CXCL12/CXCR4 Axis Upregulates Twist to Induce EMT in Human Glioblastoma

Chengjun Yao, Panpan Li, Huishu Song, Fuxi Song, Yalan Qu, Xiaochen Ma, Ranran Shi, Jinsong Wu
Molecular Neurobiology 2016, 53 (6): 3948-3953
In recent decades, the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12 have been extensively reported to be associated with tumorigenesis. In addition, Twist signaling induces the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process in glioblastoma development. In the present study, in vitro assays were used to investigate the role of CXCR4 and Twist in human glioblastoma. We explored the impact of CXCR4 and Twist on human glioblastoma using in vitro protein and gene assays. We found the administration of CXCL12 upregulated the expression of p-ERK, p-AKT, Twist, N-cadherin, and MMP9 in U87 cells, whereas the increase of E-cadherin protein was affected. Subsequently, Twist activity and EMT signaling were directly influenced by PD98059 and LY294002. Most importantly, the genetic silencing of Twist inhibited CXCL12-induced EMT occurrence, including proliferation, migration, and tumor formation of U87 cells. In conclusion, CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway activates ERK and PI3K/AKT signaling to upregulate Twist pathway, leading to the progression of EMT in human glioblastoma. Our study creates a new stage for molecule-targeted therapy of human glioblastoma.

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