A novel function of CXCL13 to stimulate RANK ligand expression in oral squamous cell carcinoma cells

Yuvaraj Sambandam, Alfred C. Griffin, Kumaran Sundaram, Keith L. Kirkwood, James S. Norris, Sakamuri V. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Oral squamous cell carcinomas (OSCC) are malignant tumors with a potent activity of local bone invasion/osteolysis. The chemokine ligand, CXCL13, has been identified as a prognostic marker for OSCC development and progression. Here in, we show that recombinant hCXCL13 treatment of OSCC cells stimulates (5-fold) RANK ligand (RANKL), a critical bone resorbing osteoclastogenic factor expression. Anti-CXCR5 chemokine receptor antibody abrogates CXCL13-induced RANKL expression in these cells. Also, CXCL13 stimulated (3.0-fold) hRANKL gene promoter activity in SCC14a cells. SuperArray screening for transcription factors by real-time RT-PCR identified significant increase in the levels of c-Jun and NFATc3 mRNA expression in CXCL13-stimulated OSCC cells. CXCL13 treatment significantly increased (3.5-fold) phospho-c-Jun levels in these cells and a c-Jun-NH2-kinase inhibitor abolished CXCL13-stimulated RANKL expression. Furthermore, we show that CXCL13 stimulation induced nuclear translocation of NFATc3 in OSCC cells. Chromatin-immune precipitation assay confirmed NFATc3 binding to the RANKL promoter region. We also show that overexpression of NFATc3 stimulates RANKL expression/promoter activity and that siRNA suppression of NFATc3 abolished CXCL13-stimulated RANKL expression. Thus, our results suggest that NFATc3 is a downstream target of the CXCL13/CXCR5 axis to stimulate RANKL expression in OSCC cells and implicates CXCL13 as a potential therapeutic target to prevent OSCC bone invasion/osteolysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1399-1407
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cancer Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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