Special Issue

CXCR4 Chemokine Receptor Overview: Biology, Pathology and Applications in Imaging and Therapy

Guest editors:

Orit Jacobson, Ph.D.
Cyclotron radiochemistry unit
Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital
Jerusalem, Israel 91120
Email: Email:

Ido Dov Weiss, Ph.D.
Goldyne Savad Gene Therapy Institute
Hadassah Hebrew University Hospital
Jerusalem, Israel, 91120
Email: Email:

CXCR4 is a member of the chemokine receptor subfamily of seven transmembrane domained, G-protein coupled receptors, whose sole known natural ligand is CXCL12/SDF-1. CXCR4 is an unusual chemokine receptor by virtue of having expanded roles beyond leukocyte recruitment, including fundamental processes such as the development of the hematopoietic, cardiovascular, and nervous systems during embryogenesis. The receptor was first discovered as one of the co-receptors for HIV, and thereafter was also found to be expressed by multiple cancers including breast, prostate, lung, colon and multiple myeloma.

A number of recent studies have correlated high levels of CXCR4 expression in cancers with poor prognosis and with resistance to chemotherapy, in part through enhancing interactions between cancers and stroma. A possible role for CXCR4, and chemokine receptors generally, in cancer and metastasis was first suggested in studies of breast cancer, showing that the receptor plays a role in directing metastatic cells to CXCL12-expressing organs. Collectively, the data on CXCR4 in cancer suggest that this receptor increases tumor cell survival and/or growth and/or metastasis, making it a potentially attractive therapeutic target.

Due to the role of CXCR4 in HIV, multiple CXCR4 antagonists, although not sufficient for the treatment of HIV, are currently being evaluated and/or used for stem cell mobilization and as anti-tumor therapy. Some of the antagonists were also shown in animal models to be of use in evaluating CXCR4 expression in whole tumors non-invasively by molecular imaging.

The research on CXCR4 has been ongoing for the last decade and yielded more than 6600 papers in PubMed. The aim of this issue is to give a thorough review of the previous and recent findings in this field, and to give the reader some scopes of future applications that might rise from these data. Particularly, review/research/perspective articles related to the following topics are encouraged to be submitted:

  • CXCR4/CXCL12 biology and its role in development;
  • The role of CXCR4 in stem cell biology and mobilization;
  • CXCR4 in tissue regeneration;
  • The role of CXCR4 in inflammation and  autoimmune diseases;
  • CXCR4 in solid tumor development and progression;
  • CXCR4 in hematological disorders;
  • Pharmaceutical targeting of CXCR4 for therapy;
  • CXCR4 imaging.

Manuscripts for the special issue can be sent directly to the guest editor(s) by email with the subject "CXCR4 Special Issue", or submitted online at http://www.thno.org/ms/submit?subgroup=CXCR4 (mark "CXCR4 Special Issue" in the "Suggested reviewers" field to identify the paper).

Detailed formatting instructions, in particular, the formatting of references, can be found in http://www.thno.org/ms/author.

All inquiries should be sent to the guest editor(s) at the above email address.