Cell migration towards CXCL12 in leukemic cells compared to breast cancer cells

Shirley C. Mills, Poh Hui Goh, Jossie Kudatsih, Sithembile Ncube, Renu Gurung, Will Maxwell, Anja Mueller

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Chemotaxis or directed cell migration is mediated by signalling events initiated by binding of chemokines to their cognate receptors and the activation of a complex signalling cascade. The molecular signalling pathways involved in cell migration are important to understand cancer cell metastasis. Therefore we investigated the molecular mechanisms of CXCL12 induced cell migration and the importance of different signalling cascades that become activated by CXCR4 in leukemic cells versus breast cancer cells. We identified Src kinase as being essential for cell migration in both cancer types, with strong involvement of the Raf/MEK/ERK1/2 pathway. We did not detect any involvement of Ras or JAK2/STAT3 in CXCL12 induced migration in Jurkat cells. Preventing PKC activation with inhibitors does not affect migration in Jurkat cells at all, unlike in the adherent breast cancer cell line MCF-7 cells. However in both cell lines, knock down of PKCα prevents migration towards CXCL12, whereas the expression of PKCζ is less crucial for migration. PI3K activation is essential in both cell types, however LY294002 usage in MCF-7 cells does not block migration significantly. These results highlight the importance of verifying specific signalling pathways in different cell settings and with different approaches.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-324
JournalCellular Signalling
Issue number4
Early online date21 Jan 2016
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • chemokine receptor
  • chemotaxis
  • protein kinase
  • Src

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