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A Chemokine Signal for Metastasis

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Science  16 Mar 2001:
Vol. 291, Issue 5511, pp. 2051
DOI: 10.1126/science.291.5511.2051c

Chemokines are peptide ligands known for their ability to direct the movement of cells of the immune system. Müller et al. show that breast cancer cells express more chemokine receptor CXCR4 than normal breast epithelial tissue. Neutralizing antibodies against the receptor CXCR4 or its chemokine ligand CXCL12 inhibited the stimulation of migratory behavior of breast cancer cells by purified CXCL12 or by protein extracts from tissues that are known breast cancer secondary sites. Furthermore, in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer, treatment of the animals with antibodies against CXCR4 decreased metastasis to the lung and the lymph nodes, two tissues with high levels of CXCL12. These data suggest that the choice of metastatic sites for breast cancer cells is mediated in part by the interaction of tissue-derived CXCL12 and tumor-expressed CXCR4. — NG

Nature410, 50 (2001).

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