ANGPT2

Gene Summary

Gene:ANGPT2; angiopoietin 2
Aliases: ANG2, AGPT2
Location:8p23.1
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is an antagonist of angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1) and endothelial TEK tyrosine kinase (TIE-2, TEK). The encoded protein disrupts the vascular remodeling ability of ANGPT1 and may induce endothelial cell apoptosis. Three transcript variants encoding three different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:angiopoietin-2
HPRD
Source:NCBIAccessed: 27 February, 2015

Ontology:

What does this gene/protein do?
Show (29)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 27 February 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 27 February, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: ANGPT2 (cancer-related)

Motzer RJ, Hutson TE, Hudes GR, et al.
Investigation of novel circulating proteins, germ line single-nucleotide polymorphisms, and molecular tumor markers as potential efficacy biomarkers of first-line sunitinib therapy for advanced renal cell carcinoma.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2014; 74(4):739-50 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Sunitinib is a first-line advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC) standard of care. In a randomized phase II trial comparing sunitinib treatment schedules, separate exploratory biomarker analyses investigated the correlations of efficacy with selected serum, germ line single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), or tumor markers.
METHODS: Advanced RCC patients received first-line sunitinib 50 mg/day on the approved 4-week-on-2-week-off schedule (n = 146) or 37.5 mg/day continuous dosing (n = 146). The following correlation analyses were performed: (1) response evaluation criteria in solid tumors-defined tumor response with serum soluble protein levels via two distinct multiplex (n < 1,000) platforms; (2) response and time-to-event outcomes with germ line SNPs in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and VEGF receptor (VEGFR)3 genes; and (3) response and time-to-event outcomes with tumor immunohistochemistry status for hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) and carbonic anhydrase-IX or tumor Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) gene inactivation status.
RESULTS: Lower baseline angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and higher baseline matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) levels were identified by both platforms as statistically significantly associated with tumor response. There were no significant correlations between VEGF-A or VEGFR3 SNPs and outcomes. Progression-free survival was longer for HIF-1α percent of tumor expression groups 0-2 (HIF-1α low) versus 3-4 (HIF-1α high; p = 0.034). There were no significant correlations between outcomes and each VHL inactivation mechanism [mutation (86% of VHL-inactive patients), methylation (14%), and large deletion (7%)] or mechanisms combined.
CONCLUSIONS: Serum Ang-2 and MMP-2 and tumor HIF-1α were identified as relevant baseline biomarkers of sunitinib activity in advanced RCC, warranting further research into their prognostic versus predictive value.

Hollern DP, Honeysett J, Cardiff RD, Andrechek ER
The E2F transcription factors regulate tumor development and metastasis in a mouse model of metastatic breast cancer.
Mol Cell Biol. 2014; 34(17):3229-43 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
While the E2F transcription factors (E2Fs) have a clearly defined role in cell cycle control, recent work has uncovered new functions. Using genomic signature methods, we predicted a role for the activator E2F transcription factors in the mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV)-polyomavirus middle T oncoprotein (PyMT) mouse model of metastatic breast cancer. To genetically test the hypothesis that the E2Fs function to regulate tumor development and metastasis, we interbred MMTV-PyMT mice with E2F1, E2F2, or E2F3 knockout mice. With the ablation of individual E2Fs, we noted alterations of tumor latency, histology, and vasculature. Interestingly, we noted striking reductions in metastatic capacity and in the number of circulating tumor cells in both the E2F1 and E2F2 knockout backgrounds. Investigating E2F target genes that mediate metastasis, we found that E2F loss led to decreased levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (Vegfa), Bmp4, Cyr61, Nupr1, Plod 2, P4ha1, Adamts1, Lgals3, and Angpt2. These gene expression changes indicate that the E2Fs control the expression of genes critical to angiogenesis, the remodeling of the extracellular matrix, tumor cell survival, and tumor cell interactions with vascular endothelial cells that facilitate metastasis to the lungs. Taken together, these results reveal that the E2F transcription factors play key roles in mediating tumor development and metastasis in addition to their well-characterized roles in cell cycle control.

Yamamura T, Matsumoto N, Matsue Y, et al.
Sodium butyrate, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, regulates Lymphangiogenic factors in oral cancer cell line HSC-3.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(4):1701-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Tumor angiogenesis is a focus of molecularly-targeted therapies. This study investigated the effect of sodium butyrate (SB), a histone deacetylase inhibitor, on the synthesis of antiangiogenic and lymphangiogenic factors in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
DESIGN: Gene alterations in HSC-3 cells were assessed using cDNA microarrays before and after treatment with SB. The mRNA and protein expression of lymphangiogenic factors were also assessed by quantitative PCR, western blotting and immunocytochemistry.
RESULTS: Microarray analysis revealed that treatment with SB led to altered expression of angiogenesis-related gene expression. The quantitative polymerase chain reaction showed that platelet-derived growth factor-B, angiopoietin-2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C, and VEGFD were down-regulated. Western blotting and immunocytochemistry confirmed reduced protein synthesis of VEGFC.
CONCLUSION: SB inhibits expression of lymphangiogenic factors in HSC-3 cells. Within the limitations of the present study, SB may have potential as an anti-metastatic pro-drug for oral cancer.

Coelho AL, Araújo A, Gomes M, et al.
Circulating Ang-2 mRNA expression levels: looking ahead to a new prognostic factor for NSCLC [corrected].
PLoS One. 2014; 9(2):e90009 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common cancer and the leading cause of death from cancer worldwide. Antiangiogenic strategies directed towards tumor stroma are becoming gold standard in NSCLC treatment and researchers have been searching for biomarkers to identify patients for whom therapy with antiangiogenic inhibitors may be most beneficial and the importance of these as prognostic factors in NSCLC. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the prognostic value of circulating Ang-2 mRNA levels prior to treatment in NSCLC patients. The mRNA levels were determined by quantitative real-time PCR in the peripheral blood of 92 NSCLC patients. Our results demonstrate that patients with high circulating Ang-2 mRNA levels have diminished overall survival when compared to those with low mRNA levels (20.3 months vs 34.3 months, respectively; Log Rank Test, p = 0.016), when considering all NSCLC stages and this difference is even bigger when considering only patients with stage IV (15.9 months vs 31.3 months, respectively; Log Rank Test, p = 0.036). Moreover, circulating Ang-2 mRNA levels independently determine overall survival, and the concordance (c) index analysis showed that the definition of a nomogram that contains information regarding tumor stage, patients' smoking status and circulating Ang-2 mRNA levels present an increased capacity to predict overall survival in NSCLC patients (c-index 0.798). These results suggest that this nomogram could serve as a unique and practical tool to determine prognosis in NSCLC, not relying on the availability of adequate surgical or biopsy specimens of NSCLC. Attending to our results, the circulating Ang-2 mRNA levels should also be included in the design of preclinical studies and clinical trials involving antiangiogenic drugs targeting Ang-2, to guide adequate patient stratification and dose selection and increasing the likelihood of benefit to a level that is acceptable to patients and clinicians.

Arbiser JL
PHIPing out: a genetic basis for tumor ulceration.
J Invest Dermatol. 2014; 134(3):600-2 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ulceration is a common negative prognostic marker of solid tumors including melanoma. The signaling basis of ulceration is being elucidated. PHIP has been found to be amplified in wild-type melanomas, resulting in Akt activation and aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect), associated with ulceration. The ulceration phenotype likely represents the genotype of the reactive oxygen driven tumor, in which reactive oxygen drives angiopoietin-2 production, tumor growth, and invasion. This phenotype is amenable to pharmacologic intervention.

He T, Qi F, Jia L, et al.
MicroRNA-542-3p inhibits tumour angiogenesis by targeting angiopoietin-2.
J Pathol. 2014; 232(5):499-508 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiopoietin-2 (Angpt2) plays a critical role in angiogenesis and tumour progression. Therapeutic targeting of Angpt2 has been implicated as a promising strategy for cancer treatment. Whereas miRNAs are emerging as important modulators of angiogenesis, regulation of Angpt2 by miRNAs has not been established. Here we firstly report that Ang2 is targeted by a microRNA, miRNA-542-3p, which inhibits tumour progression by impairing Ang2's pro-angiogenic activity. In cultured endothelial cells, miR-542-3p inhibited translation of Angpt2 mRNA by binding to its 3' UTR, and addition of miR-542-3p to cultured endothelial cells attenuated angiogenesis. Administration of miR-542-3p to tumour-bearing mice reduced tumour growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Furthermore, the level of miR-542-3p in primary breast carcinomas correlated inversely with clinical progression in primary tumour samples from stage III and IV patients. Together, these findings uncover a novel regulatory pathway whereby an anti-angiogenic miR-542-3p directly targets the key angiogenesis-promoting protein Angpt2, suggesting that miR-542-3p may represent a promising target for anti-angiogenic therapy and a potential marker for monitoring disease progression.

Lu R, Ji Z, Li X, et al.
miR-145 functions as tumor suppressor and targets two oncogenes, ANGPT2 and NEDD9, in renal cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2014; 140(3):387-97 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Abnormal expression of miRNAs is closely related to a variety of human cancers. The purpose of this study is to identify new tumor suppressor miRNA and elucidate its physiological function and mechanism in renal cell carcinoma (RCC).
METHODS: The expression of miR-145 in 45 RCC and adjacent normal tissues was performed by quantitative RT-PCR. Cell proliferation, migration, invasion, apoptosis and cycle assays were carried out for functional analysis after miR-145 transfection. Two target genes of miR-145 were identified by luciferase reporter assay. The altered expression of 84 epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT)-related genes after miR-145 transfection was detected by RT(2) Profiler EMT PCR array.
RESULTS: The expression of miR-145 was downregulated in RCC compared to their normal adjacent tissues. Restoring miR-145 expression in RCC cell lines dramatically suppressed cell proliferation, migration and invasion, and induced cell apoptosis and G2-phase arrest. We further validated those miR-145 targets two oncogenes, ANGPT2 and NEDD9 in RCC. In addition, miR-145 was found to regulate numerous genes involved in the EMT.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings demonstrate that miR-145 functions as tumor suppressor in RCC, suggesting that miR-145 may be a potential therapeutic target for RCC.

Kahlert C, Pecqueux M, Halama N, et al.
Tumour-site-dependent expression profile of angiogenic factors in tumour-associated stroma of primary colorectal cancer and metastases.
Br J Cancer. 2014; 110(2):441-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumour-associated stroma has a critical role in tumour proliferation. Our aim was to determine a specific protein expression profile of stromal angiogenic cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) to identify potential biomarkers or new therapy targets.
METHODS: Frozen tissue of primary colorectal cancer (n=25), liver (n=25) and lung metastases (n=23) was laser-microdissected to obtain tumour epithelial cells and adjacent tumour-associated stroma. Protein expression of nine angiogenic cytokines and eight MMPs was analysed using a multiplex-based protein assay.
RESULTS: We found a differential expression of several MMPs and angiogenic cytokines in tumour cells compared with adjacent tumour stroma. Cluster analysis displayed a tumour-site-dependent stromal expression of MMPs and angiogenic cytokines. Univariate analysis identified stromal MMP-2 and MMP-3 in primary colorectal cancer, stromal MMP-1, -2, -3 and Angiopoietin-2 in lung metastases and stromal MMP-12 and VEGF in liver metastases as prognostic markers (P>0.05, respectively). Furthermore, stroma-derived Angiopoietin-2 proved to be an independent prognostic marker in colorectal lung metastases.
CONCLUSION: Expression of MMPs and angiogenic cytokines in tumour cells and adjacent tumour stroma is dependent on the tumour site. Stroma-derived MMPs and angiogenic cytokines may be useful prognostic biomarkers. These data can be helpful to identify new agents for a targeted therapy in patients with colorectal cancer.

Triana-Baltzer G, Pavlicek A, Goulart A, et al.
Predictive markers of efficacy for an angiopoietin-2 targeting therapeutic in xenograft models.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e80132 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
The clinical efficacy of anti-angiogenic therapies has been difficult to predict, and biomarkers that can predict responsiveness are sorely needed in this era of personalized medicine. CVX-060 is an angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) targeting therapeutic, consisting of two peptides that bind Ang2 with high affinity and specificity, covalently fused to a scaffold antibody. In order to optimize the use of this compound in the clinic the construction of a predictive model is described, based on the efficacy of CVX-060 in 13 cell line and 2 patient-derived xenograft models. Pretreatment size tumors from each of the models were profiled for the levels of 27 protein markers of angiogenesis, SNP haplotype in 5 angiogenesis genes, and somatic mutation status for 11 genes implicated in tumor growth and/or vascularization. CVX-060 efficacy was determined as tumor growth inhibition (TGI%) at termination of each study. A predictive statistical model was constructed based on the correlation of these efficacy data with the marker profiles, and the model was subsequently tested by prospective analysis in 11 additional models. The results reveal a range of CVX-060 efficacy in xenograft models of diverse tissue types (0-64% TGI, median = 27%) and define a subset of 3 proteins (Ang1, EGF, Emmprin), the levels of which may be predictive of TGI by Ang2 blockade. The direction of the associations is such that better efficacy correlates with high levels of target and low levels of compensatory/antagonizing molecules. This effort has revealed a set of candidate predictive markers for CVX-060 efficacy that will be further evaluated in ongoing clinical trials.

Lyu T, Jia N, Wang J, et al.
Expression and epigenetic regulation of angiogenesis-related factors during dormancy and recurrent growth of ovarian carcinoma.
Epigenetics. 2013; 8(12):1330-46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
The initiation of angiogenesis can mark the transition from tumor dormancy to active growth and recurrence. Mechanisms that regulate recurrence in human cancers are poorly understood, in part because of the absence of relevant models. The induction of ARHI (DIRAS3) induces dormancy and autophagy in human ovarian cancer xenografts but produces autophagic cell death in culture. The addition of VEGF to cultures maintains the viability of dormant autophagic cancer cells, thereby permitting active growth when ARHI is downregulated, which mimics the "recurrence" of growth in xenografts. Two inducible ovarian cancer cell lines, SKOv3-ARHI and Hey-ARHI, were used. The expression level of angiogenesis factors was evaluated by real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry and western blot; their epigenetic regulation was measured by bisulfite sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation. Six of the 15 angiogenesis factors were upregulated in dormant cancer cells (tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-3, TIMP3; thrombospondin-1, TSP1; angiopoietin-1; angiopoietin-2; angiopoietin-4; E-cadherin, CDH1). We found that TIMP3 and CDH1 expression was regulated epigenetically and was related inversely to the DNA methylation of their promoters in cell cultures and in xenografts. Increased H3K9 acetylation was associated with higher TIMP3 expression in dormant SKOv3-ARHI cells, while decreased H3K27me3 resulted in the upregulation of TIMP3 in dormant Hey-ARHI cells. Elevated CDH1 expression during dormancy was associated with an increase in both H3K4me3 and H3K9Ac in two cell lines. CpG demethylating agents and/or histone deacetylase inhibitors inhibited the re-growth of dormant cancer cells, which was associated with the re-expression of anti-angiogenic genes. The expression of the anti-angiogenic genes TIMP3 and CDH1 is elevated during dormancy and is reduced during the transition to active growth by changes in DNA methylation and histone modification.

Wang YH, Dong YY, Wang WM, et al.
Vascular endothelial cells facilitated HCC invasion and metastasis through the Akt and NF-κB pathways induced by paracrine cytokines.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 32(1):51 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It is well documented that cancer cells secrete angiogenic factors to recruit and sustain tumor vascular networks. However, little is known about the effects of endothelial cells on the behavior of tumor cells. The study here was to determine the roles of endothelial cells in HCC cell growth, migration and invasion.
METHODS: A mixture of highly metastatic MHCC97H cells and HUVEC cells, as well as MHCC97H cells alone were subcutaneously injected into nude mice to observe the effects of HUVECs on HCC growth. The biological characteristics of MHCC97H cells respectively treated with conditioned medium (CM) derived from HUVECs and endothelial cell basal medium (EBM) in vitro, such as proliferation, migration and invasion, invasion/metastasis associated gene expression, were comparatively analyzed. Differential cytokines between CM and EBM were screened and identified using human cytokine array. Effects of the interested differential cytokine CCL2, IL-8 and CXCL16 and its related signaling pathways were further investigated in HCC cells.
RESULTS: Subcutaneous tumorigenicity of MHCC97H cells in nude mice was promoted by HUVECs and its invasion/metastasis associated genes were significantly upregulated. The in vitro, proliferation, migration and invasion of HCC cells treated with CM were all significantly enhanced as compared to those with EBM stimulation. Simultaneously, PI3K/Akt and ERK1/2 pathway in HCC cells were activated by CM. Total of 25 differential cytokines were identified between CM and EBM such as angiopoietin-2, CCL2 (MCP-1), uPA, endostatin, CXCL16, IL-8, pentraxin 3 etc. The selected differential cytokines CCL2, IL-8 and CXCL16 all modulated the expressions of HCC invasion/metastasis genes, especially MMP2 and MMP9. In exposure to CCL2 or CXCL16 alone, upregulation in AKT phosphorylation but no change in ERK phosphorylation were found in MHCC97H cells, moreover the contents of nuclear transcription factor NF-κB were increased as compared to the control. However, no effects on the activation of Akt and ERK pathway in MHCC97H were found in exposure to IL-8.
CONCLUSION: This study expands the contribution of endothelial cells to the progression of HCC. It unveils a new paradigm in which endothelial cells function as initiators of molecular crosstalks that enhance survival, migration and invasion of HCC cells.

Gaál EI, Tammela T, Anisimov A, et al.
Comparison of vascular growth factors in the murine brain reveals placenta growth factor as prime candidate for CNS revascularization.
Blood. 2013; 122(5):658-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vascular bypass procedures in the central nervous system (CNS) remain technically challenging, hindered by complications and often failing to prevent adverse outcome such as stroke. Thus, there is an unmet clinical need for a safe and effective CNS revascularization. Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) are promising candidates for revascularization; however, their effects appear to be tissue-specific and their potential in the CNS has not been fully explored. To test growth factors for angiogenesis in the CNS, we characterized the effects of endothelium-specific growth factors on the brain vasculature and parenchyma. Recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors encoding the growth factors were injected transcranially to the frontoparietal cerebrum of mice. Angiogenesis, mural cell investment, leukocyte recruitment, vascular permeability, reactive gliosis and neuronal patterning were evaluated by 3-dimensional immunofluorescence, electron microscopy, optical projection tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Placenta growth factor (PlGF) stimulated robust angiogenesis and arteriogenesis without significant side effects, whereas VEGF and VEGF-C incited growth of aberrant vessels, severe edema, and inflammation. VEGF-B, angiopoietin-1, angiopoietin-2, and a VEGF/angiopoietin-1 chimera had minimal effects on the brain vessels or parenchyma. Of the growth factors tested, PlGF emerged as the most efficient and safe angiogenic factor, hence making it a candidate for therapeutic CNS revascularization.

Martinelli S, Kanduri M, Maffei R, et al.
ANGPT2 promoter methylation is strongly associated with gene expression and prognosis in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Epigenetics. 2013; 8(7):720-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Increasing evidence suggests a key role for angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2) in influencing the aggressiveness of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). In the presence of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), ANGPT2 causes vessel destabilization leading to neoangiogenesis. Accordingly, high expression levels of ANGPT2 and high degree of angiogenesis have consistently been associated with poor prognosis in CLL; however, the molecular mechanisms behind the variability in ANGPT2 expression are still to be discovered. Here, for the first time, we investigated the DNA methylation status of the ANGPT2 promoter in a large CLL cohort (n = 88) using pyrosequencing and correlated methylation data with ANGPT2 expression levels, prognostic factors and outcome. Importantly, methylation levels of the ANGPT2 gene correlated inversely with its mRNA expression levels (p<0.001). Moreover, low ANGPT2 methylation status was highly associated with adverse prognostic markers, shorter time to first treatment and overall survival. Finally, treatment with methyl inhibitors induced re-expression of ANGPT2 in two B-cell lymphoma cell lines, underscoring the importance of DNA methylation in regulating transcriptional silencing of this gene. In conclusion, we believe that the known variability in ANGPT2 expression among CLL patients could be explained by differential promoter DNA methylation and that low methylation levels of the ANGPT2 promoter have an adverse prognostic impact in CLL.

Deng PB, Hu CP, Xiong Z, et al.
Treatment with EGCG in NSCLC leads to decreasing interstitial fluid pressure and hypoxia to improve chemotherapy efficacy through rebalance of Ang-1 and Ang-2.
Chin J Nat Med. 2013; 11(3):245-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Microvasculature and microenvironment play important roles in proliferation, invasion, metastasis and prognosis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which might be altered by many anti-angiogenic drugs. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a natural anti-angiogenesis agent refined from green tea, was defined to have multiple effects on angiogenesis factors, such as endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and angiopoietins (ANGs). Hypothesizing that EGCG might regulate microvasculature and microenvironment in NSCLC, the effects of EGCG on microvessel density (MVD), expression of Ang-1 and Ang-2, interstitial fluid pressure (IFP), tumor hypoxia, and chemotherapy sensitivity were examined.
METHODS AND RESULTS: EGCG treatment of A549 cells in mice bearing xenografts in vivo led to a significant decrease of MVD detected by CD31, and of Ang-2 expression detected by quantum dots double-label immunofluorescence assessment, while Ang-1 decreased with no significance. Decreased IFP was measured by the Wink-in-needle method, while hypoxia was assessed by polarographic electrode and pimonidazole (PIMO) immunohistochemistry. Assuming that these changes would increase response to chemotherapy, tumor growth studies were p[erformed in nude mice with xenografts, which were then treated with EGCG and the chemotherapeutic agent cisplatin. EGCG therapy combined with cisplatin led to synergistic inhibition of tumor growth, compared with administration of each treatment separately (P < 0.001). According to linear regression analysis, IFP was positively correlated with PIMO staining (R(2) = 0.618, P = 0.002), Ang-2 was correlated with MVD (R(2) = 0.423, P = 0.022), IFP (R(2) = 0.663, P = 0.01) and PIMO staining (R(2) = 0.694, P = 0.01).
CONCLUSION: IFP and delivery of oxygen might be improved by rebalance of Ang-1/Ang-2 under the treatment of EGCG in NSCLC, which also acts as a sensitizer of chemotherapy. These studies established a new mechanism for using EGCG as an adjuvant chemotherapy agent through modifying microvasculature and microenvironment.

Ghasemi R, Ghaffari SH, Momeny M, et al.
Multitargeting and antimetastatic potentials of silibinin in human HepG-2 and PLC/PRF/5 hepatoma cells.
Nutr Cancer. 2013; 65(4):590-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common sort of primary liver malignancy with poor prognosis. This study aimed at examining the effects of silibinin (a putative antimetastatic agent) on some transcriptional markers mechanistically related to HCC recurrence and metastasis in HepG-2 [hepatitis B virus (HBV)-negative and P53 intact) and PLC/PRF/5 (HBV-positive and P53 mutated) cells. The expression of 27 genes in response to silibinin was evaluated by real-time RT-PCR. The MMP gelatinolytic assay and microculture tetrazolium test (MTT) were tested. Silibinin was capable of suppressing the transcriptional levels of ANGPT2, ATP6L, CAP2, CCR6, CCR7, CLDN-10, cortactin, CXCR4, GLI2, HK2, ID1, KIAA0101, mortalin, PAK1, RHOA, SPINK1, and STMN1 as well as the enzymatic activity of MMP-2 but promoted the transcripts of CREB3L3, DDX3X, and PROX1 in both cells. Some significant differences between the cells in response to silibinin were detected that might be related to the differences of the cells in terms of HBV infection and/or P53 mutation, suggesting the possible influence of silibinin on HCC through biological functions of these 2 prognostic factors. In conclusion, our findings suggest that silibinin could potentially function as a multitargeting antimetastatic agent and might provide new insights for HCC therapy particularly for HBV-related and/or P53-mutated HCCs.

Li T, Liu Z, Jiang K, Ruan Q
Angiopoietin2 enhances doxorubin resistance in HepG2 cells by upregulating survivin and Ref-1 via MSK1 activation.
Cancer Lett. 2013; 337(2):276-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiopoietin2 (Ang2) and its Tie2 receptor have extensive effects on tumor malignancy including angiogenesis and metastasis. In this study, we evaluated the protective effect of Ang2 on doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in HepG2 cells. Ang2 (400 ng/ml) attenuated doxorubicin-mediated cytotoxicity by upregulating the expression of Survivin and Ref-1, which was reversed by a soluble extracellular domain of Tie2. Mechanistic study showed Ang2 activated ERK-MSK cascade to induce histone H3 phosphorylation and inducible gene expression. The stimulatory effect of Ang2 on anti-apoptotic genes was attenuated by either MSK inhibitor (H89) or by overexpression of a kinase-deficient MSK1. Activated MSK1 phosphorylated the CREB at Ser133 and phosho-CREB was recruited to Ref-1 promoter rapidly to initiate the gene expression. Moreover, knockdown of MSK1 by specific siRNA also attenuated the pro-survival activity of Ang2 and CREB phosphorylation. Hence, our study suggests the existence of an Ang2-ERK-MSK signaling axis mediating survival responses and drug resistance of tumor cells.

Wu YY, Chen L, Wang GL, et al.
Inhibition of hepatocellular carcinoma growth and angiogenesis by dual silencing of NET-1 and VEGF.
J Mol Histol. 2013; 44(4):433-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Simultaneous silencing of multiple up-regulated genes is an attractive and viable strategy to treat many incurable diseases including cancer. Herein we used dual gene targeted siRNA (DGT siRNA) conjugate composed of NET-1 and VEGF siRNA sequences in the same backbone could inhibit growth and angiogenesis HCC. DGT siRNA showed a further down regulation on VEGF mRNA and protein levels compared with NET-1 siRNA or VEGF siRNA, but not on NET-1 expression. It also exhibited greater suppression on proliferation and trigger of apoptosis in HepG2 cells than NET-1 siRNA or VEGF siRNA; this could be explained by the significant down regulation of cyclin D1 and Bcl-2. A lower level of ANG2 mRNA and protein was detected in HUVEC cultured with supernatant of HepG2 cells treated with DGT siRNA than that of VEGF siRNA or NET-1 siRNA, resulting in much more inhibited angiogenesis of HUVEC. Tumor growth was inhibited and microvessel density dropped in the xenograft tumor models compared to the untreated controls. NET-1 and VEGF silencing play a key role in inhibiting hepatocellular cell proliferation, promoting apoptosis, and reducing angiogenesis. Simultaneous silencing of NET-1 and VEGF using DGT siRNA construct may provide an advantageous alternative in development of therapeutics for Hepatocellular carcinoma.

Ye FC, Zhou FC, Nithianantham S, et al.
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus induces rapid release of angiopoietin-2 from endothelial cells.
J Virol. 2013; 87(11):6326-35 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) stimulates proliferation, angiogenesis, and inflammation to promote Kaposi sarcoma (KS) tumor growth, which involves various growth factors and cytokines. Previously, we found that KSHV infection of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) induces a transcriptional induction of the proangiogenic and proinflammatory cytokine angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2). Here, we report that KSHV induces rapid release of Ang-2 that is presynthesized and stored in the Weibel-Palade bodies (WPB) of endothelial cells upon binding to its integrin receptors. Blocking viral binding to integrins inhibits Ang-2 release. KSHV binding activates the integrin tyrosine kinase receptor signaling pathways, leading to tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), the tyrosine kinase Src, and the Calα2 subunit of the l-type calcium channel to trigger rapid calcium (Ca(2+)) influx. Pretreatment of endothelial cells with specific inhibitors of protein tyrosine kinases inhibits KSHV-induced Ca(2+) influx and Ang-2 release. Inhibition of Ca(2+) mobilization with calcium channel blockers also inhibits Ang-2 release. Thus, the interaction between KSHV and its integrin receptors plays a key role in regulating rapid Ang-2 release from endothelial cells. This finding highlights a novel mechanism of viral induction of angiogenesis and inflammation, which might play important roles in the early event of KS tumor development.

Danza K, Pilato B, Lacalamita R, et al.
Angiogenetic axis angiopoietins/Tie2 and VEGF in familial breast cancer.
Eur J Hum Genet. 2013; 21(8):824-30 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Angiogenesis leads to the formation of blood vessels from pre-existing ones, allowing tumor growth. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Angiopoietins (Ang-1, Ang-2) have a pivotal role in tumor angiogenesis but few data regarding their role in hereditary breast cancer are available. The aim of the present study was to analyze Ang-1, Ang-2, tyrosine-protein kinase receptor Tie2 and VEGF expression and their correlation in a cohort of familial and sporadic breast cancers in order to verify whether the presence of germline mutations in BRCA may have a role in tumor microenvironment regulation. Tumor samples from a cohort of 41 patients with a first diagnosis and a family history of breast cancer and 19 patients with sporadic breast cancers were enrolled. The expression of Tie2, Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. Patients harboring BRCA mutations had higher levels of Ang-1 (P=0.05), Ang-2 (P=0.02) and VEGF (P=0.04) mRNA compared with those without BRCA mutations (BRCAX). The same was observed in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Moreover, a positive correlation between Ang-2 and VEGF was found in both the familial breast cancer group (BRCA carriers: r=0.83; P<0.0001 and BRCAX: r=0.58; P=0.008) and in TNBC (r=0.62; P=0.007). The higher levels of Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF mRNA found in BRCA carriers and TNBCs suggest that they could be attractive angiogenic therapeutic targets in these breast cancers.

Bhaskar A, Gupta R, Vishnubhatla S, et al.
Angiopoietins as biomarker of disease activity and response to therapy in multiple myeloma.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2013; 54(7):1473-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor angiogenesis is a complex process involving interplay of several angiogenic regulators. In the present study, mRNA expression and circulating levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2), hypoxia inducible factor (HiF)-1α, circulating endothelial progenitor cells (cEPCs) and bone marrow microvessel density (MVD) were evaluated in multiple myeloma (MM). Compared to healthy controls, the levels of VEGF, bFGF, Ang-2, HiF-1α and cEPCs were significantly higher and Ang-1 and Ang-1/Ang-2 were lower in MM (p < 0.01). cEPC numbers correlated with Ang-1 (p = 0.03), Ang-2 (p = 0.01) and VEGF (p = 0.002). On multivariate analysis, reduced Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio (p = 0.005) at baseline was an independent predictor for response to therapy. After therapy, a decrease in Ang-2 (p < 0.001) and an increase in Ang-1/Ang-2 ratio (p = 0.003) were observed in responders. This study highlights the role of angiopoietins in MM which may, thus, be evaluated as potential targets for anti-angiogenic therapy in future.

Khan R, Sharma M, Kumar L, et al.
Interrelationship and expression profiling of cyclooxygenase and angiogenic factors in Indian patients with multiple myeloma.
Ann Hematol. 2013; 92(1):101-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multiple myeloma (MM) is classically illustrated by a desynchronized cytokine system with rise in inflammatory cytokines. There are recent reports which emphasized the potential role of angiogenesis in the development of MM. Role of cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) is well documented in the pathogenesis of solid tumors, but little is known about its occurrence and function in hematologic neoplasms. Involvement of neoangiogenesis is reported in the progression of MM, and angiopoietins probably contribute to this progression by enhancing neovascularization. Circulatory and mRNA levels of angiogenic factors and cyclooxygenase were determined in 125 subjects (75 MM patients and 50 healthy controls) by using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and quantitative PCR. We observed significant increase for angiogenic factors (Ang-1, Ang-2, hepatocyte growth factor, and vascular endothelial growth factor) and cyclooxygenase at circulatory level, as well as at mRNA level, as compared to healthy controls except insignificant increase for Ang-1 at circulatory level. We have also observed the significant positive correlation of all angiogenic factors with cyclooxygenase. The strong association found between angiogenic factors and COX-2 in this study may lead to the development of combination therapeutic strategy to treat MM. Therefore, targeting COX-2 by using its effective inhibitors demonstrating antiangiogenic and antitumor effects could be used as a new therapeutic approach for treatment of MM.

Zhang J, Ma D, Ye J, et al.
Prognostic impact of δ-like ligand 4 and Notch1 in acute myeloid leukemia.
Oncol Rep. 2012; 28(4):1503-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Notch signaling plays a critical role in embryonic vascular development and tumor angiogenesis. The present study was conducted to investigate the prognostic role of the angiogenesis-related Notch ligand and the receptor in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and assess whether their expression correlates with that of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiopoietin (Ang)-2. Bone marrow mononuclear cells from 60 untreated AML patients and 40 healthy controls were obtained. Real-time RT-PCR was performed to evaluate the mRNA expression of δ-like ligand 4 (Dll4), Notch1, VEGF, VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1, VEGFR-2, Ang-1, Ang-2 and Tie2. Western blot analysis was used to determine the protein levels of Dll4 and Notch1. The results demonstrated that Dll4, Notch1, VEGF, VEGFR-2 and Ang-2 expression were significantly higher in untreated AML patients than in the controls. Univariate analysis of factors associated with the overall survival showed a significantly shorter survival in patients with the unfavorable karyotype, higher Dll4 expression, higher Notch1 expression, higher VEGF expression or higher Ang-2 expression. Furthermore, multivariate analysis revealed that the karyotype and expression levels of Notch1, Dll4, VEGF and Ang-2 were independent prognostic factors for overall survival. Additionally, the prognostic value of Dll4 expression (but not Notch1) was more significant in the subgroup consisting of patients with intermediate-risk cytogenetics. Subgroup analysis showed that Notch1 and Dll4 expression levels had a prognostic impact on patients with high VEGF or Ang-2 levels. Taken together, our data provide evidence that the activation of the Notch pathway may indicate an unfavorable prognosis in AML. In particular, Dll4 may be a relevant prognostic marker in intermediate-risk AML.

D'Souza SS, Scherzinger-Laude K, Simon M, et al.
Angiopoietin-2 inhibition using siRNA or the peptide antagonist L1-10 results in antitumor activity in human neuroblastoma.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2012; 138(12):2017-26 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The angiopoietin/Tie-2 system has been identified as a key role player in tumor angiogenesis. We investigated whether angiopoietin-2 could be a promising target in human neuroblastoma.
METHODS: Angiopoietin-2 down-regulation by siRNA or shRNA was evaluated in vitro in Kelly cells. Angiopoietin-2 shRNA-transfected Kelly cells were tested in a chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay to evaluate tumor growth and microvessel density. The effects of L1-10, a peptide-Fc fusion molecule blocking angiopoietin-2/Tie-2 interaction, administered 3 times/week were assessed in a murine neuroblastoma xenograft model.
RESULTS: Angiopoietin-2 down-regulation by siRNA or shRNA in Kelly cells inhibited cell proliferation and migration. In vivo growth and microvessel density of angiopoietin-2 shRNA-transfected Kelly cells in the CAM assay were reduced. Therapy of advanced tumors with L1-10 did not stop tumor progression. However, starting L1-10 treatment at the same time as neuroblastoma cell injection significantly inhibited tumor growth (vehicule: 903 ± 160 mm(3); L1-10: 270 ± 152 mm(3) after 26 days; P < 0.05). Microvessel density was reduced in both L1-10-treated tumors, whereas expression of angiopoietin-2 and VEGF-A did not change.
CONCLUSION: This first demonstration of beneficial angiopoietin-2 inhibition in neuroblastoma offers an additional approach for future therapy strategies, especially by using L1-10 in the setting of minimal residual disease.

Desch A, Strozyk EA, Bauer AT, et al.
Highly invasive melanoma cells activate the vascular endothelium via an MMP-2/integrin αvβ5-induced secretion of VEGF-A.
Am J Pathol. 2012; 181(2):693-705 [PubMed] Related Publications
Tumor cell extravasation is a critical step in the metastatic cascade and requires interaction between the tumor cell and the endothelium. Although cancer progression depends on a complex network of mechanisms, including inflammation and coagulation, the involvement of tumor-induced endothelium activation and the subsequent release of procoagulatory factors in this process are not well understood. Using tissue sections from patients with malignant melanoma, immunofluorescence studies for the presence of von Willebrand factor (VWF) clearly demonstrated endothelium activation and the formation of ultra-large VWF fibers in these patients. In vitro analyses revealed that supernatants from highly invasive melanoma cells induced an acute endothelium activation measured by VWF, P-selectin, and angiopoietin-2 release. Proteome profiling identified vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) as the main mediator of endothelium activation. Inhibition and knock-down of VEGF-A in melanoma cells led to a rigorous decrease in VWF exocytosis. Selective small-interfering RNA to matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) inhibited endothelium activation, and this effect correlated with reduced VEGF-A content in the supernatants of melanoma cells. Further experiments showed that active MMP-2 regulates VEGF-A in melanoma cells on a transcriptional level via an integrin αvβ5/phosphoinositide-3-kinase-dependent pathway. In conclusion, these results indicate an important role of VEGF-A in acute endothelium activation and provide clear evidence that MMP-2 plays a pivotal role in the autocrine regulation of VEGF-A expression in melanoma cells.

Felcht M, Luck R, Schering A, et al.
Angiopoietin-2 differentially regulates angiogenesis through TIE2 and integrin signaling.
J Clin Invest. 2012; 122(6):1991-2005 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/03/2015 Related Publications
Angiopoietin-2 (ANG-2) is a key regulator of angiogenesis that exerts context-dependent effects on ECs. ANG-2 binds the endothelial-specific receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (TIE2) and acts as a negative regulator of ANG-1/TIE2 signaling during angiogenesis, thereby controlling the responsiveness of ECs to exogenous cytokines. Recent data from tumors indicate that under certain conditions ANG-2 can also promote angiogenesis. However, the molecular mechanisms of dual ANG-2 functions are poorly understood. Here, we identify a model for the opposing roles of ANG-2 in angiogenesis. We found that angiogenesis-activated endothelium harbored a subpopulation of TIE2-negative ECs (TIE2lo). TIE2 expression was downregulated in angiogenic ECs, which abundantly expressed several integrins. ANG-2 bound to these integrins in TIE2lo ECs, subsequently inducing, in a TIE2-independent manner, phosphorylation of the integrin adaptor protein FAK, resulting in RAC1 activation, migration, and sprouting angiogenesis. Correspondingly, in vivo ANG-2 blockade interfered with integrin signaling and inhibited FAK phosphorylation and sprouting angiogenesis of TIE2lo ECs. These data establish a contextual model whereby differential TIE2 and integrin expression, binding, and activation control the role of ANG-2 in angiogenesis. The results of this study have immediate translational implications for the therapeutic exploitation of angiopoietin signaling.

Speisky D, Duces A, Bièche I, et al.
Molecular profiling of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors in sporadic and Von Hippel-Lindau patients.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(10):2838-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is an inherited syndrome caused by germline mutations in the VHL tumor suppressor gene, predisposing to a variety of neoplasms including pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PanNET). In VHL disease, PanNET probably progress according to a specific pathway of carcinogenesis. Our aim was to characterize by molecular quantitative analysis a panel of molecules implicated in the VHL pathway and in tumor progression in the PanNET of patients with VHL.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The expression of 52 genes was studied by quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR in 18 patients with VHL operated on for PanNET and compared with 16 non-VHL PanNET. The VHL and non-VHL tumors were matched according to their size and cell proliferation. For some genes, we looked for differences in the protein expression in VHL PanNET (n = 31), microadenomas (n = 22), and non-VHL PanNET (n = 16), included in tissue microarray blocks.
RESULTS: Nineteen (36%) genes were significantly upregulated and three (6%) downregulated in VHL PanNET. The upregulated genes were related to (i) hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) molecules (CA9, HIF2A, and GLUT1), (ii) angiogenesis (CDH5, VEGFR1, EDNRA, ANGPT2, CD34, VEGFR2, VEGFA, and ANGPT1), (iii) the processes of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (VIM) and/or metastasis (LAMA4 and CXCR4), (iv) growth factors and receptors (PDGFB, IRS1, and ERBB1), or (v) cell cycle (CCND1 and CDKN2A). The downregulated genes were related to (i) EMT (OCLN) and (ii) signaling pathways (RPS6KB1 and GADD45B).
CONCLUSION: This study shows that the progression of PanNET in patients with VHL tumors follows a specific pathway and supports that targeting molecules specifically involved may be of therapeutic importance.

Zhang ZX, Zhou J, Zhang Y, et al.
Knockdown of angiopoietin-2 suppresses metastasis in human pancreatic carcinoma by reduced matrix metalloproteinase-2.
Mol Biotechnol. 2013; 53(3):336-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) has been shown highly expressed in resected human pancreatic carcinoma samples, and has tightly combination with tumor angiogenesis, but the role in metastasis of it is less clear. We were, therefore, interested in exploring the effects of Ang2 silencing on the invasion and metastasis of pancreatic carcinoma. Lentivirus (LV)-mediated Ang2 small hairpin RNA (LV-RNAi) and mock lentivirus (LV-NC) were transfected into pancreatic carcinoma cell line MIA PaCa-2. Groups were designed in this study: the control group (MIA PaCa-2 cells), the LV-NC group (cells transfected with the LV-NC), the LV-RNAi-KD1 group (cells transfected with LV-RNAi of knock down sequence (1) and the LV-RNAi-KD2 group (cells transfected with LV-RNAi of knock down sequence (2). Boyden chamber transwell assay was used to detect the cell invasion change. The protein levels of Ang2, MMP-2, and MMP-9 gene and mRNA level of MMP-2, MMP-9 were detected by Western blot and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Orthotopic pancreatic carcinoma xenotransplantation model were successfully built with MIA PaCa-2 cells injection. After treatment with intraperitoneal injection of LV-RNAi-KD2 (LV-RNAi), mice growth, liver function test, tumor volume and peritoneal metastatic numbers were observed and counted. Moreover, expression of Ang2, MMP-2, MMP-9 were measured by immunohistochemistry. Ang2 expression were successfully knocked down in two LV-RNAi groups, especially in the LV-RNAi-KD2group. Compared with the control group and the LV-NC group, the mRNA and protein level of MMP-2 gene were downregulated significantly in LV-RNAi groups, also the invasion cell number decreased in boyden chamber transwell assay after LV-RNAi transfection. Meanwhile, no obvious MMP-9 gene expression changes were found among all the groups. LV-RNAi injection inhibited pancreatic carcinoma metastasis and growth in vivo by downregulating the expression of MMP-2 not MMP-9. Most importantly, LV-mediated gene therapy with Ang2 knockdown exhibited almost no toxicity in vivo. These findings demonstrate that Ang2 gene silencing exert an anti-metastasis effect in vitro and in vivo, and Ang2 targeted gene therapy has the potential to serve as a novel way for pancreatic carcinoma treatment.

Jung SY, Choi JH, Kwon SM, et al.
Decursin inhibits vasculogenesis in early tumor progression by suppression of endothelial progenitor cell differentiation and function.
J Cell Biochem. 2012; 113(5):1478-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) contribute to the tumor vasculature during tumor progression. Decursin isolated from the herb Angelica gigas is known to possess potent anti-inflammatory activities. Recently, we reported that decursin is a novel candidate for an angiogenesis inhibitor [Jung et al., 2009]. In this study, we investigated whether decursin regulates EPC differentiation and function to inhibit tumor vasculogenesis. We isolated AC133+ cells from human cord blood and decursin significantly decreased the number of EPC colony forming units of human cord blood-derived AC133+ cells that produce functional EPC progenies. Decursin dose-dependently decreased the cell number of EPC committing cells as demonstrated by EPC expansion studies. Decursin inhibited EPC differentiation from progenitor cells into spindle-shaped EPC colonies. Additionally, decursin inhibited proliferation and migration of early EPCs isolated from mouse bone marrow. Furthermore, decursin suppressed expression of angiopoietin-2, angiopoietin receptor Tie-2, Flk-1 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase in mouse BM derived EPCs in a dose-dependent manner. Decursin suppressed tube formation ability of EPCs in collaboration with HUVEC. Decursin (4 mg/kg) inhibited tumor-induced mobilization of circulating EPCs (CD34 + /VEGFR-2+ cells) from bone marrow and early incorporation of Dil-Ac-LDL-labeled or green fluorescent protein (GFP)+ EPCs into neovessels of xenograft Lewis lung carcinoma tumors in wild-type- or bone-marrow-transplanted mice. Accordingly, decursin attenuated EPC-derived endothelial cells in neovessels of Lewis lung carcinoma tumor masses grown in mice. Together, decursin likely affects EPC differentiation and function, thereby inhibiting tumor vasculogenesis in early tumorigenesis.

Zhang JT, Fan YZ, Chen CQ, et al.
Norcantharidin: a potential antiangiogenic agent for gallbladder cancers in vitro and in vivo.
Int J Oncol. 2012; 40(5):1501-14 [PubMed] Related Publications
Our objective was to explore the antiangiogenic activity of norcantharidin (NCTD) as an angiogenic inhibitor for gallbladder cancers. In vitro and in vivo experiments to determine the effects of NCTD on HUVECs, chicken CAM capillaries and gallbladder cancer xenograft angiogenesis in nude mice were respectively done. The MTT method was used to assay the cytotoxicity of NCTD on HUVECs. Immunofluorescence was used to evaluate HUVEC apoptosis. The scraping line method, matrigel invasion assay and tube formation assay were used to detect the migration, invasion and tube formation of HUVECs. A digital camera was used to observe chicken CAM capillaries. Experiments with NCTD in a xenograft model were used to observe the effect of NCTD on xenograft growth and survival of mice with xenografts. CD₃₄ immunohistochemistry, flow cytometry and micro-MRA were used, respectively, to determine MVD, cell apoptosis and hemodynamic analysis of the xenografts. Immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR were used, respectively, to detect the expression of VEGF, Ang-2, TSP, TIMP-2 proteins/mRNAs of the xenografts. The xenograft MVD associated with tumor volume, the PCNA/apoptosis ratio and related-protein expression was evaluated simultaneously. We found that NCTD effectively inhibited the proliferation, migration, invasion and capillary-like tube formation of HUVECs in vitro; it reduced angiogenesis and directly destroyed the formed CAM capillaries in vivo. In the experiments in mice, NCTD not only inhibited significantly xenograft proliferation and growth, prolonged survival time of mice with xenografts, decreased the xenograft MVD and vascular perfusion, but also, similarly to ES, decreased significantly the expression of VEGF or Ang-2 protein/mRNA, increased the expression of TSP or TIMP-2 protein/mRNA. Moreover, the xenograft MVD was positively related with tumor volume, PCNA/apoptosis ratio, and VEGF or Ang-2 expression, respectively (all P<0.05), but negatively correlated with TSP or TIMP-2 expression (both P<0.05). These data showed that NCTD could serve as a potential antiangiogenic agent for gallbladder cancers.

Favier J, Igaz P, Burnichon N, et al.
Rationale for anti-angiogenic therapy in pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.
Endocr Pathol. 2012; 23(1):34-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas are highly vascularized tumors which are candidates for anti-angiogenic therapies. Several studies have reported the association of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) overexpression with malignancy, but none took into account the genetic status of the patients or tumors, which may have a major influence on such observations. Transcriptome studies indeed revealed that pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas can be classified into two major clusters depending on their gene expression profile: Cluster 1 comprises samples associated with a hypoxic signature such as SDHx- and VHL-related tumors and cluster 2 includes RET, NF1, and TMEM127-mutated tumors, as well as most of sporadic tumors. The aim of this study was to provide a comprehensive rationale for the targeting of angiogenesis in patients with malignant forms of the disease. We used in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, and microarray gene expression profiling to evaluate angiogenesis and the expression of several angiogenic factors in a large cohort of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. We also studied the activation of mTOR by assessing the phosphorylation of its targets, P70 S6 kinase and 4E-BP1. These results were correlated with both malignancy and transcription signature. Our results reveal that cluster 1 tumors display a marked increase in both vascularization and in the expression of major angiogenic molecules, including VEGF, its receptors, HIF2α, Angiopoietin-2, and the endothelin receptors ETA and ETB. These overexpressions were observed in both benign and malignant samples of cluster 1 and thus appeared to be mainly dependent on the pseudo-hypoxic status of these tumors. The mTOR pathway was potentially activated in half of the tumors studied, with a slight increase in cluster 2 pheochromocytomas. Our results suggest that there is a strong rationale for anti-VEGF-based therapeutic strategies in malignant pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas, in particular in those associated with mutations in the SDHB gene.

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