CCR5-mediated signaling is involved in invasion of glioblastoma cells in its microenvironment

Metka Novak, Miha Koprivnikar Krajnc, Barbara Hrastar, Barbara Breznik, Bernarda Majc, Mateja Mlinar, Ana Rotter, Andrej Porčnik, Jernej Mlakar, Katja Stare, Richard G. Pestell, Tamara Lah Turnšek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The chemokine CCL5/RANTES is a versatile inflammatory mediator, which interacts with the receptor CCR5, promoting cancer cell interactions within the tumor microenvironment. Glioblastoma is a highly invasive tumor, in which CCL5 expression correlates with shorter patient survival. Using immunohistochemistry, we identified CCL5 and CCR5 in a series of glioblastoma samples and cells, including glioblastoma stem cells. CCL5 and CCR5 gene expression were significantly higher in a cohort of 38 glioblastoma samples, compared to low-grade glioma and non-cancerous tissues. The in vitro invasion of patients-derived primary glioblastoma cells and glioblastoma stem cells was dependent on CCL5-induced CCR5 signaling and is strongly inhibited by the small molecule CCR5 antagonist maraviroc. Invasion of these cells, which was enhanced when co-cultured with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), was inhibited by maraviroc, suggesting that MSCs release CCR5 ligands. In support of this model, we detected CCL5 and CCR5 in MSC monocultures and glioblastoma-associated MSC in tissue sections. We also found CCR5 expressing macrophages were in close proximity to glioblastoma cells. In conclusion, autocrine and paracrine cross-talk in glioblastoma and, in particular, glioblastoma stem cells with its stromal microenvironment, involves CCR5 and CCL5, contributing to glioblastoma invasion, suggesting the CCL5/CCR5 axis as a potential therapeutic target that can be targeted with repositioned drug maraviroc.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4199
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes


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