demonstrate that cell culture-adapted strains of FIV are able to use the alpha-chemokine receptor CXCR4 for cell fusion. Following ectopic expression of human CXCR4 on nonpermissive human cells, the cells are able to fuse with FIV-infected feline cells. Moreover, fusion between FIV-infected feline cells and CXCR4-transfected human cells is inhibited by both anti-CXCR4 and anti-FIV antibodies. cDNAs encoding the feline CXCR4 homolog were cloned from both T-lymphoblastoid and kidney cell lines. Feline CXCR4 displayed 94.9% amino acid sequence identity with human CXCR4 and was found to be expressed widely on cell lines susceptible to infection with cell culture-adapted strains FIV. Ectopic expression of feline CXCR4 on human cells rendered the cells susceptible to FIV-dependent fusion. Moreover, feline CXCR4 was found to be as efficient as human CXCR4 in supporting cell fusion between CD4-expressing murine fibroblast cells and either HIV type 1 (HIV-1) or HIV-2 Env-expressing human cells. Previous studies have demonstrated that feline cells expressing human CD4 are not susceptible to infection with HIV-1; therefore, further restrictions to HIV-1 Env-dependent fusion may exist in feline cells. As feline and human CXCR4 support both FIV- and HIV-dependent cell fusion, these results suggest a close evolutionary link between FIV and HIV and a common mechanism of infection involving an interaction between the virus and a member of the seven-transmembrane domain chemokine receptor family of molecules.
Type 2 CXC chemokine receptor CXCR2 plays roles in development, tumorigenesis and inflammation. CXCR2 also promotes demyelination and decreases remyelination by actions toward hematopoietic cells and non-hematopoietic cells. Germline CXCR2 deficient (Cxcr2−/−) mice reported in 1994 revealed the complexity of CXCR2 function and its differential expression in varied cell-types. Here, we describe Cxcr2fl/fl mice for which the targeting construct was generated by recombineering based on homologous recombination in E. coli. Without recombination Cxcr2fl/fl mice have CXCR2 expression on neutrophils in peripheral blood, bone marrow and spleen. Cxcr2fl/fl mice were crossed to Mx-Cre mice in which Cre recombinase is induced by type I interferons, elicited by injection with polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (poly(I:C)). CXCR2-deficient neutrophils were observed in poly(I:C) treated Cxcr2fl/fl::Mx-Cre+ (Cxcr2-CKO) mice, but not in poly(I:C) treated Cxcr2f//+::Mx-Cre+ mice. CXCR2 deletion was mainly observed peripherally but not in the CNS. Cxcr2-CKO mice showed impaired neutrophil migration in sterile peritonitis. Cxcr2-CKO mice reported here will provide a genetic reagent to dissect roles of CXCR2 in the neutrophil granulocyte lineage. Furthermore Cxcr2fl/fl mice will provide useful genetic models to evaluate CXCR2 function in varied cell populations.
CXCR2; chemokine; chemokine receptor; conditional KO mice; neutrophil
CXCL12/stromal cell-derived factor 1 is a member of the CXC family of chemokines that plays an important role in hematopoiesis and signals through CXCR4 and CXCR7. Two splice variants of human CXCL12 (CXCL12α and CXCL12β) induce chemotaxis of CXCR4+ cells and inhibit X4 infection. Recent studies described four other novel splice variants of human CXCL12; however, their antiviral activities were not investigated. We constructed and expressed all of the CXCL12 splice variants in Escherichia coli. Recombinant proteins were purified through a His affinity column, and their biological properties were analyzed. All six CXCL12 variants induced chemotaxis of CXCR4+ and CXCR7+ cell lines. Enhancement of survival and replating capacity of human hematopoietic progenitor cells were observed with CXCL12α, CXCL12β, and CXCL12ɛ but not with the other variants. CXCL12γ showed the greatest antiviral activity in X4 inhibition assays and the weakest chemotaxis activity through CXCR4. The order of potency in X4 inhibition assays was as follows: CXCL12γ > CXCL12β > CXCL12α > CXCL12θ > CXCL12ɛ > CXCL12δ. The order of anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity was associated with the number of BBXB motifs present in each variant; the most potent inhibitor was CXCL12γ, with five BBXB domains. The results suggest that the different C termini of CXCL12 variants may contain important molecular determinants for the observed differences in antiviral effects and other biological functions. These studies implicate CXCL12γ as a potent HIV-1 entry inhibitor with significantly reduced chemotaxis activity and small or absent effects on progenitor cell survival or replating capacity, providing important insight into the structure-function relationships of CXCL12.
The chemokine receptor CXCR4 plays important roles in the immune and
nervous systems. Abnormal expression of CXCR4 contributes to cancer and
inflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Although ligand-dependent CXCR4
ubiquitination is known to accelerate CXCR4 degradation, little is known about
counter mechanisms for receptor deubiquitination. CXCL12, a CXCR4 agonist,
induces a time-dependent association of USP14 with CXCR4, or its C terminus,
that is not mimicked by USP2A, USP4, or USP7, other members of the
deubiquitination catalytic family. Co-localization of CXCR4 and USP14 also is
time-dependent following CXCL12 stimulation. The physical interaction of CXCR4
and USP14 is paralleled by USP14-catalyzed deubiquitination of the receptor;
knockdown of endogenous USP14 by RNA interference (RNAi) blocks CXCR4
deubiquitination, whereas overexpression of USP14 promotes CXCR4
deubiquitination. We also observed that ubiquitination of CXCR4 facilitated
receptor degradation, whereas overexpression of USP14 or RNAi-induced
knockdown of USP14 blocked CXCL12-mediated CXCR4 degradation. Most
interestingly, CXCR4-mediated chemotactic cell migration was blocked by either
overexpression or RNAi-mediated knockdown of USP14, implying that a
CXCR4-ubiquitin cycle on the receptor, rather than a particular ubiquitinated
state of the receptor, is critical for the ligand gradient sensing and
directed motility required for chemokine-mediated chemotaxis. Our observation
that a mutant of CXCR4, HA-3K/R CXCR4, which cannot be ubiquitinated and does
not mediate a chemotactic response to CXCL12, indicates the importance of this
covalent modification not only in marking receptors for degradation but also
for permitting CXCR4-mediated signaling. Finally, the indistinguishable
activation of ERK by wild typeor 3K/R-CXCR4 suggests that chemotaxis in
response to CXCL12 may be independent of the ERK cascade.
The CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR)7 is involved in tumour development and metastases formation. The aim of the present study was to determine protein expression of CXCR7, its putative co-receptors epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and CXCR4, its predominant ligand CXCL12, their co-dependency and their association with survival in cervical cancer patients.
CXC chemokine receptor 7, EGFR, CXCR4 and CXCL12 expression were determined immunohistochemically in 103 paraffin-embedded, cervical cancers. Subsequently, associations with patient characteristics were assessed and survival analyses were performed.
CXC chemokine receptor 7 was expressed by 43% of tumour specimens, in a large majority of cases together with either EGFR or CXCR4 (double positive), or both (triple positive). The CXCR7 expression was associated with tumour size (P=0.013), lymph node metastasis (P=0.001) and EGFR expression (P=0.009). CXC chemokine receptor 7 was independently associated with disease-free survival (hazard ratio (HR)=4.3, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.7–11.0, P=0.002), and strongly associated with disease-specific survival (HR=3.9, 95% CI 1.5–10.2, P=0.005).
CXC chemokine receptor 7 expression predicts poor disease-free and disease-specific survival in cervical cancer patients, and might be a promising new therapeutic marker. In a large majority of cases, CXCR7 is co-expressed with CXCR4 and/or EGFR, supporting the hypothesis that these receptors assist in CXCR7 signal transduction.
cervical cancer; CXCL12; CXCR4; CXCR7; EGFR; survival
Approximately one-third of the AIDS cases in the United States have been attributed to the use of injected drugs, frequently involving the abuse of opioids. Consequently, it is critical to address whether opioid use directly contributes to altered susceptibility to HIV-1 beyond the increased risk of exposure. Previous in vitro and in vivo studies addressing the role of μ-opioid agonists in altering levels of the co-receptor CXCR4 and subsequent HIV-1 replication have yielded contrasting results. The bone marrow is believed to be a potential anatomical sanctuary for HIV-1.
The well-characterized CD34+CD38+ human bone marrow–derived hematopoietic progenitor cell line TF-1 was used as a model to investigate the effects of the μ-opioid receptor–specific peptide DAMGO (D-Ala2,N-Me-Phe4, Gly5-ol-enkephalin) on CXCR4 expression as well as infection of undifferentiated human hematopoietic progenitor cells.
The results revealed the presence of the μ-opioid receptor-1 isoform (MOR-1) on the surface of TF-1 cells. Furthermore, immunostaining revealed that the majority of TF-1 cells co-express MOR-1 and CXCR4, and a subpopulation of these double-positive cells express the two receptors in overlapping membrane domains. Three subpopulations of TF-1 cells were categorized based on their levels of surface CXCR4 expression, defined as non-, low-, and high-expressing. Flow cytometry indicated that treatment with DAMGO resulted in a shift in the relative proportion of CXCR4+ cells to the low-expressing phenotype. This result correlated with a >3-fold reduction in replication of the X4 HIV-1 strain IIIB, indicating a role for the CXCR4 high-expression subpopulation in sustaining infection within this progenitor cell line.
These experiments provide insight into the impact of μ-opioid exposure with respect to inhibition of viral replication in this human TF-1 bone marrow progenitor cell line model.
μ-opioid receptor (MOR-1); DAMGO; Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1); Bone marrow; CXCR4