Author(s): Puchert M, Engele J
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Abstract The chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12 induces and modulates major steps of ontogenesis, regeneration and tumorigenesis. Depending on the organ or tissue, CXCL12 serves as a proliferation or cell survival factor, influences differentiation, induces adhesion and/or regulates cell migration. These functions are mediated by the two chemokine receptors, CXCR4 and CXCR7. Whereas CXCR4 is still viewed as the sole G-protein-activating and, hence, signaling receptor for CXCL12, CXCR7 is regarded as a non-classic scavenging or decoy receptor that modulates the function of CXCR4. However, this view might be too limited, since evidence has accumulated favoring a cell-type-specific mode of CXCL12 signaling. In addition to the "classic" CXCL12 signaling mode via CXCR4, CXCR4 and CXCR7 have to form a receptor unit for successful CXCL12 signaling in some cells. Moreover, examples exist whereby CXCL12 receptors split functions or switch roles, such that CXCR7 (instead of CXCR4) mediates signal transduction. The obvious lack of a universal mode of CXCL12 signaling urges a re-evaluation of the role of this chemokine in development, health and disease. This review depicts the exceptional characteristics of CXCL12-induced signal transduction in various cells and organs, points out remaining controversies and mentions consequences for therapeutic interventions.
This article was published in Cell Tissue Res
and referenced in Journal of Molecular and Genetic Medicine