Research Papers:

Chemerin acts via CMKLR1 and GPR1 to stimulate migration and invasion of gastric cancer cells: putative role of decreased TIMP-1 and TIMP-2

J. Dinesh Kumar, Iman Aolymat, Laszlo Tiszlavicz, Zita Reisz, Hanan M. Garalla, Rob Beynon, Deborah Simpson, Graham J. Dockray and Andrea Varro _

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Oncotarget. 2019; 10:98-112. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.26414

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J. Dinesh Kumar1, Iman Aolymat1, Laszlo Tiszlavicz2, Zita Reisz2, Hanan M. Garalla1, Rob Beynon3, Deborah Simpson3, Graham J. Dockray1 and Andrea Varro1

1Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Institute of Translational Medicine, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

2Department of Pathology, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary

3Centre for Proteome Research, Institute of Integrative Biology, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK

Correspondence to:

Andrea Varro, email: [email protected]

Keywords: chemerin; gastric cancer; myofibroblasts; proteomic

Received: September 30, 2018     Accepted: November 16, 2018     Published: January 04, 2019


The chemokine-like peptide, chemerin, stimulates chemotaxis in several cell types. In this study we examined the expression of putative chemerin receptors in gastric cancer and the action of chemerin on cancer cell migration and invasion. Immunohistochemical studies of gastric tumors identified expression of two putative receptors, chemokine-like receptor-1 (CMKLR1) and G-protein coupled receptor 1(GPR1), in cancer cells; there was also some expression in stromal myofibroblasts although generally at a lower intensity. The expression of both receptors was detected in a gastric cancer cell line, AGS; chemerin itself was expressed in cultured gastric cancer myofibroblasts but not AGS cells. Chemerin stimulated (a) morphological transformation of AGS cells characterized by extension of processes and cell scattering, (b) migration in scratch wound assays and (c) both migration and invasion in Boyden chamber chemotaxis assays. These responses were inhibited by two putative receptor antagonists CCX832 and α-NETA. Inhibition of receptor expression by siRNA selectively reduced CMKLR1 or GPR1 and inhibited the action of chemerin indicating that both receptors contributed to the functional response. Using a proteomic approach employing stable isotope dynamic labeling of secretomes (SIDLS) to selectively label secreted proteins, we identified down regulation of tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinease (TIMP)1 and TIMP2 in media in response to chemerin. When cells were treated with chemerin and TIMP1 or TIMP2 the migration response to chemerin was reduced. The data suggest a role for chemerin in promoting the invasion of gastric cancer cells via CMKLR1 and GPR1at least partly by reducing TIMP1 and TIMP2 expression. Chemerin receptor antagonists have potential in inhibiting gastric cancer progression.

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