A critical role of Src family kinase in SDF-1/CXCR4-mediated bone-marrow progenitor cell recruitment to the ischemic heart

Min Cheng*, Kai Huang, Junlan Zhou, Dewen Yan, Yao Liang Tang, Ting C. Zhao, Richard J. Miller, Raj Kishore, Douglas W. Losordo, Gangjian Qin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The G protein-coupled receptor CXCR4 and its ligand stromal-cell derived factor 1 (SDF-1) play a crucial role in directing progenitor cell (PC) homing to ischemic tissue. The Src family protein kinases (SFK) can be activated by, and serve as effectors of, G proteins. In this study we sought to determine whether SFK play a role in SDF-1/CXCR4-mediated PC homing. First, we investigated whether SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling activates SFK. Bone-marrow mononuclear cells (BM MNCs) were isolated from WT and BM-specific CXCR4-KO mice and treated with SDF-1 and/or CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100. SDF-1 treatment rapidly induced phosphorylation (activation) of hematopoietic Src (i.e., Lyn, Fgr, and Hck) in WT cells but not in AMD3100-treated cells or CXCR4-KO cells. Then, we investigated whether SFK are involved in SDF-1/CXCR4-mediated PC chemotaxis. In a combined chemotaxis and endothelial-progenitor-cell (EPC) colony assay, Src inhibitor SU6656 dose-dependently inhibited the SDF-1-induced migration of colony-forming EPCs. Next, we investigated whether SFK play a role in SDF-1/CXCR4-mediated BM PC homing to the ischemic heart. BM MNCs from CXCR4BAC:eGFP reporter mice were i.v. injected into WT and SDF-1BAC:SDF1-RFP transgenic mice following surgically-induced myocardial infarction (MI). eGFP+ MNCs and eGFP+c-kit+ PCs that were recruited in the infarct border zone in SDF-1BAC:SDF1-RFP recipients were significantly more than that in WT recipients. Treatments of mice with SU6656 significantly reduced eGFP+ and eGFP+c-kit+ cell recruitment in both WT and SDF-1BAC:RFP recipients and abrogated the difference between the two groups. Remarkably, PCs isolated from BM-specific C-terminal Src kinase (CSK)-KO (Src activated) mice were recruited more efficiently than PCs from WT PCs in the WT recipients. In conclusion, SFK are activated by SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling and play an essential role in SDF-1/CXCR4-mediated BM PC chemotactic response and ischemic cardiac recruitment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-53
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Bone marrow progenitor cells
  • CXCR4
  • Ischemic tissue repair
  • SDF-1
  • Src
  • Stem cell homing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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