Gene Summary

Gene:ANGPT1; angiopoietin 1
Aliases: AGP1, AGPT, ANG1
Summary:This gene encodes a secreted glycoprotein that belongs to the angiopoietin family. Members of this family play important roles in vascular development and angiogenesis. All angiopoietins bind with similar affinity to an endothelial cell-specific tyrosine-protein kinase receptor. The protein encoded by this gene is a secreted glycoprotein that activates the receptor by inducing its tyrosine phosphorylation. It plays a critical role in mediating reciprocal interactions between the endothelium and surrounding matrix and mesenchyme and inhibits endothelial permeability. The protein also contributes to blood vessel maturation and stability, and may be involved in early development of the heart. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2015]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 15 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 15 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 15 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: ANGPT1 (cancer-related)

Fidalgo F, Rodrigues TC, Silva AG, et al.
Role of rare germline copy number variation in melanoma-prone patients.
Future Oncol. 2016; 12(11):1345-57 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: This work evaluates a possible causative role for germline copy number variants (CNVs) in melanoma predisposition.
PATIENTS & METHODS: A total of 41 melanoma-prone Brazilian patients were investigated for CNVs using 850K single nucleotide polymorphism arrays.
RESULTS: Ten rare CNVs were identified in nine patients, comprising 54 known genes, mostly related to cancer. In silico analyses revealed gene enrichment for cellular development and growth, and proliferation, highlighting five genes directly associated with the melanoma phenotype (ANGPT1, IDH1, PDE5A, HIST1H1B and GCNT2).
CONCLUSION: Patients harboring rare CNVs exhibited a decreased age of disease onset, in addition to an overall higher skin cancer predisposition. Our findings suggest that rare CNVs contribute to melanoma susceptibility, and should be taken into account when investigating cancer risk factors.

Horiguchi H, Kobune M, Kikuchi S, et al.
Extracellular vesicle miR-7977 is involved in hematopoietic dysfunction of mesenchymal stromal cells via poly(rC) binding protein 1 reduction in myeloid neoplasms.
Haematologica. 2016; 101(4):437-47 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The failure of normal hematopoiesis is observed in myeloid neoplasms. However, the precise mechanisms governing the replacement of normal hematopoietic stem cells in their niche by myeloid neoplasm stem cells have not yet been clarified. Primary acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome cells induced aberrant expression of multiple hematopoietic factors including Jagged-1, stem cell factor and angiopoietin-1 in mesenchymal stem cells even in non-contact conditions, and this abnormality was reverted by extracellular vesicle inhibition. Importantly, the transfer of myeloid neoplasm-derived extracellular vesicles reduced the hematopoietic supportive capacity of mesenchymal stem cells. Analysis of extracellular vesicle microRNA indicated that several species, including miR-7977 from acute myeloid leukemia cells, were higher than those from normal CD34(+)cells. Remarkably, the copy number of miR-7977 in bone marrow interstitial fluid was elevated not only in acute myeloid leukemia, but also in myelodysplastic syndrome, as compared with lymphoma without bone marrow localization. The transfection of the miR-7977 mimic reduced the expression of the posttranscriptional regulator, poly(rC) binding protein 1, in mesenchymal stem cells. Moreover, the miR-7977 mimic induced aberrant reduction of hematopoietic growth factors in mesenchymal stem cells, resulting in decreased hematopoietic-supporting capacity of bone marrow CD34(+)cells. Furthermore, the reduction of hematopoietic growth factors including Jagged-1, stem cell factor and angiopoietin-1 were reverted by target protection of poly(rC) binding protein 1, suggesting that poly(rC) binding protein 1 could be involved in the stabilization of several growth factors. Thus, miR-7977 in extracellular vesicles may be a critical factor that induces failure of normal hematopoiesis via poly(rC) binding protein 1 suppression.

Li W, You Y, Zhang X, et al.
Amplification of chromosome 8q21-qter associated with the acquired paclitaxel resistance of nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2015; 8(10):12346-56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: to observe relationship between chromosome imbalance and taxol resistance in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
METHODS: three taxol-resistant sub-lines were established through repeated exposure of escalating doses of paclitaxel to NPC cell lines (CNE-1, HNE-2 and 5-8F). The change of copy number of chromosomes was investigated by the genome-wide analyses of comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Gene profiles of both parental and resistant cell lines were determined by cDNA microarray. Cell viability was assayed by colony formation assay.
RESULTS: The taxol resistant sub-lines (CNE1/Taxol, HNE2/Taxol and 5-8F/Taxol) developed displayed an average 5~8-fold higher IC50 value than their parental cells. The common losses of chromosome 18, 10q11-qter and gains of chromosome 12, 3q21-qter, 5p13-pter and 20q11-qter were observed by CGH in all of 6 NPC cell lines. A common gain region of chromosome 8q21-qter was identified in taxol resistant sub-lines. 15 genes of 762 transcripts on this chromosome region were consistently up-regulated detected by cDNA microarray in three taxol resistant sub-lines, and functionally clustered into various groups, including genes related to vascular formation vascular formation (ANGPT1), apoptosis (MYC, TOP1MT), cell adhesion and cell cycle (PPP1R16A, SDC2, CA2, ANKRD46), gene regulation (HRSP12, ZNF696, SLC39A4, POP1), metabolism (PYCRL). Inhibition of ANGPT1 expression significantly increased the sensitivity of CNE-1/taxol to paclitaxol.
CONCLUSION: The common gain of chromosome 8q21-qter in taxol resistant sublines predicates that potential candidate genes on this region may contribute to taxol resistant phenotype. ANGPT1 may be associated with taxol resistance of NPC cells.

Nie DM, Wu QL, Zhu XX, et al.
Angiogenic factors are associated with development of acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2015; 35(5):694-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a serious complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). However, the mechanisms of aGVHD are not well understood. We aim to investigate the roles of the three angiogenic factors: angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), Ang-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of aGVHD. Twenty-one patients who underwent allo-HSCT were included in our study. The dynamic changes of Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF were monitored in patients before and after allo-HSCT. In vitro, endothelial cells (ECs) were treated with TNF-β in the presence or absence of Ang-1, and then the Ang-2 level in the cell culture medium and the tubule formation by ECs were evaluated. After allo-HSCT, Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF all exhibited significant variation, suggesting these factors might be involved in the endothelial damage in transplantation. Patients with aGVHD had lower Ang-1 level at day 7 but higher Ang-2 level at day 21 than those without aGVHD, implying that Ang-1 may play a protective role in early phase yet Ang-2 is a promotion factor to aGVHD. In vitro, TNF-β promoted the release of Ang-2 by ECs and impaired tubule formation of ECs, which were both weakened by Ang-1, suggesting that Ang-1 may play a protective role in aGVHD by influencing the secretion of Ang-2, consistent with our in vivo tests. It is concluded that monitoring changes of these factors following allo-HSCT might help to identify patients at a high risk for aGVHD.

Supper E, Tahir S, Imai T, et al.
Modification of Gene Expression, Proliferation, and Function of OP9 Stroma Cells by Bcr-Abl-Expressing Leukemia Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(7):e0134026 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Expression of the Bcr-Abl fusion gene in hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPCs) results in the development of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), for which hematopoietic microenvironment plays an important role. We investigated the specific effects of an HPC line transduced with Bcr-Abl, KOBA, on BM-derived OP9 stroma cells. DNA microarray analysis revealed that OP9 cells co-cultured with KOBA cells (OP9/L) show diverse changes in the gene expression. OP9/L cells showed significant down-regulation of Cdkn genes and up-regulation of Icam1, leading to the increased proliferation capacity of OP9 cells and enhanced transmigration of leukemia cells through them. The effects were attributed to direct Notch activation of OP9 cells by KOBA cells. OP9/L cells also showed a markedly altered cytokine gene expression pattern, including a robust increase in a variety of proinflammatory genes and a decrease in hematopoietic cytokines such as Cxcl12, Scf, and Angpt1. Consequently, OP9/L cells promoted the proliferation of KOBA cells more efficiently than parental OP9 cells, whereas the activity supporting normal myelopoiesis was attenuated. In mice bearing KOBA leukemia, the characteristic genetic changes observed in OP9/L cells were reflected differentially in the endothelial cells (ECs) and mesenchymal stroma cells (MCs) of the BM. The ECs were markedly increased with Notch-target gene activation and decreased Cdkn expression, whereas the MCs showed a marked increase in proinflammatory gene expression and a profound decrease in hematopoietic genes. Human CML cell lines also induced essentially similar genetic changes in OP9 cells. Our results suggest that CML cells remodel the hematopoietic microenvironment by changing the gene expression patterns differentially in ECs and MCs of BM.

Jung S, Sielker S, Purcz N, et al.
Analysis of angiogenic markers in oral squamous cell carcinoma-gene and protein expression.
Head Face Med. 2015; 11:19 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Therapeutic strategies attacking oral squamous cell carcinoma have not essentially succeeded to improve long-term prognosis and overall survival over the last decades. Therefore, in this study, we aimed to illuminate the molecular regulation of angiogenesis in this tumour entity in order to demask novel markers of prognosis or therapeutic approach.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A panel of significant transcriptional alterations in angiogenic genes of 83 cancer samples was established by comparison to 30 samples of healthy oral mucosa with microarray technique. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed to trace the signalling cascade from gene to protein level.
RESULTS: A distinctive expression profile of VEGFA, EFNB2, PECAM1/CD31, ANGPT1 and ANGPT2 was revealed: VEGFA, EFNB2, and ANGPT2 were found overexpressed in 84 % to 95 % of tumour samples. In contrast, the expression of CD31 and ANGPT1 was downregulated in 80 % to 95 % of tumour samples. IHC confirmed results of the microarray analysis. Tumours with lymphatic spread showed higher gene expression rates of VEGFA, EFNB2 and ANGPT2 in moderately differentiated tumours and of VEGFA and EFNB2 in small tumours, respectively. The ANGPT1/ ANGPT2 transcription ratio was found decreased in larger tumours and especially in tumours without lymphatic spread.
CONCLUSIONS: A characteristic expression profile of angiogenic markers was established. The specific overexpression of EFNB2 in small tumours with lymphatic spread and the typical decrease of the ANGPT1/ ANGPT2 ratio in larger tumours give weight to EFNB2 and angiopoietins as prognostic factors and potential therapeutic targets.

Punt S, Houwing-Duistermaat JJ, Schulkens IA, et al.
Correlations between immune response and vascularization qRT-PCR gene expression clusters in squamous cervical cancer.
Mol Cancer. 2015; 14:71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The tumour microenvironment comprises a network of immune response and vascularization factors. From this network, we identified immunological and vascularization gene expression clusters and the correlations between the clusters. We subsequently determined which factors were correlated with patient survival in cervical carcinoma.
METHODS: The expression of 42 genes was investigated in 52 fresh frozen squamous cervical cancer samples by qRT-PCR. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis and mixed-model analyses were performed to identify gene expression clusters. Correlations and survival analyses were further studied at expression cluster and single gene level.
RESULTS: We identified four immune response clusters: 'T cells' (CD3E/CD8A/TBX21/IFNG/FOXP3/IDO1), 'Macrophages' (CD4/CD14/CD163), 'Th2' (IL4/IL5/IL13/IL12) and 'Inflammation' (IL6/IL1B/IL8/IL23/IL10/ARG1) and two vascularization clusters: 'Angiogenesis' (VEGFA/FLT1/ANGPT2/ PGF/ICAM1) and 'Vessel maturation' (PECAM1/VCAM1/ANGPT1/SELE/KDR/LGALS9). The 'T cells' module was correlated with all modules except for 'Inflammation', while 'Inflammation' was most significantly correlated with 'Angiogenesis' (p < 0.001). High expression of the 'T cells' cluster was correlated with earlier TNM stage (p = 0.007). High CD3E expression was correlated with improved disease-specific survival (p = 0.022), while high VEGFA expression was correlated with poor disease-specific survival (p = 0.032). Independent predictors of poor disease-specific survival were IL6 (hazard ratio = 2.3, p = 0.011) and a high IL6/IL17 ratio combined with low IL5 expression (hazard ratio = 4.2, p = 0.010).
CONCLUSIONS: 'Inflammation' marker IL6, especially in combination with low levels of IL5 and IL17, was correlated with poor survival. This suggests that IL6 promotes tumour growth, which may be suppressed by a Th17 and Th2 response. Measuring IL6, IL5 and IL17 expression may improve the accuracy of predicting prognosis in cervical cancer.

Stremitzer S, Zhang W, Yang D, et al.
Genetic variations in angiopoietin and pericyte pathways and clinical outcome in patients with resected colorectal liver metastases.
Cancer. 2015; 121(11):1898-905 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Genes involved in the angiopoietin and pericyte pathways may become escape mechanisms under antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy. The authors investigated whether variations within genes in these pathways are associated with clinical outcome in patients with colorectal liver metastases who undergo liver resection and receive perioperative, bevacizumab-based chemotherapy.
METHODS: Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 9 genes (angiopoietin-1 [ANGPT1]; ANGPT2; TEK tyrosine kinase, endothelial [TEK]; platelet-derived growth factor β [PDGFB]; β-type platelet-derived growth factor receptor [PDGFRB]; insulin-like growth factor 1 [IGF1]; transforming growth factor β1 [TGFB1]; RalA binding protein 1 [RALBP1]; and regulator of G-protein signaling 5 [RGS5]) were analyzed in samples of genomic DNA from 149 patients and were evaluated for associations with clinical outcome.
RESULTS: RALBP1 reference SNP 329007 (rs329007) A>G resulted in a significant difference in recurrence-free survival (A/A genotype, 14.0 months; A/G or G/G genotype, 9.2 months; hazard ratio [HR], 1.60; P = .024). PDGFB rs1800818 A>G was associated with 3-year overall survival rates (A/A genotype, 78%; A/G genotype, 69%; [HR 1.37]; G/G genotype, 53%; [HR 2.12]; P = .048). In multivariate analysis, RALBP1 rs329007 A>G remained significant (HR, 1.99; P = .002). PDGFB rs1800818 A>G and RALBP1 rs329007 A>G were correlated with radiologic response (A/A or A/G genotype, 86%; G/G genotype, 71% [P = .042]; A/A genotype, 78%; A/G or G/G genotype, 94% [P = .018], respectively). RALBP1 rs329007 A>G demonstrated significantly different rates of histologic response (A/A genotype: major histologic response, 35%; partial histologic response, 34%; no histologic response, 30%; A/G or G/G genotype: 46%, 13%, and 41%, respectively; P = .029). Recursive partitioning analysis revealed that ANGPT2 rs2442599 T>C and RALBP1 rs329007 A>G were the main SNPs that predicted histologic response and recurrence-free survival, whereas PDGFB rs1800818 A>G was the leading SNP that predicted overall survival. ANGPT2 rs2916702 C>T and rs2442631 G>A were significantly associated with the probability of achieving a cure.
CONCLUSIONS: The current data suggest that variations in genes involved in the angiopoietin and pericyte pathways may be predictive and/or prognostic biomarkers in patients with resected colorectal liver metastases who receive bevacizumab-based chemotherapy.

Aguirre Palma LM, Gehrke I, Kreuzer KA
Angiogenic factors in chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL): Where do we stand?
Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2015; 93(3):225-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of angiogenesis in haematological malignancies such as chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) is difficult to envision, because leukaemia cells are not dependent on a network of blood vessels to support basic physiological requirements. Regardless, CLL cells secrete high levels of major angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), and platelet derived growth factor (PDGF). Nonetheless, it remains unclear how most angiogenic factors regulate accumulation and delayed apoptosis of CLL cells. Angiogenic factors such as leptin, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), follistatin, angiopoietin-1 (Ang1), angiogenin (ANG), midkine (MK), pleiotrophin (PTN), progranulin (PGRN), proliferin (PLF), placental growth factor (PIGF), and endothelial locus-1 (Del-1), represent novel therapeutic targets of future CLL research but have remained widely overlooked. This review aims to outline our current understanding of angiogenic growth factors and their relationship with CLL, a still uncured haematopoietic malignancy.

Kool MM, Galac S, Kooistra HS, Mol JA
Expression of angiogenesis-related genes in canine cortisol-secreting adrenocortical tumors.
Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2014; 47:73-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to evaluate the expression of angiogenesis-related genes in canine cortisol-secreting adrenocortical tumors (ATs). Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed mRNA encoding for vascular endothelial growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 1 and 2, angiopoietin 1 and 2 (ANGPT1 and ANGPT2), the splice variant ANGPT2443, the ANGPT-receptor Tie2, and basic fibroblast growth factor in 38 canine cortisol-secreting ATs (26 carcinomas and 12 adenomas) and 15 normal adrenals. The relative expression of both ANGPT2 and ANGPT2443 was higher in adenomas (P = 0.020 for ANGPT2 and P = 0.002 for ANGPT2443) and carcinomas (P = 0.003 for ANGPT2 and P < 0.001 for ANGPT2443) compared with normal adrenals, and this enhanced expression was also detected with Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemistry indicated expression of ANGPT2 protein in AT cells and in vascular endothelial cells of carcinomas, whereas Tie2 was mainly present in the tumor vascular endothelial cells. The ANGPT2-to-ANGTPT1 ratio, a marker for a proangiogenic state, was higher in both adenomas (P = 0.020) and carcinomas (P = 0.043). With the use of the human H295R cortisol-producing adrenocortical carcinoma cell line, we were able to demonstrate that the ANGPT2 expression was stimulated by cyclic adenosine monophosphate and progesterone but not by cortisol. In conclusion, canine cortisol-secreting ATs have enhanced ANGPT2 expression with a concomitant shift toward a proangiogenic state. On the basis of this information, treatment modalities may be developed that interfere with ANGPT2 expression, including inhibition of the cyclic adenosine monophosphate/protein kinase A pathway, or of the effect of ANGPT2, by using specific ANGPT2 inhibitors.

Rosenberg EE, Prudnikova TY, Zabarovsky ER, et al.
D-glucuronyl C5-epimerase cell type specifically affects angiogenesis pathway in different prostate cancer cells.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(4):3237-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
D-glucuronyl C5-epimerase (GLCE) is involved in breast and lung carcinogenesis as a potential tumor suppressor gene, acting through inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and invasion/metastasis pathways. However, in prostate tumors, increased GLCE expression is associated with advanced disease, suggesting versatile effects of GLCE in different cancers. To investigate further the potential cancer-promoting effect of GLCE in prostate cancer, GLCE was ectopically re-expressed in morphologically different LNCaP and PC3 prostate cancer cells. Transcriptional profiles of normal PNT2 prostate cells, LNCaP, PC3 and DU145 prostate cancer cells, and GLCE-expressing LNCaP and PC3 cells were determined. Comparative analysis revealed the genes whose expression was changed in prostate cancer cells compared with normal PNT2 cells, and those differently expressed between the cancer cell lines (ACTA2, IL6, SERPINE1, TAGLN, SEMA3A, and CDH2). GLCE re-expression influenced mainly angiogenesis-involved genes (ANGPT1, SERPINE1, IGF1, PDGFB, TNF, IL8, TEK, IFNA1, and IFNB1) but in a cell type-specific manner (from basic deregulation of angiogenesis in LNCaP cells to significant activation in PC3 cells). Invasion/metastasis pathway was also affected (MMP1, MMP2, MMP9, S100A4, ITGA1, ITGB3, ERBB2, and FAS). The obtained results suggest activation of angiogenesis as a main molecular mechanism of pro-oncogenic effect of GLCE in prostate cancer. GLCE up-regulation plus expression pattern of a panel of six genes, discriminating morphologically different prostate cancer cell sub-types, is suggested as a potential marker of aggressive prostate 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] Free Access to Full Article 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.

Tecchio C, Cassatella MA
Neutrophil-derived cytokines involved in physiological and pathological angiogenesis.
Chem Immunol Allergy. 2014; 99:123-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Increasing data from the literature point to a neutrophil-mediated role via cytokine production in several aspects of mammalian biology, including angiogenesis. In such regard, neutrophils have been shown to synthetize and release a number of molecules able to promote, directly or indirectly, the growth and migration of endothelial cells, in turn inducing the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting ones. Interestingly, neutrophil-derived cytokines can be involved either in physiological or in pathological angiogenesis, depending on either the functioning or dysregulation of sophisticated interplays among different cell types, extracellular matrix and soluble mediators within the microenvironment. Our review resumes the most interesting studies elucidating the role of neutrophil-derived cytokines in human physiological and pathological angiogenesis. When appropriate, supporting observations generated in animal models will be also mentioned. Particular emphasis will be given to VEGF and PK2/Bv8, rather than CXCL8/IL-8 and OSM. We will also discuss the potential role of neutrophil-derived cytokines such as FGF2, Ang1 and IL-17, whose roles in angiogenesis - albeit anticipated - remain to be elucidated.

Voorneveld PW, Stache V, Jacobs RJ, et al.
Reduced expression of bone morphogenetic protein receptor IA in pancreatic cancer is associated with a poor prognosis.
Br J Cancer. 2013; 109(7):1805-12 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The expression of SMAD4, the central component of the transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signalling pathways, is lost in 50% of pancreatic cancers and is associated with a poor survival. Although the TGF-β pathway has been extensively studied and characterised in pancreatic cancer, there is very limited data on BMP signalling, a well-known tumour-suppressor pathway. BMP signalling can be lost not only at the level of SMAD4 but also at the level of BMP receptors (BMPRs), as has been described in colorectal cancer.
METHODS: We performed immunohistochemical analysis of the expression levels of BMP signalling components in pancreatic cancer and correlated these with survival. We also manipulated the activity of BMP signalling in vitro.
RESULTS: Reduced expression of BMPRIA is associated with a significantly worse survival, primarily in a subset of SMAD4-positive cancers. In vitro inactivation of SMAD4-dependent BMP signalling increases proliferation and invasion of pancreatic cancer cells, whereas inactivation of BMP signalling in SMAD4-negative cells does not change the proliferation and invasion or leads to an opposite effect.
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that BMPRIA expression is a good prognostic marker and that the BMP pathway is a potential target for future therapeutic interventions in pancreatic cancer.

Medeiros PJ, Jackson DN
Neuropeptide Y Y5-receptor activation on breast cancer cells acts as a paracrine system that stimulates VEGF expression and secretion to promote angiogenesis.
Peptides. 2013; 48:106-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating data implicate a pathological role for sympathetic neurotransmitters like neuropeptide Y (NPY) in breast cancer progression. Our group and others reported that NPY promotes proliferation and migration in breast cancer cells, however the angiogenic potential of NPY in breast cancer is unknown. Herein we sought to determine if NPY promotes angiogenesis in vitro by increasing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and release from 4T1 breast cancer cells. Western blot analysis revealed that NPY treatment caused a 52 ± 14% increase in VEGF expression in the 4T1 cells compared to non-treated controls. Using selective NPY Y-receptor agonists (Y1R, Y2R and Y5R) we observed an increase in VEGF expression only when cells were treated with Y5R agonist. Congruently, using selective Y1R, Y2R, or Y5R antagonists, NPY-induced increases in VEGF expression in 4T1 cells were attenuated only under Y5R antagonism. Endothelial tube formation assays were conducted using conditioned media (CM) from NPY treated 4T1 cells. Concentration-dependent increases in number of branch points and complete endothelial networks were observed in HUVEC exposed to NPY CM. CM from Y5R agonist treated 4T1 cells caused similar increases in number of branch points and complete endothelial networks. VEGF concentration was quantified in CM (ELISA) from agonist experiments; we observed a 2-fold and 2.5-fold increase in VEGF release from NPY and Y5R agonist treated 4T1 cells respectively. Overall these data highlight a novel mechanism by which NPY may promote breast cancer progression, and further implicate a pathological role of the NPY Y5R.

Akimoto K, Kimura K, Nagano M, et al.
Umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells inhibit, but adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells promote, glioblastoma multiforme proliferation.
Stem Cells Dev. 2013; 22(9):1370-86 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess self-renewal and multipotential differentiation abilities, and they are thought to be one of the most reliable stem cell sources for a variety of cell therapies. Recently, cell therapy using MSCs has been studied as a novel therapeutic approach for cancers that show refractory progress and poor prognosis. MSCs from different tissues have different properties. However, the effect of different MSC properties on their application in anticancer therapies has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, to characterize the anticancer therapeutic application of MSCs from different sources, we established two different kinds of human MSCs: umbilical cord blood-derived MSCs (UCB-MSCs) and adipose-tissue-derived MSCs (AT-MSCs). We used these MSCs in a coculture assay with primary glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells to analyze how MSCs from different sources can inhibit GBM growth. We found that UCB-MSCs inhibited GBM growth and caused apoptosis, but AT-MSCs promoted GBM growth. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotinylated UTP nick-end labeling assay clearly demonstrated that UCB-MSCs promoted apoptosis of GBM via tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL). TRAIL was expressed more highly by UCB-MSCs than by AT-MSCs. Higher mRNA expression levels of angiogenic factors (vascular endothelial growth factor, angiopoietin 1, platelet-derived growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor) and stromal-derived factor-1 (SDF-1/CXCL12) were observed in AT-MSCs, and highly vascularized tumors were developed when AT-MSCs and GBM were cotransplanted. Importantly, CXCL12 inhibited TRAIL activation of the apoptotic pathway in GBM, suggesting that AT-MSCs may support GBM development in vivo by at least two distinct mechanisms-promoting angiogenesis and inhibiting apoptosis. The opposite effects of AT-MSCs and UCB-MSCs on GBM clearly demonstrate that differences must be considered when choosing a stem cell source for safety in clinical application.

Daly C, Eichten A, Castanaro C, et al.
Angiopoietin-2 functions as a Tie2 agonist in tumor models, where it limits the effects of VEGF inhibition.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(1):108-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
The angiopoietins Ang1 (ANGPT1) and Ang2 (ANGPT2) are secreted factors that bind to the endothelial cell-specific receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2 (TEK) and regulate angiogenesis. Ang1 activates Tie2 to promote blood vessel maturation and stabilization. In contrast, Ang2, which is highly expressed by tumor endothelial cells, is thought to inhibit Tie2 activity and destabilize blood vessels, thereby facilitating VEGF-dependent vessel growth. Here, we show that the inhibition of tumor xenograft growth caused by an Ang2-specific antibody (REGN910) is reversed by systemic administration of the Tie2 agonist Ang1. These results indicate that Ang2 blockade inhibits tumor growth by decreasing Tie2 activity, showing that Ang2 is a Tie2 activator. REGN910 treatment of tumors resulted in increased expression of genes that are repressed by Tie2 activation, providing further evidence that REGN910 inhibits Tie2 signaling. Combination treatment with REGN910 plus the VEGF blocker aflibercept reduced tumor vascularity and tumor perfusion more dramatically than either single agent, resulting in more extensive tumor cell death and more potent inhibition of tumor growth. Challenging the prevailing model of Ang2 as a destabilizing factor, our findings indicate that Ang2 plays a protective role in tumor endothelial cells by activating Tie2, thereby limiting the antivascular effects of VEGF inhibition. Thus, blockade of Ang2 might enhance the clinical benefits currently provided by anti-VEGF agents. .

Ribeiro R, Monteiro C, Catalán V, et al.
Obesity and prostate cancer: gene expression signature of human periprostatic adipose tissue.
BMC Med. 2012; 10:108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Periprostatic (PP) adipose tissue surrounds the prostate, an organ with a high predisposition to become malignant. Frequently, growing prostatic tumor cells extend beyond the prostatic organ towards this fat depot. This study aimed to determine the genome-wide expression of genes in PP adipose tissue in obesity/overweight (OB/OW) and prostate cancer patients.
METHODS: Differentially expressed genes in human PP adipose tissue were identified using microarrays. Analyses were conducted according to the donors' body mass index characteristics (OB/OW versus lean) and prostate disease (extra prostatic cancer versus organ confined prostate cancer versus benign prostatic hyperplasia). Selected genes with altered expression were validated by real-time PCR. Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) was used to investigate gene ontology, canonical pathways and functional networks.
RESULTS: In the PP adipose tissue of OB/OW subjects, we found altered expression of genes encoding molecules involved in adipogenic/anti-lipolytic, proliferative/anti-apoptotic, and mild immunoinflammatory processes (for example, FADS1, down-regulated, and LEP and ANGPT1, both up-regulated). Conversely, in the PP adipose tissue of subjects with prostate cancer, altered genes were related to adipose tissue cellular activity (increased cell proliferation/differentiation, cell cycle activation and anti-apoptosis), whereas a downward impact on immunity and inflammation was also observed, mostly related to the complement (down-regulation of CFH). Interestingly, we found that the microRNA MIRLET7A2 was overexpressed in the PP adipose tissue of prostate cancer patients.
CONCLUSIONS: Obesity and excess adiposity modified the expression of PP adipose tissue genes to ultimately foster fat mass growth. In patients with prostate cancer the expression profile of PP adipose tissue accounted for hypercellularity and reduced immunosurveillance. Both findings may be liable to promote a favorable environment for prostate cancer progression.

Cho JH, Han I, Lee MR, et al.
Isolation and characterization of endothelial cells from intramuscular hemangioma.
J Orthop Sci. 2013; 18(1):137-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Intramuscular hemangiomas (IMHs) are benign vascular tumors of deep soft tissue characterized by endothelial cell (EC) proliferation. The purpose of this study was to isolate ECs from IMH, characterize their angiogenic phenotype and functional characteristics, and search for a possible signaling pathway related to IMH development.
METHODS: EC Isolation from IMH was performed by digestion, filtration, washing, incubation, and purification in sequence. Tie2 expression was compared between ECs from IMH and controls using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Cell invasion and proliferation assays were used to analyze functional responses of ECs to angiopoietin 1 (Ang1) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Expression of downstream targets was analyzed using Western blot analysis.
RESULTS: Isolated ECs showed typical cobblestone appearance under light microscopy and formed capillary-like tubular structures using Matrigel tube-forming assay. RT-PCR of isolated ECs from six patients showed increased expression of Tie2 and VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) compared with control ECs. Tie2 activation by Ang1 compared with VEGFR1 by VEGF resulted in increased EC migration and proliferation. Western blot analysis showed increased Tie2 expression in hemangioma samples compared with normal ECs. Phosphorylated Akt and phosphorylated forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) expression was observed in hemangioma samples only.
CONCLUSION: EC isolation from IMH could be a useful tool for further research. These results suggest that increased Tie2 expression, via Akt-FOXO1 pathway activation, may play an important role in IMH pathogenesis.

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.

Dai J, Wan S, Zhou F, et al.
Genetic polymorphism in a VEGF-independent angiogenesis gene ANGPT1 and overall survival of colorectal cancer patients after surgical resection.
PLoS One. 2012; 7(4):e34758 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The VEGF-independent angiogenic signaling plays an important role in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC). However, its implication in the clinical outcome of CRC has not been reported. This study aimed to investigate the association between genetic variations in several major VEGF-independent signaling pathway genes and the overall survival of CRC patients.
METHODS: Seven single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in four important VEGF-independent angiogenic genes (ANGPT1, AMOT, DLL4 and ENG) were genotyped in a Chinese population with 408 CRC patients.
RESULTS: One SNP, rs1954727 in ANGPT1, was significantly associated with CRC overall survival. Compared to patients with the homozygous wild-type genotype of rs1954727, those with heterozygous and homozygous variant genotypes exhibited a favorable overall survival with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.89 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.55-1.43, P = 0.623), and 0.32 (95% CI 0.15-0.71, P = 0.005), respectively (P trend = 0.008). In stratified analysis, this association remained significant in patients receiving chemotherapy (P trend = 0.012), but not in those without chemotherapy. We further evaluated the effects of chemotherapy on CRC survival that was stratified by rs1954727 genotypes. We found that chemotherapy resulted in a significantly better overall survival in the CRC patients (HR = 0.44, 95% CI 0.26-0.75, P = 0.002), which was especially prominent in those patients with the heterozygous genotype of rs1954727 (HR = 0.45, 95%CI 0.22-0.92, P = 0.028).
CONCLUSION: Our data suggest that rs1954727 in ANGPT1 gene might be a prognostic biomarker for the overall survival of CRC patients, especially in those receiving chemotherapy, a finding that warrants validation in larger independent populations.

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.

Buchanan CF, Szot CS, Wilson TD, et al.
Cross-talk between endothelial and breast cancer cells regulates reciprocal expression of angiogenic factors in vitro.
J Cell Biochem. 2012; 113(4):1142-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reciprocal growth factor exchange between endothelial and malignant cells within the tumor microenvironment may directly stimulate neovascularization; however, the role of host vasculature in regulating tumor cell activity is not well understood. While previous studies have examined the angiogenic response of endothelial cells to tumor-secreted factors, few have explored tumor response to endothelial cells. Using an in vitro co-culture system, we investigated the influence of endothelial cells on the angiogenic phenotype of breast cancer cells. Specifically, VEGF, ANG1, and ANG2 gene and protein expression were assessed. When co-cultured with microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1), breast cancer cells (MDA-MB-231) significantly increased expression of ANG2 mRNA (20-fold relative to MDA-MB-231 monoculture). Moreover, MDA-MB-231/HMEC-1 co-cultures produced significantly increased levels of ANG2 (up to 580 pg/ml) and VEGF protein (up to 38,400 pg/ml) while ANG1 protein expression was decreased relative to MDA-MB-231 monocultures. Thus, the ratio of ANG1:ANG2 protein, a critical indicator of neovascularization, shifted in favor of ANG2, a phenomenon known to correlate with vessel destabilization and sprouting in vivo. This angiogenic response was not observed in nonmalignant breast epithelial cells (MCF-10A), where absolute protein levels of MCF-10A/HMEC-1 co-cultures were an order of magnitude less than that of the MDA-MB-231/HMEC-1 co-cultures. Results were further verified with a functional angiogenesis assay demonstrating well-defined microvascular endothelial cell (TIME) tube formation when cultured in media collected from MDA-MB-231/HMEC-1 co-cultures. This study demonstrates that the angiogenic activity of malignant mammary epithelial cells is significantly enhanced by the presence of endothelial cells.

Bernardi S, Zennaro C, Palmisano S, et al.
Characterization and significance of ACE2 and Mas receptor in human colon adenocarcinoma.
J Renin Angiotensin Aldosterone Syst. 2012; 13(1):202-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: A new arm of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) has been recently characterized; this includes angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)2 and angiotensin (Ang)1-7, a heptapeptide acting through the Mas receptor (MasR). Recent studies show that Ang1-7 has an antiproliferative action on lung adenocarcinoma cells. The aim of this study was to characterize RAS expression in human colon adenocarcinoma and to investigate whether Ang1-7 exerts an antiproliferative effect on human colon adenocarcinoma cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Gene, protein expression and enzymatic activity of the main components of the RAS were determined on non-neoplastic colon mucosa as well as on the tumor mass and the mucosa taken 5 cm distant from it, both collected from patients with colon adenocarcinoma. Two different human colon cancer cell lines were treated with AngII and Ang1-7.
RESULTS: The novel finding of this study was that MasR was significantly upregulated in colon adenocarcinoma compared with non-neoplastic colon mucosa, which showed little or no expression of it. ACE gene expression and enzymatic activity were also increased in the tumors. However, AngII and Ang1-7 did not have any pro-/antiproliferative effects in the cell lines studied.
CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that upregulation of the MasR could be used as a diagnostic marker of colon adenocarcinoma.

Ichihara E, Kaneda K, Saito Y, et al.
Angiopoietin1 contributes to the maintenance of cell quiescence in EVI1(high) leukemia cells.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2011; 416(3-4):239-45 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ecotropic viral integration site-1 (EVI1) is an oncogenic transcription factor in human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with poor prognosis. Because the drug-resistance of leukemia cells is partly dependent on cell quiescence in the bone marrow niche, EVI1 may be involved in cell cycle regulation in leukemia cells. As a candidate regulator of the cell cycle in leukemia cells with high EVI1 expression (EVI1(high)), we analyzed angiopoietin1 (Ang1), which is a down-regulated gene in EVI1-deficient mice and is involved in the quiescence of hematopoietic stem cells. The results of real-time PCR analyses showed that Ang1 is highly expressed in leukemia cell lines and primary AML cells with EVI1(high) expression. Introduction of shRNA against EVI1 into EVI1(high) leukemia cells down-regulated Ang1 expression. Moreover, knockdown of Ang1 in EVI1(high) leukemia cells promoted cell cycle progression and down-regulated the CDK inhibitor p18 (INK4c). Treatment with a decoy Tie2/Fc protein also down-regulated the expression of p18. These results suggest that Ang1/Tie2 signaling may suppress cell cycle progression via maintenance of G0/G1 phase through up-regulation of p18 expression. This mechanism may help to maintain EVI1(high) leukemia cells in the bone marrow niche and promote resistance to anti-cancer drugs.

Xie C, Schwarz EM, Sampson ER, et al.
Unique angiogenic and vasculogenic properties of renal cell carcinoma in a xenograft model of bone metastasis are associated with high levels of vegf-a and decreased ang-1 expression.
J Orthop Res. 2012; 30(2):325-33 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Management of various tumor metastases to bone has dramatically improved, but this is not so for renal cell carcinoma (RCC), which is a difficult surgical problem due to its great vascularity. Furthermore, the unique mechanisms that mediate RCC vasculogenesis in bone remain unknown. To understand this process we developed a xenograft model that recapitulates highly vascular RCC versus less vascular tumors that metastasize to bone. Human tumor cell lines of RCC (786-O), prostate cancer (PC3), lung cancer (A549), breast cancer (MDA-MB231), and melanoma (A375) were transduced with firefly luciferase (Luc), injected into the tibiae of nude mice, and differences in growth, osteolysis, and vascularity were assessed by longitudinal bioluminescent imaging, micro-CT for measurement of calcified tissues and vascularity and histology. The results showed that while RCC-Luc has reduced growth and osteolytic potential versus the other tumor lines, it displayed a significant increase in vascular volume (p < 0.05). This expansion was due to 3- and 5-fold increases in small and large vessel numbers respectively. In vitro gene expression profiling revealed that RCC-Luc expresses significantly (p < 0.05) more vegf-a (10-fold) and 20- to 30-fold less ang-1 versus the other lines. These data demonstrate the utility of this model to study the unique vasculogenic properties of RCC bone metastases.

Fagiani E, Lorentz P, Kopfstein L, Christofori G
Angiopoietin-1 and -2 exert antagonistic functions in tumor angiogenesis, yet both induce lymphangiogenesis.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(17):5717-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Members of the Angiopoietin family regulate various aspects of physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis. Although Angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) decreases endothelial cell permeability and increases vascular stabilization via recruitment of pericytes and smooth muscle cells to growing blood vessels, Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) mediates angiogenic sprouting and vascular regression. In this study, we used the Rip1Tag2 transgenic mouse model of pancreatic β-cell carcinogenesis to investigate the roles of Ang-1 and Ang-2 in tumor angiogenesis and tumor progression. On their own, transgenic expression of human Ang-1 or Ang-2 in pancreatic β cells caused formation of peri-insular lymphatic vessels in the absence of effects on blood vessel density, islet morphology, or physiology. When crossed to Rip1Tag2 mice, both Ang-1-and Ang-2-expressing β-cell tumors showed increased peritumoral lymphangiogenesis in the absence of metastasis to local lymph nodes or distant organs. There was no alteration in tumor outgrowth, blood vessel density, or vessel maturation in Ang-1-expressing tumors. In contrast, Ang-2-expressing tumors exhibited diminished pericyte recruitment to blood vessels that were dilated, nonfunctional, and highly permeable. These tumors were hemorrhagic, highly infiltrated by leukocytes, and impaired in outgrowth. Together, our findings establish that Ang-2 antagonizes Ang-1 function, leading to excessive vessel sprouting with impaired pericyte recruitment and vessel stabilization. The poor perfusion of immature blood vessels results in retarded tumor growth, defining an important pathophysiologic pathway required for efficient tumorigenesis.

Saharinen P, Alitalo K
The yin, the yang, and the angiopoietin-1.
J Clin Invest. 2011; 121(6):2157-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Twenty years after the discovery of the vascular endothelial Tie receptor tyrosine kinases and 15 years after the discovery of the Tie2 ligand, angiopoietin-1 (Angpt1, also known as Ang1), a study published in the current issue of the JCI reveals an unexpected loss-of-function phenotype of mice conditionally deleted of the Angpt1 gene. The results suggest that Angpt1 is needed as a vascular stabilizing factor that organizes and limits the angiogenesis response and protects from pathological consequences, such as tissue fibrosis.

Liu D, Martin V, Fueyo J, et al.
Tie2/TEK modulates the interaction of glioma and brain tumor stem cells with endothelial cells and promotes an invasive phenotype.
Oncotarget. 2010; 1(8):700-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant gliomas are the prototype of highly infiltrative tumors and this characteristic is the main factor for the inevitable tumor recurrence and short survival after most aggressive therapies. The aberrant communication between glioma cells and tumor microenvironment represents one of the major factors regulating brain tumor dispersal. Our group has previously reported that the tyrosine kinase receptor Tie2/TEK is expressed in glioma cells and brain tumor stem cells and is associated with the malignant progression of these tumors. In this study, we sought to determine whether the angiopoietin 1 (Ang1)/Tie2 axis regulates crosstalk between glioma cells and endothelial cells. We found that Ang1 enhanced the adhesion of Tie2-expressing glioma and brain tumor stem cells to endothelial cells. Conversely, specific small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of Tie2 expression inhibited the adhesion capability of glioma cells. Tie2 activation induced integrin β1 and N-cadherin upregulation, and neutralizing antibodies against these molecules inhibited the adhesion of Tie2-positive glioma cells to endothelial cells. In 2D and 3D cultures, we observed that Ang1/Tie2 axis activation was related to increased glioma cell invasion, which was inhibited by using Tie2 siRNA. Importantly, intracranial co-implantation of Tie2-positive glioma cells and endothelial cells in a mouse model resulted in diffusely invasive tumors with cell clusters surrounding glomeruloid vessels mimicking a tumoral niche distribution. Collectively, our results provide new information about the Tie2 signaling in glioma cells that regulates the cross-talk between glioma cells and tumor microenvironment, envisioning Tie2 as a multi-compartmental target for glioma therapy.

Huang H, Lai JY, Do J, et al.
Specifically targeting angiopoietin-2 inhibits angiogenesis, Tie2-expressing monocyte infiltration, and tumor growth.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(5):1001-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) plays a key role in maintaining stable vasculature, whereas in a tumor Ang2 antagonizes Ang1's function and promotes the initiation of the angiogenic switch. Specifically targeting Ang2 is a promising anticancer strategy. Here we describe the development and characterization of a new class of biotherapeutics referred to as CovX-Bodies, which are created by chemical fusion of a peptide and a carrier antibody scaffold.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Various linker tethering sites on peptides were examined for their effect on CovX-Body in vitro potency and pharmacokinetics. Ang2 CovX-Bodies with low nmol/L IC(50)s and significantly improved pharmacokinetics were tested in tumor xenograft studies alone or in combination with standard of care agents. Tumor samples were analyzed for target engagement, via Ang2 protein level, CD31-positive tumor vasculature, and Tie2 expressing monocyte penetration.
RESULTS: Bivalent Ang2 CovX-Bodies selectively block the Ang2-Tie2 interaction (IC(50) < 1 nmol/L) with dramatically improved pharmacokinetics (T(½) > 100 hours). Using a staged Colo-205 xenograft model, significant tumor growth inhibition (TGI) was observed (40%-63%, P < 0.01). Ang2 protein levels were reduced by approximately 50% inside tumors (P < 0.01), whereas tumor microvessel density (P < 0.01) and intratumor proangiogenic Tie2(+)CD11b(+) cells (P < 0.05) were significantly reduced. When combined with sunitinib, sorafenib, bevacizumab, irinotecan, or docetaxel, Ang2 CovX-Bodies produced even greater efficacy (∼80% TGI, P < 0.01).
CONCLUSION: CovX-Bodies provide an elegant solution to overcome the pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic problems of peptides. Long-acting Ang2 specific CovX-Bodies will be useful as single agents and in combination with standard-of-care agents.

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