Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone tumor in children and teens. The exact molecular mechanism underlying osteosarcoma progression still remains unclear. The CX3CL1/fractalkine has been implicated in various tumors but not in osteosarcoma. This study is the first to show that fractalkine promotes osteosarcoma metastasis by promoting cell migration. Fractalkine expression was higher in osteosarcoma cell lines than in normal osteoblasts. Fractalkine induced cell migration by upregulating intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) expression via CX3CR1/PI3K/Akt/NF-κB pathway in human osteosarcoma cells. Knockdown of fractalkine expression markedly inhibited cell migration and lung metastasis in osteosarcoma. Finally, we showed a clinical correlation between CX3CL1 expression and ICAM-1 expression as well as tumor stage in human osteosarcoma tissues. In conclusion, our results indicate that fractalkine promotes cell migration and metastasis of osteosarcoma by upregulating ICAM-1 expression. Thus, fractalkine could serve a novel therapeutic target for preventing osteosarcoma metastasis.
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