CXCL-10: a new candidate for melanoma therapy?

Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2020 Jun;43(3):353-365. doi: 10.1007/s13402-020-00501-z. Epub 2020 Mar 23.


Background: Melanoma is a malignancy that stems from melanocytes and is defined as the most dangerous skin malignancy in terms of metastasis and mortality rates. CXC motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10), also known as interferon gamma-induced protein-10 (IP-10), is a small cytokine-like protein secreted by a wide variety of cell types. CXCL10 is a ligand of the CXC chemokine receptor-3 (CXCR3) and is predominantly expressed by T helper cells (Th cells), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), dendritic cells, macrophages, natural killer cells (NKs), as well as some epithelial and cancer cells. Similar to other chemokines, CXCL10 plays a role in immunomodulation, inflammation, hematopoiesis, chemotaxis and leukocyte trafficking.

Conclusions: Recent studies indicate that the CXCL10/CXCR3 axis may act as a double-edged sword in terms of pro- and anti-cancer activities in a variety of tissues and cells, especially in melanoma cells and their microenvironments. Most of these activities arise from the CXCR3 splice variants CXCR3-A, CXCR3-B and CXCR3-Alt. In this review, we discuss the pro- and anti-cancer properties of CXCL10 in various types of tissues and cells, particularly melanoma cells, including its potential as a therapeutic target.

Keywords: CXCL10; CXCR3; Cancer therapy; Chemokine; Immunomodulation; Melanoma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carcinogenesis / metabolism
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / drug therapy*
  • Melanoma / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / metabolism


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • Receptors, CXCR3