Tumor Biology

, Volume 35, Issue 5, pp 4637–4644 | Cite as

Cisplatin targets the stromal cell-derived factor-1-CXC chemokine receptor type 4 axis to suppress metastasis and invasion of ovarian cancer-initiating cells

  • Zhi-hua Yu
  • Te Liu
  • Yan-hui Zhao
  • Yong-yi Huang
  • Yong-tao GaoEmail author
Research Article


In ovarian cancer, CD44+/CD117+ stem cells, also known as cancer-initiating cells (CICs), are highly proliferative and invasive. Therefore, the CD44+/CD117+ subpopulation is thought to be an important target for novel therapeutic strategies. In this study, we investigated the effects of cisplatin (CDDP) on metastasis and invasion suppression of ovarian CICs by targeting the CXC chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) signaling pathway in vitro and in vivo. CD44+/CD117+ ovarian CICs were enriched from human primary ovarian tumor tissues and confirmed by flow cytometry sorting. A 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2.5-dipheny-tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay revealed significant inhibition of proliferation of ovarian CICs with increasing CDDP drug concentrations. Moreover, colony formation and transwell migration assays indicated that CDDP significantly suppressed the invasive capacity of ovarian CICs in vitro. The expression levels of stromal cell-derived factor (SDF)-1, CXCR4, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2, and MMP9 mRNA and protein levels were significantly reduced in CDDP-treated cells compared to untreated ovarian CICs. Furthermore, xenograft experiments confirmed that CDDP suppressed the growth of xenograft tumors formed by ovarian CICs in vivo. In addition, CXCR4 agonist (diprotin A) treatment of ovarian CICs weakened the effects of CDDP and enhanced SDF-1-CXCR4 axis expression in ovarian CICs. Thus, the SDF-1-CXCR4 axis is an important mediator of proliferation and invasion in CXCR4-overexpressing ovarian cancer-initiating cells (OCICs). Furthermore, CDDP inhibits invasion and metastasis of OCICs by targeting SDF-1-CXCR4 axis expression.


Ovarian cancer-initiating cells CICs Cisplatin SDF-1-CXCR4 axis Migration Invasion 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 81202811) and the Shanghai Municipal Health Bureau Fund (no. 20124320) to Te Liu.

Conflicts of interest



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Copyright information

© International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi-hua Yu
    • 1
  • Te Liu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yan-hui Zhao
    • 3
  • Yong-yi Huang
    • 4
  • Yong-tao Gao
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Shanghai Geriatric Institute of Chinese Medicine, Longhua HospitalShanghai University of Traditional Chinese MedicineShanghaiChina
  2. 2.International Peace Maternity and Child Health HospitalShanghai Jiaotong UniversityShanghaiChina
  3. 3.Department of Oral and Craniofacial Science, Ninth People’s Hospital, College of Stomatology and Shanghai Key Laboratory of StomatologyShanghai Jiao Tong University School of MedicineShanghaiChina
  4. 4.School of Life Science and TechnologyTongji UniversityShanghaiChina

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