Background: CXCR4 signaling protects pancreatic cancer cells from gemcitabine toxicity. However, the effect of gemcitabine on this resistance mechanism is unclear. Results: Gemcitabine up-regulates CXCR4 expression in pancreatic cancer cells and promotes their invasiveness. Conclusion: CXCR4 signaling serves as a counterdefense mechanism against gemcitabine. Significance: These findings are significant for the formulation of effective therapeutic strategies against pancreatic cancer. © 2013 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.