CXCR4 is a chemokine receptor frequently overexpressed on primary tumor cells. Organs to which these cancers metastasize secrete CXCL12, the unique ligand for CXCR4, which stimulates invasion and metastasis to these sites. Similar to our previous work with the chemoprotective phytochemical, 3, 3 ′ -diindolylmethane (DIM), we show here that genistein also downregulates CXCR4 and CXCL12 and subsequently lowers the migratory and invasive potentials of breast and ovarian cancer cells. Moreover, genistein and DIM elicit a significantly greater cumulative effect in lowering CXCR4 and CXCL12 levels than either compound alone. Our data suggest a novel mechanism for the protective effects of phytochemicals against cancer progression and indicate that in combination, these compounds may prove even more efficacious.
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