Crosstalk between chemokine receptor CXCR4 and cannabinoid receptor CB2 in modulating breast cancer growth and invasion.

PloS One
Mohd W NasserRamesh K Ganju


Cannabinoids bind to cannabinoid receptors CB(1) and CB(2) and have been reported to possess anti-tumorigenic activity in various cancers. However, the mechanisms through which cannabinoids modulate tumor growth are not well known. In this study, we report that a synthetic non-psychoactive cannabinoid that specifically binds to cannabinoid receptor CB(2) may modulate breast tumor growth and metastasis by inhibiting signaling of the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and its ligand CXCL12. This signaling pathway has been shown to play an important role in regulating breast cancer progression and metastasis. We observed high expression of both CB(2) and CXCR4 receptors in breast cancer patient tissues by immunohistochemical analysis. We further found that CB(2)-specific agonist JWH-015 inhibits the CXCL12-induced chemotaxis and wound healing of MCF7 overexpressing CXCR4 (MCF7/CXCR4), highly metastatic clone of MDA-MB-231 (SCP2) and NT 2.5 cells (derived from MMTV-neu) by using chemotactic and wound healing assays. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms using various biochemical techniques and confocal microscopy revealed that JWH-015 treatment inhibited CXCL12-induced P44/P42 ERK activation, cytoskeletal focal adhesion and stress fiber fo...Continue Reading


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