CXCL10 Expression in Human Colorectal Cancer Tissue and its Correlation With Serum Levels of CXCL10

Cancer Genomics Proteomics. 2024 Jan-Feb;21(1):54-64. doi: 10.21873/cgp.20429.


Background/aim: CXCL10, a member of the CXC chemokine family, plays a crucial role in immune response by facilitating the chemotaxis of CXCR3-positive immune cells. We examined the expression of CXCL10 to unravel its functional significance in colorectal cancer.

Materials and methods: Bioinformatics analysis was performed to investigate CXCL10 expression and its clinicopathological relevance. Subsequently, we examined the correlation between the serum levels of CXCL10 and its expression within cancer tissues.

Results: Analysis of the TCGA database revealed that elevated CXCL10 expression in CRC tissues correlates with improved long-term survival and is inversely associated with lymph node infiltration and metastasis. Insights from Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes further established a connection between increased CXCL10 and co-regulated gene expression with enhanced immune activation and regulation, mediated by the inhibition of the NOD-like receptor signaling pathway. Single-cell analysis pinpointed myeloid cells and macrophages as the primary sources of CXCL10. Immunohistochemical assessments revealed that a subset of cancer cells and macrophages are positive for CXCL10 expression. CXCL10-positive cells are predominantly located at the invasive front of the tumor. Intriguingly, our findings reveal an inverse correlation between serum CXCL10 levels and its expression in cancer tissues.

Conclusion: The expression of CXCL10 may play a role in mediating the inflammatory responses at the invasive front in colorectal cancer and is observed to be inversely correlated with serum CXCL10 levels. It is pivotal to elucidate the distinct roles of CXCL10 in colorectal cancer, particularly different functions of cancer-tissue CXCL10 from serum CXCL10.

Keywords: CXCL10; colorectal cancer; invasive front; macrophages; tumor microenvironment.

MeSH terms

  • Chemokine CXCL10* / genetics
  • Chemokine CXCL10* / metabolism
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Signal Transduction


  • Chemokine CXCL10
  • CXCL10 protein, human