A multi-cellular molecular signaling and functional network map of C-C motif chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18): a chemokine with immunosuppressive and pro-tumor functions

J Cell Commun Signal. 2022 Jun;16(2):293-300. doi: 10.1007/s12079-021-00633-3. Epub 2021 Jul 1.


The C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 18 (CCL18) is a beta-chemokine sub-family member with immunomodulatory functions in primates. CCL18-dependent migration and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition of oral squamous cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck, breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma, non-small cell lung carcinoma, ovarian cancer, pancreatic ductal carcinoma and bladder cancer cells are well-established. In the tumor niche, tumor-associated macrophages produce CCL18 and its overexpression is correlated with reduced patient survival in multiple cancers. Although multiple receptors including C-C chemokine receptor type 3 (CCR3), type 6 (CCR6), type 8 (CCR8) and G-protein coupled estrogen receptor (GPER1) are reported for CCL18, the Phosphatidylinositol Transfer Protein, Membrane-Associated 3 (PITPNM3) receptor is currently considered as its predominant receptor. Characterization of the molecular events and check points associated with the immunosuppressive and cancer progression support functions induced by CCL18 for their potential towards therapeutic applications is an area of active research. Hence, in this study, we assembled 917 signaling events reported to be induced by CCL18 through their studied receptors in diverse cell types as an integrated knowledgebase for reference, data integration and gene-set enrichment analysis of global transcriptomic and/or proteomics datasets.

Keywords: Biocuration; Cytokine; Gpml; NetPath; WikiPathways.