Concomitant expression of the chemokines RANTES and MCP-1 in human breast cancer: a basis for tumor-promoting interactions

Cytokine. 2008 Oct;44(1):191-200. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2008.08.002. Epub 2008 Sep 13.


The chemokines RANTES (CCL5) and MCP-1 (CCL2) were suggested to contribute, independently, to breast malignancy. In the present study, we asked if the two chemokines are jointly expressed in clinical samples of breast cancer patients, and do they interact in breast tumor cells. We found that RANTES and MCP-1 were expressed by breast tumor cells in primary tumors of Ductal Carcinoma In Situ and of Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, but minimally in normal breast epithelial duct cells. The chemokines were also detected in metastases and pleural effusions. Novel findings showed that co-expression of RANTES and MCP-1 in the same tumor was associated with more advanced stages of disease, suggesting that breast tumors "benefit" from interactions between the two chemokines. Accordingly, MCP-1 significantly promoted the release of RANTES from endogenous pre-made vesicles, in an active process that depended on calcium from intracellular and extracellular sources, and on intracellular transport of RANTES towards exocytosis. Our findings show a chemokine-triggered release of stored pro-malignancy chemokine from breast tumor cells. These observations support a major tumor-promoting role for co-expression of the chemokines in breast malignancy, and agree with the significant association of joint RANTES and MCP-1 expression with advanced stages of breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / metabolism
  • Carcinoma, Intraductal, Noninfiltrating / pathology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chemokine CCL2 / biosynthesis*
  • Chemokine CCL5 / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / physiopathology
  • Pleural Effusion / metabolism


  • CCL2 protein, human
  • CCL5 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL2
  • Chemokine CCL5