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Chemokine CXCL14 is associated with prognosis in patients with colorectal carcinoma after curative resection

Jun Zeng1, Xudan Yang2, Lin Cheng1, Rui Liu1, Yunlong Lei1, Dandan Dong2, Fanghua Li2, Quek Choon Lau3, Longfei Deng1, Edouard C Nice4, Ke Xie5* and Canhua Huang1*

Author Affiliations

1 The State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, 610041, P. R. China

2 Sichuan Academy of Medical Science, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, Chengdu, 610041, P. R. China

3 School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, 535 Clementi Road, Clementi, Republic of Singapore

4 Monash University, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Clayton, Victoria, 3800, Australia

5 Department of Oncology, Sichuan Academy of Medical Sciences, Sichuan Provincial People’s Hospital, Chengdu, 610041, People’s Republic of China

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Journal of Translational Medicine 2013, 11:6  doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-6

Published: 7 January 2013



The chemokine CXCL14 has been reported to play an important role in the progression of many malignancies such as breast cancer and papillary thyroid carcinoma, but the role of CXCL14 in colorectal carcinoma (CRC) remains to be established. The purpose of this study was to investigate the expression pattern and significance of CXCL14 in CRC progression.


265 colorectal carcinoma specimens and 129 matched adjacent normal colorectal mucosa specimens were collected. Expression of CXCL14 in clinical samples was examined by immunostaining. The effect of CXCL14 on colorectal carcinoma cell proliferation was measured by MTT assay, BrdU incorporation assay and colony formation assay. The impact of CXCL14 on migration and invasion of colorectal carcinoma cells was determined by transwell assay and Matrigel invasion assay, respectively.


CXCL14 expression was significantly up-regulated in tumor tissues compared with adjacent nontumorous mucosa tissues (P < 0.001). Tumoral CXCL14 expression levels were significantly correlated with TNM (Tumor-node-metastasis) stage, histodifferentiation, and tumor size. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, high CXCL14 expression in tumor specimens (n = 91) from stage I/II patients was associated with increased risk for disease recurrence (risk ratio, 2.92; 95% CI, 1.15-7.40; P = 0.024). Elevated CXCL14 expression in tumor specimens (n = 135) from stage III/IV patients correlated with worse overall survival (risk ratio, 3.087; 95% CI, 1.866-5.107; P < 0.001). Functional studies demonstrated that enforced expression of CXCL14 in SW620 colorectal carcinoma cells resulted in more aggressive phenotypes. In contrast, knockdown of CXCL14 expression could mitigate the proliferative, migratory and invasive potential of HCT116 colorectal carcinoma cells.


Taken together, CXCL14 might be a potential novel prognostic factor to predict the disease recurrence and overall survival and could be a potential target of postoperative adjuvant therapy in CRC patients.

Colorectal carcinoma; CXCL14; Disease-free survival; Overall survival; Prognosis