Hepatocyte growth factor enhances CXCR4 expression favoring breast cancer cell invasiveness

Emanuela Matteucci, Massimo Locati, Maria Alfonsina Desiderio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microenvironmental factors affect different aspects of tumor cell biology, including cell survival, invasion, and metastasis. Here, we report that hepatocyte growth factor and hypoxia may contribute to breast carcinoma cell invasiveness by inducing the chemokine receptor CXCR4. Hepatocyte growth factor enhanced CXCR4 mRNA and protein expression exclusively in MCF-7 (low invasive) carcinoma cells, while in response to hypoxia, CXCR4 induction was observed in both MCF-7 and MDA-MB 231 (highly invasive) carcinoma cells. The receptor induction had a functional role in cancer cells, as demonstrated by the fact that hepatocyte growth factor pretreatment promoted MCF-7 cell migration toward the CXCR4-specific ligand CXCL12. Extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) and phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K) transduction pathways seemed to be differently implicated in the early induction of CXCR4 by hepatocyte growth factor or hypoxia in the two breast carcinoma cells examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-185
Number of pages10
JournalExperimental Cell Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2005


  • Breast carcinoma
  • CXCR4
  • Hepatocyte growth factor
  • Hypoxia
  • Transduction pathways

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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