Clusterin induces the secretion of TNF-α and the chemotactic migration of macrophages

Young Jun Shim, Byeong Ho Kang, Byong Kwan Choi, In Sun Park, Bon Hong Min

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    38 Citations (Scopus)


    Tumor associated macrophages are known to be closely linked with tumor progression and metastasis. On the other hand, clusterin is overexpressed in several tumor types and regarded as a putative tumor-promoting factor due to this overexpression and the subsequent induction of chemoresistance. In our previous study, clusterin was found to induce the expression of matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in macrophages, and MMP-9 is known to be essential for tumor cell migration and invasion via basement membrane breakdown. Because paracrine interactions between tumor cells and surrounding macrophages regulate metastasis, these findings raise the possibility that clusterin promotes the secretion of cytokines in macrophages in addition to MMP-9. Here, we demonstrate that clusterin upregulates the expressions of chemotactic cytokines, that is, monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein-1β (MIP-1β), regulated upon activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in Raw264.7 macrophages. In particular, clusterin stimulated TNF-α secretion via the activations of ERK, JNK, and PI3K/Akt pathways in a time and dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, clusterin-induced TNF-α secretion was found to play a critical role in the chemotactic migration of Raw264.7 macrophages. It was also found that clusterin acts directly as a chemoattractant for macrophages. Together, these results suggest that clusterin stimulates the expression and secretion of TNF-α, which plays a critical role in promoting macrophage chemotaxis, via ERK, JNK, and PI3K/Akt pathways. Collectively, these findings describe a novel function for clusterin as an inducer of TNF-α in macrophages and their chemotactic migration, and suggest that clusterin has a tumor-promoting effect.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)200-205
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 25

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) funded by the Korea government (MEST) (Grant No. 2011-002-8200 ).


    • Chemotaxis
    • Clusterin
    • Macrophages
    • Metastasis
    • TNF-α

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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