Research Papers:

Active secretion of CXCL10 and CCL5 from colorectal cancer microenvironments associates with GranzymeB+ CD8+ T-cell infiltration

Timothy J. Zumwalt, Mildred Arnold, Ajay Goel and C. Richard Boland _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:2981-2991. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3205

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Timothy J. Zumwalt1,2,3, Mildred Arnold1, Ajay Goel1 and C. Richard Boland1

1 Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Laboratory, Baylor Research Institute and Sammons Cancer Center, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

2 Institute of Biomedical Studies, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA

3 Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, Dallas, Texas, USA


C. Richard Boland, email:

Keywords: Colorectal cancer, Helper T-cell, Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte, Immune Cell; Chemokine

Received: June 07, 2014 Accepted: December 10, 2014 Published: December 11, 2014


Transcriptional expression of CXCR3 and CCR5 cognate chemokines correlate with CD8+ T-cell infiltration and prolonged survival in colorectal cancer (CRC). These findings were derived mainly from paraffin embedded tissues; thus little is known about the secretion pattern of CD8+ T-cell targeting chemokines from CRCs. Therefore, we developed and introduced a novel platform that assesses the immune mediators that are secreted from live excised tissues. Transcriptional profiling and unsupervised hierarchical clustering of 43 CRCs based on expression of genes that represent the adaptive immune response were used to predict tumors that are strong secretors of T-cell targeting chemokines. Secretion of these mediators were corroborated using flow cytometric analysis of T-cell lineage markers: CD4, CD8, IFN-γ, and GzmB. We demonstrate that stronger secretion of CXCL10 (CXCR3 ligand) and CCL5 (CCR5 ligand) and infiltration of GzmB+CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) and IFN-γ+CD4+ helper T-cells can be predicted by transcriptional profiling, and that CRCs with stronger T-cell immunity were proportionally skewed towards early TNM stages and lacked distant organ metastasis. Our study represents the first functional analysis of secreted immune mediators from CRCs beyond immunohistochemistry and real-time PCR, and observed active physiological interactions between the tumor cells and the immune cells in the tumor microenvironment.

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