Enhanced expression of Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines by breast cancer cells attenuates growth and metastasis potential

Oncogene. 2006 Nov 16;25(54):7201-11. doi: 10.1038/sj.onc.1209703. Epub 2006 Jun 19.


In addition to the role in regulating leukocyte trafficking, chemokines recently have been shown to be involved in cancer growth and metastasis. Chemokine network in tumor neovascularity may be regulated by decoy receptors. Duffy antigen receptor for chemokines (DARC) is a specific decoy receptor binding with the angiogenic CC and CXC chemokines. To investigate the effects of DARC on the tumorigenesis and the metastasis potential of human breast cancer cells, human DARC cDNA was reintroduced into the MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-435HM cells which have a high capability of spontaneous pulmonary metastasis. We demonstrated that DARC overexpression induced inhibition of tumorigenesis and/or metastasis through interfering with the tumor angiogenesis in vivo. This inhibition is associated with decreasing CCL2 protein levels, and MVD and MMP-9 expression in xenograft tumors. In human breast cancer samples, we also demonstrated that low expression of the DARC protein is significantly associated with estrogen receptor (ER) status, MVD, lymph node metastasis, distant metastasis and poor survival. Our results suggest for the first time that DARC is a negative regulator of growth in breast cancer, mainly by sequestration of angiogenic chemokines and subsequent inhibition of tumor neovascularity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Cell Proliferation*
  • Chemokine CCL2 / metabolism
  • Duffy Blood-Group System / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis / pathology
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Invasiveness*
  • Neoplasms, Experimental / pathology
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Estrogen / biosynthesis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Transfection


  • ACKR1 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Duffy Blood-Group System
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Estrogen
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 9