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ChemoCentryx Demonstrates Recently Discovered Chemokine Receptor CXCR7 is Essential in Tumor Growth
Date:9/26/2007

implications, providing the first demonstration that CXCR7 -- which was discovered as well as characterized by ChemoCentryx using our proprietary EnabaLink Drug Discovery engine -- is fundamental to cancer growth and progression and therefore, an important new cancer target," said Thomas J. Schall, Ph.D., ChemoCentryx's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Evidence of a Causal Connection between CXCR7 and Tumor Growth and Progression

In a series of carefully controlled experiments, a causal connection was identified between the presence and expression of the CXCR7 gene and tumor progression in breast and lung cancer models. In these experiments, ChemoCentryx scientists were able to clearly demonstrate the effect in vivo of up- and down-regulation of CXCR7, and how that controlled tumor growth. Isolating the CXCR7 receptor from potential interference by other chemokine receptors (such as the related receptor known as CXCR4), researchers demonstrated that CXCR7 cells formed significantly larger tumors in breast and lung cancer models. These findings extend research previously reported in the September 4, 2006 edition of The Journal of Experimental Medicine, showing that the introduction of CXCR7 into cell lines resulted in the avoidance of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, a hallmark of the uncontrolled cell proliferation associated with cancer. Further, in knockout experiments in which the CXCR7 gene was down-regulated, tumor growth was significantly impaired, thus showing that CXCR7 was required for the ability of tumors to grow well in vivo. CXCR7 expression was also observed to enhance the ability of breast cancer cells to seed and proliferate to lung tissue (metastasize) in another cancer model.

These findings appear to be clinically relevant for human cancer. The study also showed a comprehensive evaluation of over a hundred primary human breast tumor and lung tumor tissue samples removed by surgery where the presence of CXCR7 was assesse
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SOURCE ChemoCentryx, Inc.
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