Mechanisms regulating the secretion of the promalignancy chemokine CCL5 by breast tumor cells: CCL5's 40s loop and intracellular glycosaminoglycans

Neoplasia. 2012 Jan;14(1):1-19. doi: 10.1593/neo.111122.


The chemokine CCL5 (RANTES) plays active promalignancy roles in breast malignancy. The secretion of CCL5 by breast tumor cells is an important step in its tumor-promoting activities; therefore, inhibition of CCL5 secretion may have antitumorigenic effects. We demonstrate that, in breast tumor cells, CCL5 secretion necessitated the trafficking of CCL5-containing vesicles on microtubules from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the post-Golgi stage, and CCL5 release was regulated by the rigidity of the actin cytoskeleton. Focusing on the 40s loop of CCL5, we found that the (43)TRKN(46) sequence of CCL5 was indispensable for its inclusion in motile vesicles, and for its secretion. The TRKN-mutated chemokine reached the Golgi, but trafficked along the ER-to-post-Golgi route differently than the wild-type (WT) chemokine. Based on the studies showing that the 40s loop of CCL5 mediates its binding to glycosaminoglycans (GAG), we analyzed the roles of GAG in regulating CCL5 secretion. TRKN-mutated CCL5 had lower propensity for colocalization with GAG in the Golgi compared to the WT chemokine. Secretion of WT CCL5 was significantly reduced in CHO mutant cells deficient in GAG synthesis, and the WT chemokine acquired an ER-like distribution in these cells, similar to that of TRKN-mutated CCL5 in GAG-expressing cells. The release of WT CCL5 was also reduced after inhibition of GAG presence/synthesis by intracellular expression of heparanase, inhibition of GAG sulfation, and sulfate deprivation. The need for a (43)TRKN(46) motif and for a GAG-mediated process in CCL5 secretion may enable the future design of modalities that prevent CCL5 release by breast tumor cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs / physiology
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blotting, Western
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chemokine CCL5 / chemistry*
  • Chemokine CCL5 / metabolism*
  • Cricetinae
  • Cricetulus
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Glycosaminoglycans / chemistry
  • Glycosaminoglycans / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Space / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Protein Transport / physiology


  • CCL5 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL5
  • Glycosaminoglycans