Recent evidence suggests that breast cancer and other solid tumors possess a rare population of cells capable of extensive self-renewal that contribute to metastasis and treatment resistance. We report here the development of a strategy to target these breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) through blockade of the IL-8 receptor CXCR1. CXCR1 blockade using either a CXCR1-specific blocking antibody or repertaxin, a small-molecule CXCR1 inhibitor, selectively depleted the CSC population in 2 human breast cancer cell lines in vitro. Furthermore, this was followed by the induction of massive apoptosis in the bulk tumor population via FASL/FAS signaling. The effects of CXCR1 blockade on CSC viability and on FASL production were mediated by the FAK/AKT/FOXO3A pathway. In addition, repertaxin was able to specifically target the CSC population in human breast cancer xenografts, retarding tumor growth and reducing metastasis. Our data therefore suggest that CXCR1 blockade may provide a novel means of targeting and eliminating breast CSCs.
Christophe Ginestier, Suling Liu, Mark E. Diebel, Hasan Korkaya, Ming Luo, Marty Brown, Julien Wicinski, Olivier Cabaud, Emmanuelle Charafe-Jauffret, Daniel Birnbaum, Jun-Lin Guan, Gabriela Dontu, Max S. Wicha
Guidelines: The Editorial Board will only consider letters that we deem relevant and of interest to our readers. We will not post data that have not been subjected to peer review, nor will we post letters that are essentially a reiteration of another letter. All accepted letters will be posted on our website within one week of acceptance. We reserve the right to edit any letter for length, content, and clarity. Authors of all accepted letters will be asked to preview any changes. Authors will be notified by e-mail if their letters were not accepted. As this is a final decision, no appeals will be considered.
Specific requirements: All letters must be 400 words or fewer. You may enter the letter as plain text or HTML. The author's name and e-mail address are required, and will be posted with the letter. All possible conflicts of interest must be noted, even if they are not posted. If you wish to include a figure (keep in mind that non-peer-reviewed data will not be posted), please contact the editors directly at email@example.com.