Targeting CXCR2 enhances chemotherapeutic response, inhibits mammary tumor growth, angiogenesis, and lung metastasis

Bhawna Sharma, Dhananjay M. Nawandar, Kalyan C. Nannuru, Michelle L. Varney, Rakesh K. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Breast cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths among females. Many challenges exist in the current management of advanced stage breast cancer as there are fewer recognized therapeutic strategies, often because of therapy resistance. How breast cancer cells evade chemotherapy and the underlying mechanism remains unclear. We and others have observed that malignant cells that survive initial chemo- and radiation therapy express higher levels of CXCR2 ligands, which may provide a survival benefit leading to therapy resistance. In this report, we test the hypothesis that CXCR2-dependent signaling in malignant cells may be critical for chemotherapy resistance and targeting this signaling axis may enhance the antitumor and antimetastatic activity of chemotherapeutic drugs and limit their toxicity. We used Cl66-wt, 4T1-wt, Cl66sh-CXCR2, and 4T1sh-CXCR2 cells expressing differential levels of the CXCR2 receptor to evaluate the role of targeting CXCR2 on chemotherapeutic responses. Knockdown of CXCR2 enhances paclitaxel and doxorubicin-mediated toxicity at suboptimal doses. Moreover, we observed an increase in the expression of CXCL1, a CXCR2 ligand in paclitaxel and doxorubicin-treated mammary tumor cells, which were inhibited following CXCR2 knockdown. Knockdown of CXCR2 enhanced antitumor activity of paclitaxel in an in vivo mammarytumor model. Weobserved significant inhibition of spontaneous lung metastases in animals bearing CXCR2 knockdown tumors and treated with paclitaxel as compared with the control group. Our data suggest the novel role of CXCR2 and its ligands in maintaining chemotherapy resistance and provide evidence that targeting CXCR2 signaling in an adjuvant setting will help circumvent chemotherapy resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-808
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular cancer therapeutics
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Targeting CXCR2 enhances chemotherapeutic response, inhibits mammary tumor growth, angiogenesis, and lung metastasis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this