Gene Summary

Gene:VEGFA; vascular endothelial growth factor A
Aliases: VPF, VEGF, MVCD1
Summary:This gene is a member of the PDGF/VEGF growth factor family. It encodes a heparin-binding protein, which exists as a disulfide-linked homodimer. This growth factor induces proliferation and migration of vascular endothelial cells, and is essential for both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Disruption of this gene in mice resulted in abnormal embryonic blood vessel formation. This gene is upregulated in many known tumors and its expression is correlated with tumor stage and progression. Elevated levels of this protein are found in patients with POEMS syndrome, also known as Crow-Fukase syndrome. Allelic variants of this gene have been associated with microvascular complications of diabetes 1 (MVCD1) and atherosclerosis. Alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been described. There is also evidence for alternative translation initiation from upstream non-AUG (CUG) codons resulting in additional isoforms. A recent study showed that a C-terminally extended isoform is produced by use of an alternative in-frame translation termination codon via a stop codon readthrough mechanism, and that this isoform is antiangiogenic. Expression of some isoforms derived from the AUG start codon is regulated by a small upstream open reading frame, which is located within an internal ribosome entry site. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2015]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:vascular endothelial growth factor A
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (9)

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: VEGFA (cancer-related)

Drobková H, Jurečeková J, Sivoňová MK, et al.
Associations Between Gene Polymorphisms of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor and Prostate Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(6):2903-2909 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between selected polymorphisms of the vascular endothelial growth factor gene (rs699947, rs144854329, rs833061, rs2010963, rs3025039) and the risk of prostate cancer development and progression.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study included 446 patients with prostate cancer and 241 healthy men. Genotyping was performed by polymerase-chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.
RESULTS: No significant association between the individual polymorphisms studied and the risk of prostate cancer development was detected. A statistically significantly increased risk of prostate cancer development associated with the presence of 9 or 10 risky alleles was found considering the whole group of patients, as well as in patients with low-grade carcinomas (Gleason score <7).
CONCLUSION: Individual polymorphisms of VEGF do not appear to contribute to prostate cancer. However, a combination of risky alleles of the studied polymorphisms significantly increases the risk of prostate cancer in Slovak patients.

Rusak A, Jablonska K, Piotrowska A, et al.
Correlation of Expression of CHI3L1 and Nogo-A and their Role in Angiogenesis in Invasive Ductal Breast Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2341-2350 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Chitinase 3 like 1 (CHI3L1) is a secretion glycoprotein. Elevated levels of this protein are observed in cancer diseases. The biological role of CHI3L1 is not yet fully known, but the connection between CHI3L1 and angiogenesis has been shown. Recent reports also describe the association of Nogo isoforms and Nogo-B receptor (NgBR) with a proliferative potential, cancer cell invasiveness, and angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of CHI3L1, Nogo-A, Nogo-A/B, and NgBR and correlate them with clinical-pathological data, to study their role in angiogenesis in invasive ductal breast carcinoma (IDC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 77 IDC cases were used in the study. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the level of expression of CHI3L1, Nogo-A, Nogo-A/B, NgBR and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFA, VEGFC and VEGFD). The obtained results were subjected to statistical analysis including clinicalpathological data.
RESULTS: A statistically significant positive correlation of CHI3L1 and Nogo-A expression (r=0.474, p>0.0001) and a positive correlation of Nogo-A and VEGFC expression (r=0.280, p=0.013) were found.
CONCLUSION: CHI3L1 and Nogo-A are important in angiogenesis in IDC.

Yang C, Deng SP
[Mechanism of hsa-miR-302a-3p-targeted
Sichuan Da Xue Xue Bao Yi Xue Ban. 2019; 50(1):13-19 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To explore the role mechanism of hsa-miR-302a-3p overexpression in the inhibition of proliferation of gastric cancer cell SGC-7901 by targeted-regulating vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA).
METHODS: The cell transfection was used to transfect hsa-miR-302a-3p mimic into miR mimic group and transfect pc-

Sammarco G, Varricchi G, Ferraro V, et al.
Mast Cells, Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis in Human Gastric Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is diagnosed in nearly one million new patients each year and it remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Although gastric cancer represents a heterogeneous group of diseases, chronic inflammation has been shown to play a role in tumorigenesis. Cancer development is a multistep process characterized by genetic and epigenetic alterations during tumour initiation and progression. The stromal microenvironment is important in maintaining normal tissue homeostasis or promoting tumour development. A plethora of immune cells (i.e., lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells, monocytes, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, Treg cells, dendritic cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, natural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells) are components of gastric cancer microenvironment. Mast cell density is increased in gastric cancer and there is a correlation with angiogenesis, the number of metastatic lymph nodes and the survival of these patients. Mast cells exert a protumorigenic role in gastric cancer through the release of angiogenic (VEGF-A, CXCL8, MMP-9) and lymphangiogenic factors (VEGF-C and VEGF-F). Gastric mast cells express the programmed death ligands (PD-L1 and PD-L2) which are relevant as immune checkpoints in cancer. Several clinical undergoing trials targeting immune checkpoints could be an innovative therapeutic strategy in gastric cancer. Elucidation of the role of subsets of mast cells in different human gastric cancers will demand studies of increasing complexity beyond those assessing merely mast cell density and microlocalization.

Zhang Q, Lu S, Li T, et al.
ACE2 inhibits breast cancer angiogenesis via suppressing the VEGFa/VEGFR2/ERK pathway.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):173 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer angiogenesis is key for metastasis and predicts a poor prognosis. Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), as a member of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), was reported to restrain the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) through inhibiting angiogenesis. However, the relationship between ACE2 and breast cancer angiogenesis remains unclear.
METHODS: The prognosis and relative gene selection were analysed using the GEPIA, GEO, TCGA and STRING databases. ACE2 expression in breast cancer tissue was estimated by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Breast cancer cell migration, proliferation and angiogenesis were assessed by Transwell migration, proliferation, tube formation, and wound healing assays. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFa) was detected by qPCR and Western blotting. The phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2), mitogen-activated protein kinase 1/2 (MEK1/2), and extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) was examined by Western blotting. Breast cancer metastasis and angiogenesis in vivo were measured using a zebrafish model.
RESULTS: ACE2 was downregulated in breast cancer patients. Patients with higher ACE2 expression had longer relapse-free survival (RFS). In vitro, ACE2 inhibited breast cancer migration. Meanwhile, ACE2 in breast cancer cells inhibited human umbilical vascular endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation, tube formation and migration. In the zebrafish model, ACE2 inhibited breast cancer cell metastasis, as demonstrated by analyses of the number of disseminated foci and the metastatic distance. Neo-angiogenesis was also decreased by ACE2. ACE2 downregulated the expression of VEGFa in breast cancer cells. Furthermore, ACE2 in breast cancer cells inactivated the phosphorylation of VEGFR2, MEK1/2, and ERK1/2 in HUVECs.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that ACE2, as a potential resister to breast cancer, might inhibit breast cancer angiogenesis through the VEGFa/VEGFR2/ERK pathway.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: Retrospectively registered.

Wang T, Xing Y, Meng Q, et al.
Mammalian Eps15 homology domain 1 potentiates angiogenesis of non-small cell lung cancer by regulating β2AR signaling.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2019; 38(1):174 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is a devastating disease with a heterogeneous prognosis, and the molecular mechanisms underlying tumor progression remain elusive. Mammalian Eps15 homology domain 1 (EHD1) plays a promotive role in tumor progression, but its role in cancer angiogenesis remains unknown. This study thus explored the role of EHD1 in angiogenesis in NSCLC.
METHODS: The changes in angiogenesis were evaluated through human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation, migration and tube formation assays. The impact of EHD1 on β2-adrenoceptor (β2AR) signaling was evaluated by Western blotting, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analysis, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The interaction between EHD1 and β2AR was confirmed by immunofluorescence (IF) and coimmunoprecipitation (Co-IP) experiments, and confocal microscopy immunofluorescence studies revealed that β2AR colocalized with the recycling endosome marker Rab11, which indicated β2AR endocytosis. Xenograft tumor models were used to investigate the role of EHD1 in NSCLC tumor growth.
RESULTS: The microarray analysis revealed that EHD1 was significantly correlated with tumor angiogenesis, and loss- and gain-of-function experiments demonstrated that EHD1 potentiates HUVEC proliferation, migration and tube formation. EHD1 knockdown inhibited β2AR signaling activity, and EHD1 upregulation promoted vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and β2AR expression. Interestingly, EHD1 interacted with β2AR and played a novel and critical role in β2AR endocytic recycling to prevent receptor degradation. Aberrant VEGFA or β2AR expression significantly affected EHD1-mediated tumor angiogenesis. The proangiogenic role of EHD1 was confirmed in xenograft tumor models, and immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis confirmed that EHD1 expression was positively correlated with VEGFA expression, microvessel density (MVD) and β2AR expression in patient specimens.
CONCLUSION: Collectively, the data obtained in this study suggest that EHD1 plays a critical role in NSCLC angiogenesis via β2AR signaling and highlight a potential target for antiangiogenic therapy.

Ando A, Hashimoto N, Sakamoto K, et al.
Repressive role of stabilized hypoxia inducible factor 1α expression on transforming growth factor β-induced extracellular matrix production in lung cancer cells.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(6):1959-1973 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activation of transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) combined with persistent hypoxia often affects the tumor microenvironment. Disruption of cadherin/catenin complexes induced by these stimulations yields aberrant extracellular matrix (ECM) production, characteristics of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF), the hallmark of the response to hypoxia, play differential roles during development of diseases. Recent studies show that localization of cadherin/catenin complexes at the cell membrane might be tightly regulated by protein phosphatase activity. We aimed to investigate the role of stabilized HIF-1α expression by protein phosphatase activity on dissociation of the E-cadherin/β-catenin complex and aberrant ECM expression in lung cancer cells under stimulation by TGF-β. By using lung cancer cells treated with HIF-1α stabilizers or carrying doxycycline-dependent HIF-1α deletion or point mutants, we investigated the role of stabilized HIF-1α expression on TGF-β-induced EMT in lung cancer cells. Furthermore, the underlying mechanisms were determined by inhibition of protein phosphatase activity. Persistent stimulation by TGF-β and hypoxia induced EMT phenotypes in H358 cells in which stabilized HIF-1α expression was inhibited. Stabilized HIF-1α protein expression inhibited the TGF-β-stimulated appearance of EMT phenotypes across cell types and species, independent of de novo vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) expression. Inhibition of protein phosphatase 2A activity abrogated the HIF-1α-induced repression of the TGF-β-stimulated appearance of EMT phenotypes. This is the first study to show a direct role of stabilized HIF-1α expression on inhibition of TGF-β-induced EMT phenotypes in lung cancer cells, in part, through protein phosphatase activity.

Yu Y, Blokhuis BR, Garssen J, Redegeld FA
A Transcriptomic Insight into the Impact of Colon Cancer Cells on Mast Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(7) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mast cells (MCs) are one of the first immune cells recruited to a tumor. It is well recognized that MCs accumulate in colon cancer lesion and their density is associated with the clinical outcomes. However, the molecular mechanism of how colon cancer cells may modify MC function is still unclear. In this study, primary human MCs were generated from CD34⁺ progenitor cells and a 3D coculture model was developed to study the interplay between colon cancer cells and MCs. By comparing the transcriptomic profile of colon cancer-cocultured MCs versus control MCs, we identified a number of deregulated genes, such as MMP-2, VEGF-A, PDGF-A, COX2, NOTCH1 and ISG15, which contribute to the enrichment of cancer-related pathways. Intriguingly, pre-stimulation with a TLR2 agonist prior to colon cancer coculture induced upregulation of multiple interferon-inducible genes as well as MHC molecules in MCs. Our study provides an alternative approach to study the influence of colon cancer on MCs. The transcriptome signature of colon cancer-cocultured MCs may potentially reflect the mechanism of how colon cancer cells educate MCs to become pro-tumorigenic in the initial phase and how a subsequent inflammatory signal-e.g., TLR2 ligands-may modify their responses in the cancer milieu.

Li QH, Liu Y, Chen S, et al.
circ-CSPP1 promotes proliferation, invasion and migration of ovarian cancer cells by acting as a miR-1236-3p sponge.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2019; 114:108832 [PubMed] Related Publications
Circular RNAs are known to participate in tumorigenesis through a variety of pathways, and as such, have potential to serve as molecular markers in tumor diagnosis and treatment. Here, using quantitative reverse transcription (qRT)-PCR, we showed that circ-CSPP1 is highly expressed in ovarian cancer (OC) tissues. Particularly, we detected circ-CSPP1 expression in three OC cell lines; of which, OVCAR3 and A2780 demonstrated higher levels of circ-CSPP1 expression, and CAOV3 showed lower circ-CSPP1 expression level. Subsequent silencing of circ-CSPP1 in OVCAR3 and A2780 cell lines revealed decreased cell growth, migration and invasion, while overexpression of circ-CSPP1 caused opposite results We also found that miR-1236-3p is a target of circ-CSPP1. Circ-CSPP1 silencing increased the expression of miR-1236-3p, and circ-CSPP1 overexpression decreased miR-1236-3p expression. MiR-1236-3p reportedly plays a tumor-suppressor role in OC by targeting zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1). In agreement with this, we showed that silencing circ-CSPP1 significantly decreased ZEB1 expression at both RNA and protein levels, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) related markers (E-cadherin and N-cadherin) varied with ZEB1 expression. Circ-CSPP1 silencing also caused decreased expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), both of which are related to tumorigenesis. Overexpression of circ-CSPP1 had opposite effects. In addition, we indicated that the tumor-promoting effect was inhibited after we transfected miR-1236-3p into circ-CSPP1 overexpressing OC cells. Altogether, our findings suggest that by acting as a miR-1236-3p sponge, circ-CSPP1 impairs the inhibitory effect of miR-1236-3p on ZEB1, which subsequently promotes EMT and OC development.

Li PW, Wang HY, Xu LL
[Effect of TCF21 on proliferation, migration and vascular production of breast cancer cells].
Zhonghua Bing Li Xue Za Zhi. 2019; 48(4):307-311 [PubMed] Related Publications

Wang HF, Wang SS, Zheng M, et al.
Hypoxia promotes vasculogenic mimicry formation by vascular endothelial growth factor A mediating epithelial-mesenchymal transition in salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma.
Cell Prolif. 2019; 52(3):e12600 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the role of hypoxia in vasculogenic mimicry (VM) of salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (SACC) and the underlying mechanism involved.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Firstly, wound healing, transwell invasion, immunofluorescence and tube formation assays were performed to measure the effect of hypoxia on migration, invasion, EMT and VM of SACC cells, respectively. Then, immunofluorescence and RT-PCR were used to detect the effect of hypoxia on VE-cadherin and VEGFA expression. And pro-vasculogenic mimicry effect of VEGFA was investigated by confocal laser scanning microscopy and Western blot. Moreover, the levels of E-cadherin, N-cadherin, Vimentin, CD44 and ALDH1 were determined by Western blot and immunofluorescence in SACC cells treated by exogenous VEGFA or bevacizumab. Finally, CD31/ PAS staining was performed to observe VM and immunohistochemistry was used to determine the levels of VEGFA and HIF-1α in 95 SACC patients. The relationships between VM and clinicopathological variables, VEGFA or HIF-1α level were analysed.
RESULTS: Hypoxia promoted cell migration, invasion, EMT and VM formation, and enhanced VE-cadherin and VEGFA expression in SACC cells. Further, exogenous VEGFA markedly increased the levels of N-cadherin, Vimentin, CD44 and ALDH1, and inhibited the expression of E-cadherin, while the VEGFA inhibitor reversed these changes. In addition, VM channels existed in 25 of 95 SACC samples, and there was a strong positive correlation between VM and clinic stage, distant metastases, VEGFA and HIF-1α expression.
CONCLUSIONS: VEGFA played an important role in hypoxia-induced VM through regulating EMT and stemness, which may eventually fuel the migration and invasion of SACC.

Campbell EJ, Dachs GU, Morrin HR, et al.
Activation of the hypoxia pathway in breast cancer tissue and patient survival are inversely associated with tumor ascorbate levels.
BMC Cancer. 2019; 19(1):307 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The transcription factor hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) -1 drives tumor growth and metastasis and is associated with poor prognosis in breast cancer. Ascorbate can moderate HIF-1 activity in vitro and is associated with HIF pathway activation in a number of cancer types, but whether tissue ascorbate levels influence the HIF pathway in breast cancer is unknown. In this study we investigated the association between tumor ascorbate levels and HIF-1 activation and patient survival in human breast cancer.
METHODS: In a retrospective analysis of human breast cancer tissue, we analysed primary tumor and adjacent uninvolved tissue from 52 women with invasive ductal carcinoma. We measured HIF-1α, HIF-1 gene targets CAIX, BNIP-3 and VEGF, and ascorbate content. Patient clinical outcomes were evaluated against these parameters.
RESULTS: HIF-1 pathway proteins were upregulated in tumor tissue and increased HIF-1 activation was associated with higher tumor grade and stage, with increased vascular invasion and necrosis, and with decreased disease-free and disease-specific survival. Grade 1 tumors had higher ascorbate levels than did grade 2 or 3 tumors. Higher ascorbate levels were associated with less tumor necrosis, with lower HIF-1 pathway activity and with increased disease-free and disease-specific survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that there is a direct correlation between intracellular ascorbate levels, activation of the HIF-1 pathway and patient survival in breast cancer. This is consistent with the known capacity of ascorbate to stimulate the activity of the regulatory HIF hydroxylases and suggests that optimisation of tumor ascorbate could have clinical benefit via modulation of the hypoxic response.

Jabari M, Allahbakhshian Farsani M, Salari S, et al.
Hypoxia-Inducible Factor1-Α (HIF1α) and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) Expression in De Novo AML Patients
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2019; 20(3):705-710 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background: Bone marrow hypoxia can promote leukemia progression in human cases of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). In addition, low oxygen tension is able to regulate the expression of different genes involved in malignancy. In this study, we hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) genes were assessed as principal regulators of hypoxia in do novo AML patients. Methods: Peripheral blood and bone marrow samples were collected from 57 AML patients and 17 normal control subjects with informed consent. Expression of HIF1α and VEGF-A was then evaluated using quantitative real-time PCR (Q-Real time PCR) and data were analyzed with SPSS 16. Result: HIF1α and VEGF-A showed overexpression in AML patients compared to normal controls (P <0.0001 and P<0.005, respectively). The expression level of HIF1α was significantly higher in AML-M3 cases versus AML-non M3 cases. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between HIF1α and VEGF-A ( P <0.0001 and r = 0.497). Conclusion: Adding to the many studies on the role of hypoxia in solid tumors, our data indicate that HIF1a and VEGF-A overexpression also occurs in AML patients. We consider that this is possibly involved in leukemic cell growth and therefore could be a promising target for clinical control.

Singh V, Singh AP, Sharma I, et al.
Epigenetic deregulations of Wnt/β-catenin and transforming growth factor beta-Smad pathways in esophageal cancer: Outcome of DNA methylation.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2019 Jan-Mar; 15(1):192-203 [PubMed] Related Publications
Background: Promoter methylation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) is a well-reported portent in carcinogenesis; hence, it is worthy to investigate this in high-risk Northeast population of India. The study was designed to investigate methylation status of 94 TSGs in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Further, the effect of OPCML promoter methylation on gene expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Moreover, in silico protein-protein interactions were examined among 8 TSGs identified in the present study and 23 epigenetically regulated genes reported previously by our group in ESCC.
Materials and Methods: Methylation profiling was carried out by polymerase chain reaction array and OPCML protein expression was examined by tissue microarray-based immunohistochemistry.
Results: OPCML, NEUROG1, TERT, and WT1 genes were found hypermethylated and SCGB3A1, CDH1, THBS1, and VEGFA were hypomethylated in Grade 2 tumor. No significant change in OPCML expression was observed among control, Grade 1, and Grade 2 tumor. Conclusively, hypermethylation of the studied OPCML promoter in Grade 2 tumor produced no effect on expression. Unexpectedly, OPCML expression was downregulated in Grade 3 tumor in comparison to other groups signifying that downregulation of OPCML expression may lead to higher grade of tumor formation at the time of diagnosis of ESCC in patients. Significant interactions at protein level were found as VEGFA:PTK2, CTNNB1:CDH1, CTNNB1:VEGFA, CTNNB1:NEUROG1, CTNND2:CDH1, and CTNNB1:TERT. These interactions are pertinent to Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β-Smad pathways.
Conclusions: Deranged OPCML expression may lead to high-grade ESCC as well as epigenetically regulated genes, that is, CDH1, CTNNB1, CTNND2, THBS1, PTK2, WT1, OPCML, TGFB1, and SMAD4 may alter the Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β-Smad pathways in ESCC. Further study of these genes could be useful to understand the molecular pathology of ESCC with respect to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) mediated by Wnt/β-catenin and TGF-β signaling pathways.

Abdelaziz M, Watanabe Y, Kato M
PMEPA1/TMEPAI knockout impairs tumour growth and lung metastasis in MDA-MB-231 cells without changing monolayer culture cell growth.
J Biochem. 2019; 165(5):411-414 [PubMed] Related Publications
Prostate transmembrane protein androgen-induced 1 (PMEPA1)/transmembrane prostate androgen-induced protein (TMEPAI), a direct target and a negative regulator of transforming growth factor beta signalling, has an oncogenic role in many cancers. We observed that knockout (KO) of PMEPA1 in human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 using a CRISPR-Cas9 system resulted in reduction of in vivo tumour growth and lung metastasis but not of in vitro monolayer growth capacity of these KO cell lines. This phenomenon was associated with PMEPA1 KO-mediated downregulation of the key proangiogenic factors vascular endothelial growth factor alpha (VEGFA) and interleukin-8 (IL8) that are essential for in vivo but not in vitro growing cells and are also substantial for initiation of lung metastasis.

Fang Y, Sun B, Wang J, Wang Y
miR-622 inhibits angiogenesis by suppressing the CXCR4-VEGFA axis in colorectal cancer.
Gene. 2019; 699:37-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiogenesis is essential for tumor metastasis. Our previous study has revealed that miR-622 inhibits colorectal cancer (CRC) metastasis. Here, we aimed to explore the effects and potential molecular mechanisms of action of miR-622 on angiogenesis. We found that overexpression of miR-622 inhibited CRC angiogenesis in vitro, according to suppression of proliferation, migration, tube formation, and invasiveness of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with a tumor cell-conditioned medium derived from Caco-2 or HT-29 cells. Likewise, enhanced miR-622 expression suppressed CRC angiogenesis in vivo as determined by the measurement of Ki67 and VEGFA levels and microvessel density (by immunostaining). CXCR4, encoding a positive regulator of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), was shown to be a direct target of miR-622. Overexpression of CXCR4 attenuated the inhibition of VEGFA expression by miR-622 and reversed the loss of tumor angiogenesis caused by miR-622. Taken together, these data show that miR-622 inhibits CRC angiogenesis by suppressing the CXCR4-VEGFA signaling axis, which represents a promising target for developing a new therapeutic strategy against CRC.

Corlan AS, Cîmpean AM, Melnic E, et al.
VEGF, VEGF165b and EG-VEGF expression is specifically related with hormone profile in pituitary adenomas.
Eur J Histochem. 2019; 63(1) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), its inhibitory splice variant, VEGF165b and Endocrine Gland derived VEGF (EG-VEGF) have a controversial role in pituitary gland. We aim to study VEGF, VEGF165b and EG-VEGF expression in pituitary adenomas. A significant correlation was found between growth hormone (GH) and VEGF secretion (P=0.024). For prolactinomas, VEGF and prolactin expression, had a P-value of 0.02 for Kendall coefficient and a P-value of 0.043 for the Spearman coefficient. VEGF-mRNA amplification was detected in both tumor cells and folliculostellate cells. VEGF165b was positive in 16.66% of pituitary adenomas. EG-VEGF was significantly correlated with prolactin (P=0.025) and luteinizing hormone (P=0.028). Our data strongly support VEGF, VEGF165b and EG-VEGF as important players of pituitary adenomas tumorigenesis. Particular hormonal milieu heterogeneity, special vascular network with an unusual reactivity to tumor growth correlated with variability of VEGF, VEGF165b and EG-VEGF secretion may stratify pituitary adenomas in several molecular groups with a direct impact on therapy and prognosis.

Harding JJ, Khalil DN, Abou-Alfa GK
Biomarkers: What Role Do They Play (If Any) for Diagnosis, Prognosis and Tumor Response Prediction for Hepatocellular Carcinoma?
Dig Dis Sci. 2019; 64(4):918-927 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a common illness that affects patients worldwide. The disease remains poorly understood though several recent advances have increased the understanding of HCC biology and treatment.
METHODS: A literature review was conducted to understand the role of biomarkers in HCC clinical practice and highlight areas of critical investigation.
RESULTS: Candidate biomarkers may include differential alterations in HCC genomics, epigenomics, gene expression and transcriptomic profiles, protein expression, cellular composition of the microenvironment, and vasculature. To date no circulating or tumor diagnostic markers have been established in this disease. Likewise, prognostication is currently adjudicated by clinicopathologic features and it remains unclear if the incorporation of any biomarkers may help enhance the prognostic understanding following curative intents like surgery, transplant, and select regional therapy or palliative treatment including embolization or systemic therapy. Predictive biomarkers are investigational and are under evaluation for molecular pathways like TOR, MET, VEGFA, and FGF19. Tumoral genomics, HLA allele diversity and tumoral immune activation as predictive markers for immune checkpoint inhibitors are key focuses of ongoing research.
CONCLUSIONS: Diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive tumor and circulating biomarkers for HCC have not been defined though several markers have been proposed to guide patient care.

Wu Y, Xu M, He R, et al.
ARHGAP6 regulates the proliferation, migration and invasion of lung cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2019; 41(4):2281-2888 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer, a leading cause of cancer‑related deaths, is frequently diagnosed in both males and females worldwide. In the present study, the Ras homologue GTPase activation protein 6 (ARHGAP6), which belongs to the Rho GTPase‑activating protein (RhoGAP) family, was found to have low expression in tumor tissues from patients with lung cancer, accompanied by high expression of matrix metalloproteinase‑9 (MMP9) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In A549 and H1299 cells, upregulation of ARHGAP6 inhibited tumor growth and metastasis and reduced the levels of MMP9, VEGF and p‑STAT3, while the levels STAT3 were unchanged, as demonstrated by CCK‑8, migration and invasion assays as well as western blot analysis. In addition, interleukin 6 (IL‑6)‑induced migration, invasion and MMP9 and VEGF expression, and STAT3 signaling activity were suppressed by ARHGAP6 upregulation. Based on these data, we concluded that ARHGAP6 is critically important in lung cancer progression and that upregulation of ARHGAP6 benefits the treatment and prevention of lung cancer, possibly through the suppression of MMP9, VEGF and STAT3 signaling activation.

Teufel M, Seidel H, Köchert K, et al.
Biomarkers Associated With Response to Regorafenib in Patients With Hepatocellular Carcinoma.
Gastroenterology. 2019; 156(6):1731-1741 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND & AIMS: In a phase 3 trial (RESORCE), regorafenib increased overall survival compared with placebo in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) previously treated with sorafenib. In an exploratory study, we analyzed plasma and tumor samples from study participants to identify genetic, microRNA (miRNA), and protein biomarkers associated with response to regorafenib.
METHODS: We obtained archived tumor tissues and baseline plasma samples from patients with HCC given regorafenib in the RESORCE trial. Baseline plasma samples from 499 patients were analyzed for expression of 294 proteins (DiscoveryMAP) and plasma samples from 349 patients were analyzed for levels of 750 miRNAs (miRCURY miRNA PCR). Tumor tissues from 7 responders and 10 patients who did not respond (progressors) were analyzed by next-generation sequencing (FoundationOne). Forty-six tumor tissues were analyzed for expression patterns of 770 genes involved in oncogenic and inflammatory pathways (PanCancer Immune Profiling). Associations between plasma levels of proteins and miRNAs and response to treatment (overall survival and time to progression) were evaluated using a Cox proportional hazards model.
RESULTS: Decreased baseline plasma concentrations of 5 of 266 evaluable proteins (angiopoietin 1, cystatin B, the latency-associated peptide of transforming growth factor beta 1, oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor 1, and C-C motif chemokine ligand 3; adjusted P ≤ .05) were significantly associated with increased overall survival time after regorafenib treatment. Levels of these 5 proteins, which have roles in inflammation and/or HCC pathogenesis, were not associated with survival independently of treatment. Only 20 of 499 patients had high levels and a reduced survival time. Plasma levels of α-fetoprotein and c-MET were associated with poor outcome (overall survival) independently of regorafenib treatment only. We identified 9 plasma miRNAs (MIR30A, MIR122, MIR125B, MIR200A, MIR374B, MIR15B, MIR107, MIR320, and MIR645) whose levels significantly associated with overall survival time with regorafenib (adjusted P ≤ .05). Functional analyses of these miRNAs indicated that their expression level associated with increased overall survival of patients with tumors of the Hoshida S3 subtype. Next-generation sequencing analyses of tumor tissues revealed 49 variants in 27 oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. Mutations in CTNNB1 were detected in 3 of 10 progressors and VEGFA amplification in 1 of 7 responders.
CONCLUSION: We identified expression patterns of plasma proteins and miRNAs that associated with increased overall survival times of patients with HCC following treatment with regorafenib in the RESORCE trial. Levels of these circulating biomarkers and genetic features of tumors might be used to identify patients with HCC most likely to respond to regorafenib. number NCT01774344. NCBI GEO accession numbers: mRNA data (NanoString): GSE119220; miRNA data (Exiqon): GSE119221.

Abakumova TV, Gening SO, Dolgova DR, et al.
[The vascular endothelial growth factor in patients with advanced ovarian cancer on the background of chemotherapy according to the AP scheme.]
Klin Lab Diagn. 2018; 63(9):543-548 [PubMed] Related Publications
Antiangiogenic therapy requires to search for molecular markers of angiogenesis in ovarian cancer (OC). The diagnostic and prognostic role of VEGFA in OC is controversial today. The aim of the study was to compare the serum level of VEGF, the cytoplasmic protein content and VEGF transcript in the tumor tissue of primary patients with advanced ovarian cancer and to analyze the relationship between these parameters and the response to standard polychemotherapy using the AP scheme. 82 primary patients with advanced OC were incladed in the study. The control group included 30 healthy women. All patients received adjuvant chemotherapy according to the AP scheme after surgery. The serum VEGF-A level was determined by direct immunoassay analysis "Human VEGF ELISA Kit" ("RayBiotech", USA). Analysis of the VEGF transcript in tumor tissue was performed by PCR-RT using TaqMan® Gene Expression Assay (Thermo Scientific) probes, and for the data normalization the 18S and GAPDH referee genes were used. To calculate the IHC score of cytoplasmic expression of VEGF, immunohistochemical reactions were performed in paired samples of OC patients using antibodies (GeneTex, USA). For the genotyping of patients' DNA, test systems for the analysis of functional polymorphisms of the VEGF-A C12143A, G634C (LLC "Sintol", Moscow) were used. The level of VEGF-A in the serum of patients with OC was increased in comparison with the norm and depended on the response to chemotherapy according to the AP scheme. However, the specificity of this indicator is insufficient for use in prognostic purposes. There are no significant differences in the cytoplasmic expression of VEGF-A, depending on the response to chemotherapy. VEGF mRNA level was increased in 58% of patients. There was no correlation between serum VEGF levels and the transcript in the tumor tissue. Genotyping showed that the combination of genotypes of CC / GG reduces the risk of recurrence by 2.6 times. The results obtained make it possible to question the value of studying the serum level of VEGF for evaluating the sensitivity of patients with OС to anti-angiogenic drugs.

Yang M, Liu J, Wang F, et al.
Lysyl oxidase assists tumor‑initiating cells to enhance angiogenesis in hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(4):1398-1408 [PubMed] Related Publications
A highly tumorigenic and malignant sub‑population of HCC containing tumor‑initiating cells (TICs) are defined by high self‑renewal and sphere formation ability. Lysyl oxidase (LOX) regulates various factors involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) maintenance, migration and angiogenesis. Certain reports have demonstrated the role of LOX in ECM crosslinking, however, the cancer‑promoting effects of LOX in HCC remain unclear, and whether LOX has a role in the regulation of angiogenesis in HCC TICs has not been elucidated. In the current study, RNA sequencing using next‑generation sequencing technology and bioinformatics analyses revealed that LOX gene expression was significantly upregulated in cell spheres. Sphere cells may form tumors with more vascular enrichment compared with tumors produced from adherent cells, as observed in a mouse xenograft model. LOX expression is correlated with increased vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and platelet‑derived growth factor, as demonstrated by analyses of The Cancer Genome Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus databases. Conditioned media obtained from LOX‑overexpressing tumor cells stimulated angiogenesis via secreted VEGF and enhanced the tube formation capacity of endothelial cells. Furthermore, these functional behaviors were blocked by the LOX inhibitor β‑aminopropionitrile. These findings provide novel mechanistic insight into the pivotal role of LOX in the regulation of TICs in HCC. Combination of LOX inhibitor with sorafenib is a potentially advantageous strategy for HCC therapy.

Niland S, Eble JA
Neuropilins in the Context of Tumor Vasculature.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Neuropilin-1 and Neuropilin-2 form a small family of plasma membrane spanning receptors originally identified by the binding of semaphorin and vascular endothelial growth factor. Having no cytosolic protein kinase domain, they function predominantly as co-receptors of other receptors for various ligands. As such, they critically modulate the signaling of various receptor tyrosine kinases, integrins, and other molecules involved in the regulation of physiological and pathological angiogenic processes. This review highlights the diverse neuropilin ligands and interacting partners on endothelial cells, which are relevant in the context of the tumor vasculature and the tumor microenvironment. In addition to tumor cells, the latter contains cancer-associated fibroblasts, immune cells, and endothelial cells. Based on the prevalent neuropilin-mediated interactions, the suitability of various neuropilin-targeted substances for influencing tumor angiogenesis as a possible building block of a tumor therapy is discussed.

Alhasan L
MiR-126 Modulates Angiogenesis in Breast Cancer by Targeting VEGF-A -mRNA
Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2019; 20(1):193-197 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Background: Breast cancer is most serious reasons of women death around worldwide result in increasing its morbidity and mortality. MicroRNAs are considered as significant regulators of cancer biological processes. The main aim of this study is restoration of miR-126 could lead to modulate breast cell line and impairs their proliferation by targeting vascular endothelial growth factor gene (VEGF-A). Methods: Breast cancer cell line (MCF7) was transfected by miR-126 lipofectamine and negative miR control for 24 hr. Cytotoxic effects of miR-126 lipofectamine were determined by cell viability assay. Cell proliferation and cell cycle were quantitatively measured using PicoGreen assay and DAPI stain-flow cytometer analysis. For further investigation, Taq-Man real time PCR assay was performed to detect relative VEGF-A and miRNA-126 level. Results: MiR-126 was overexpressed in treated breast cancer cell (MCF7) compared with control cells. miR-126 expression has been associated –with a decrease in cell proliferation and arrested MCF7 cells at G1 phase. The study found that vascular endothelial growth factor is regulated by miR- 126. Hence, VEGF-A is considered as functional vital and direct target to miR-126 in breast cancer cell line (MCF7). Conclusions: This study provided that manipulated miR-126 level may suggest a novel therapeutic approach in breast cancer treatment. However, an animal models study is needed to address and prove predictive ability of miR-126 on breast cancer controlling.

Okabayashi K, Narita T, Takashiro S, et al.
mRNA expression of tumor-associated genes in canine grade I meningiomas.
J Vet Med Sci. 2019; 81(3):369-372 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This study was undertaken to establish a method for measuring mRNA expression by using real-time RT-PCR in the diagnosis of canine meningiomas. When performing real-time RT-PCR, it is essential to include appropriate control tissues and to select appropriate housekeeping genes as an internal standard. Based on the results of our study, RPS18 constitutes a suitable internal standard for the comparison of mRNA expression between normal meninges and meningiomas. The results showed increased mRNA expression of VEGFA and EGFR; however, mRNA expression of KDR was reduced. Measuring mRNA expression by using real-time RT-PCR with appropriate control tissues and internal standards can provide useful information to understanding the pathogenesis of canine meningiomas, which corresponds with immunohistochemical findings.

Hoseinkhani Z, Rastegari-Pouyani M, Oubari F, et al.
Contribution and prognostic value of TSGA10 gene expression in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
Pathol Res Pract. 2019; 215(3):506-511 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Different studies have investigated TSGA10 expression in various cancerous tissues but, so far no study has been conducted on newly diagnosed (ND) AML patients. The association of TSGA10 gene expression with hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) and angiogenic factors has remained to be fully elucidated and is still a controversial issue. The present study was designed to investigate this association in patients newly diagnosed with AML.
METHODS: We evaluated TSGA10, HIF-1α and VEGF mRNA levels in ND AML patients and healthy subjects using real-time PCR technique. Data were analyzed via comparative Livak method.
RESULTS: Based on the results of this study, TSGA10 gene expression was decreased in 28 out of 30 (93.3%) samples while VEGF and HIF-1α expression levels were increased in all ND AML patients compared to healthy controls. Diagnostic evaluation was performed by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and area under the curve (AUC) calculation. Respectively, using cut-off relative quantification of 1.604, 0.0329, and 0.0042, the sensitivity values of TSGA10, VEGF, and HIF-1α gene expression were 86.7%, 90%, and 100%. Also, specificity values were 100%, 100% and 100%, respectively. TSGA10 expression was shown to be reduced in ND AML patients compared with healthy subjects and we found a negative correlation between TSGA10 and VEGF expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Since TSGA10 interacts with HIF-1 and affects its transcriptional activity, in ND AML patients with decreased TSGA10 expression, VEGF expression was high suggesting a TSGA10 mediated regulation of HIF-1 target genes. Altogether, the current study showed that TSGA10 could be considered as a tumor suppressor in AML patients.

Zhang X, Bai Q, Xu Y, et al.
Molecular profiling of the biphasic components of hepatic carcinosarcoma by the use of targeted next-generation sequencing.
Histopathology. 2019; 74(6):944-958 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: To better understand the tumourogenesis and molecular features of hepatic carcinosarcoma (HCS).
METHODS AND RESULTS: We selected 13 cases of HCS, including the clinicopathological and immunohistochemical features, and analysed the molecular alterations in separately microdissected carcinomatous and sarcomatous components in eight cases by using targeted next-generation sequencing with a panel of 329 cancer-related genes. As a result, transitional areas were observed between the two components of HCS in all cases. Concordance and overlap in genetic alterations were identified in the two histological components of the eight HCS patients, indicating the clonal relatedness of the two tumour components. The most common gene alterations found in both components were TP53 (75%, 6/8) and NF1/2 (38%, 3/8) mutations and VEGFA amplification (25%, 2/8), which may be strongly associated with HCS tumorigenesis. Unique mutations and amplifications found only in one component were also identified. Amplifications involving MET (38%, n = 3/8) and PDGFRA (25%, n = 2/8) were present only in the sarcomatous components, whereas mutation affecting ERBB4 (25%, n = 2/8) and amplifications of CCND1 and FGF3/4/19 (38%, n = 3/8) were present only in the carcinomatous components, indicating their involvement in the clonal evolution of HCS. Furthermore, multiple potential therapeutic targets were identified for HCS.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that HCS could have been of monoclonal origin, and that the diverse clonal evolution might be driven by special molecular alterations in each tumour component. Our results also identify multiple therapeutic targets of HCS, which are valuable for the personalised treatment of HCS.

Chen Y, Wang D, Peng H, et al.
Epigenetically upregulated oncoprotein PLCE1 drives esophageal carcinoma angiogenesis and proliferation via activating the PI-PLCε-NF-κB signaling pathway and VEGF-C/ Bcl-2 expression.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most lethal malignancies. Neovascularization during tumorigenesis supplies oxygen and nutrients to proliferative tumor cells, and serves as a conduit for migration. Targeting oncogenes involved in angiogenesis is needed to treat organ-confined and locally advanced ESCC. Although the phospholipase C epsilon-1 (PLCE1) gene was originally identified as a susceptibility gene for ESCC, how PLCE1 is involved in ESCC is unclear.
METHODS: Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry were used to measure the methylation status of the PLCE1 promoter region. To validate the underlying mechanism for PLCE1 in constitutive activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway, we performed studies using in vitro and in vivo assays and samples from 368 formalin-fixed esophageal cancer tissues and 215 normal tissues with IHC using tissue microarrays and the Cancer Genome Atlas dataset.
RESULTS: We report that hypomethylation-associated up-regulation of PLCE1 expression was correlated with tumor angiogenesis and poor prognosis in ESCC cohorts. PLCE1 can activate NF-κB through phosphoinositide-phospholipase C-ε (PI-PLCε) signaling pathway. Furthermore, PLCE1 can bind p65 and IκBα proteins, promoting IκBα-S32 and p65-S536 phosphorylation. Consequently, phosphorylated IκBα promotes nuclear translocation of p50/p65 and p65, as a transcription factor, can bind vascular endothelial growth factor-C and bcl-2 promoters, enhancing angiogenesis and inhibiting apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, xenograft tumors in nude mice proved that PLCE1 can induce angiogenesis, inhibit apoptosis, and increase tumor aggressiveness via the NF-κB signaling pathway in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings not only provide evidence that hypomethylation-induced PLCE1 confers angiogenesis and proliferation in ESCC by activating PI-PLCε-NF-κB signaling pathway and VEGF-C/Bcl-2 expression, but also suggest that modulation of PLCE1 by epigenetic modification or a selective inhibitor may be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of ESCC.

Haralambiev L, Wien L, Gelbrich N, et al.
Effects of Cold Atmospheric Plasma on the Expression of Chemokines, Growth Factors, TNF Superfamily Members, Interleukins, and Cytokines in Human Osteosarcoma Cells.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(1):151-157 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Therapeutic options for osteosarcoma (OS) are still limited. Cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) leads to inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis, but underlying mechanisms are not fully understood. The aim of this study was to investigate CAP-induced changes in cytokine expression in OS cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: OS cell lines (U2-OS, MNNG/HOS) were treated with CAP and administered to an RT2 Profiler PCR Array (Qiagen, Hilden, Germany) detecting 84 chemokines, growth factors, TNF superfamily members, interleukins, and cytokines.
RESULTS: The analyses showed that 15 factors (C5, CCL5, CNTF, CSF1, CSF3, CXCL1, IL-1A, IL-1B, IL-18, IL-22, IL23A, MSTN, NODAL, TGFβ2, THPO) were induced, but only one factor (VEGFA) was suppressed after CAP treatment.
CONCLUSION: No extensive systemic cell response with presumably far-reaching consequences for neighboring cells was detectable after CAP treatment. Since the antitumoral effect of CAP on OS cells has already been demonstrated, intraoperative treatment with CAP represents a promising and systemic safe option for the therapy of OS.

Liang Y, Zhang C, Ma MH, Dai DQ
Identification and prediction of novel non-coding and coding RNA-associated competing endogenous RNA networks in colorectal cancer.
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(46):5259-5270 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To identify and predict the competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks in colorectal cancer (CRC) by bioinformatics analysis.
METHODS: In the present study, we obtained CRC tissue and normal tissue gene expression profiles from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. Differentially expressed (DE) genes (DEGs) were identified. Then, upregulated and downregulated miRNA-centered ceRNA networks were constructed by analyzing the DEGs using multiple bioinformatics approaches. DEmRNAs in the ceRNA networks were identified in Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways using KEGG Orthology Based Annotation System 3.0. The interactions between proteins were analyzed using the STRING database. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis was conducted for DEGs and real time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) was also performed to validate the prognosis-associated lncRNAs in CRC cell lines.
RESULTS: Eighty-one DElncRNAs, 20 DEmiRNAs, and 54 DEmRNAs were identified to construct the ceRNA networks of CRC. The KEGG pathway analysis indicated that nine out of top ten pathways were related with cancer and the most significant pathway was "colorectal cancer". Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that the overall survival was positively associated with five DEGs (IGF2-AS, POU6F2-AS2, hsa-miR-32, hsa-miR-141, and SERPINE1) and it was negatively related to three DEGs (LINC00488, hsa-miR-375, and PHLPP2). Based on the STRING protein database, it was found that SERPINE1 and PHLPP2 interact with AKT1. Besides, SERPINE1 can interact with VEGFA, VTN, TGFB1, PLAU, PLAUR, PLG, and PLAT. PHLPP2 can interact with AKT2 and AKT3. RT-qPCR revealed that the expression of IGF2-AS, POU6F2-AS2, and LINC00488 in CRC cell lines was consistent with the
CONCLUSION: CeRNA networks play an important role in CRC. Multiple DEGs are related with clinical prognosis, suggesting that they may be potential targets in tumor diagnosis and treatment.

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