Gene Summary

Gene:ANGPTL4; angiopoietin like 4
Aliases: NL2, ARP4, FIAF, HARP, PGAR, HFARP, TGQTL, UNQ171, pp1158
Summary:This gene encodes a glycosylated, secreted protein containing a C-terminal fibrinogen domain. The encoded protein is induced by peroxisome proliferation activators and functions as a serum hormone that regulates glucose homeostasis, lipid metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. This protein can also act as an apoptosis survival factor for vascular endothelial cells and can prevent metastasis by inhibiting vascular growth and tumor cell invasion. The C-terminal domain may be proteolytically-cleaved from the full-length secreted protein. Decreased expression of this gene has been associated with type 2 diabetes. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants. This gene was previously referred to as ANGPTL2 but has been renamed ANGPTL4. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2013]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:angiopoietin-related protein 4
Source:NCBIAccessed: 30 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 30 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 30 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: ANGPTL4 (cancer-related)

Gu Z, Churchman ML, Roberts KG, et al.
PAX5-driven subtypes of B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Nat Genet. 2019; 51(2):296-307 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Recent genomic studies have identified chromosomal rearrangements defining new subtypes of B-progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL), however many cases lack a known initiating genetic alteration. Using integrated genomic analysis of 1,988 childhood and adult cases, we describe a revised taxonomy of B-ALL incorporating 23 subtypes defined by chromosomal rearrangements, sequence mutations or heterogeneous genomic alterations, many of which show marked variation in prevalence according to age. Two subtypes have frequent alterations of the B lymphoid transcription-factor gene PAX5. One, PAX5alt (7.4%), has diverse PAX5 alterations (rearrangements, intragenic amplifications or mutations); a second subtype is defined by PAX5 p.Pro80Arg and biallelic PAX5 alterations. We show that p.Pro80Arg impairs B lymphoid development and promotes the development of B-ALL with biallelic Pax5 alteration in vivo. These results demonstrate the utility of transcriptome sequencing to classify B-ALL and reinforce the central role of PAX5 as a checkpoint in B lymphoid maturation and leukemogenesis.

Huang P, Ouyang DJ, Chang S, et al.
Chemotherapy-driven increases in the CDKN1A/PTN/PTPRZ1 axis promote chemoresistance by activating the NF-κB pathway in breast cancer cells.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):92 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Chemotherapy is the primary established systemic treatment for patients with breast cancer, especially those with the triple-negative subtype. Simultaneously, the resistance of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to chemotherapy remains a major clinical problem. Our previous study demonstrated that the expression levels of PTN and its receptor PTPRZ1 were upregulated in recurrent TNBC tissue after chemotherapy, and this increase was closely related to poor prognosis in those patients. However, the mechanism and function of chemotherapy-driven increases in PTN/PTPRZ1 expression are still unclear.
METHODS: We compared the expression of PTN and PTPRZ1 between normal breast and cancer tissues as well as before and after chemotherapy in cancer tissue using the microarray analysis data from the GEPIA database and GEO database. The role of chemotherapy-driven increases in PTN/PTPRZ1 expression was examined with a CCK-8 assay, colony formation efficiency assay and apoptosis analysis with TNBC cells. The potential upstream pathways involved in the chemotherapy-driven increases in PTN/PTPRZ1 expression in TNBC cells were explored using microarray analysis, and the downstream mechanism was dissected with siRNA.
RESULTS: We demonstrated that the expression of PTN and PTPRZ1 was upregulated by chemotherapy, and this change in expression decreased chemosensitivity by promoting tumour proliferation and inhibiting apoptosis. CDKN1A was the critical switch that regulated the expression of PTN/PTPRZ1 in TNBC cells receiving chemotherapy. We further demonstrated that the mechanism of chemoresistance by chemotherapy-driven increases in the CDKN1A/PTN/PTPRZ1 axis depended on the NF-κB pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: Our studies indicated that chemotherapy-driven increases in the CDKN1A/PTN/PTPRZ1 axis play a critical role in chemoresistance, which suggests a novel strategy to enhance chemosensitivity in breast cancer cells, especially in those of the triple-negative subtype.

Zhou J, Yang Y, Zhang Y, et al.
A meta-analysis on the role of pleiotrophin (PTN) as a prognostic factor in cancer.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(11):e0207473 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Some researchers reported that pleiotrophin (PTN) is associated with the development and metastasis of various tumors and it is a poor prognostic factor for the tumor patients. However, the results of other researches are inconsistent with them. It is obliged to do a meta-analysis to reach a definite conclusion.
METHODS: The published studies relevant to PTN were searched in the databases including PubMed, Embase and Web of Science until March 20, 2018. A meta-analysis was conducted to evaluate the role of PTN in clinicopathological characteristics and overall survival (OS) of cancer patients.
RESULTS: Our meta-analysis indicated that the high expression of PTN was remarkably associated with advanced TNM stage (OR = 2.79, 95%CI: 1.92-4.06, P<0.00001) and poor OS (HR = 1.77, 95%CI: 1.41-2.22, P<0.00001) in tumor patients. The expression of PTN was not associated with tumor size (OR = 1.12, 95% CI: 0.55-2.26, P = 0.76), lymph node metastasis (LNM) (OR = 1.95, 95%CI: 0.62-6.12, P = 0.25), distant metastasis (DM) (OR = 2.78, 95%CI: 0.72-10.74, P = 0.14) and histological grade (OR = 1.95, 95%CI: 0.98-3.87, P = 0.06).
CONCLUSION: The high expression of PTN is significantly relevant to the advanced TNM stage and poor OS in tumor patients. PTN can serve as a promising biomarker to predict unfavorable survival outcomes, and it may be a potential target for tumor treatment.

Wang Y, Wang Y, Liu F
A 44-gene set constructed for predicting the prognosis of clear cell renal cell carcinoma.
Int J Mol Med. 2018; 42(6):3105-3114 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) is the most frequent type of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). The present study aimed to examine prognostic markers and construct a prognostic prediction system for ccRCC. The mRNA sequencing data of ccRCC was downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) database, and the GSE40435 dataset was obtained from the Gene Expression Omnibus database. Using the Limma package, the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the TCGA dataset and GSE40435 dataset were obtained, respectively, and the overlapped DEGs were selected. Subsequently, Cox regression analysis was applied for screening prognosis‑associated genes. Following visualization of the co‑expression network using Cytoscape software, the network modules were examined using the GraphWeb tool. Functional annotation for genes in the network was performed using the clusterProfiler package. Finally, a prognostic prediction system was constructed through Bayes discriminant analysis and confirmed with the GSE29609 validation dataset. The results revealed a total of 263 overlapped DEGs and 161 prognosis‑associated genes. Following construction of the co‑expression network, 16 functional terms and three pathways were obtained for genes in the network. In addition, red, yellow (involving chemokine ligand 10 (CXCL10), CD27 molecule (CD27) and runt‑related transcription factor 3 (RUNX3)], green (involving angiopoietin‑like 4 (ANGPTL4), stanniocalcin 2 (STC2), and sperm associated antigen 4 (SPAG4)], and cyan modules were extracted from the co‑expression network. Additionally, the prognostic prediction system involving 44 signature genes, including ANGPTL4, STC2, CXCL10, SPAG4, CD27, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP9) and RUNX3, was identified and confirmed. In conclusion, the 44‑gene prognostic prediction system involving ANGPTL4, STC2, CXCL10, SPAG4, CD27, MMP9 and RUNX3 may be utilized for predicting the prognosis of patients with ccRCC.

Roberts KG, Reshmi SC, Harvey RC, et al.
Genomic and outcome analyses of Ph-like ALL in NCI standard-risk patients: a report from the Children's Oncology Group.
Blood. 2018; 132(8):815-824 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Philadelphia chromosome-like acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-like ALL;

Zhu B, Mirabello L, Chatterjee N
A subregion-based burden test for simultaneous identification of susceptibility loci and subregions within.
Genet Epidemiol. 2018; 42(7):673-683 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
In rare variant association studies, aggregating rare and/or low frequency variants, may increase statistical power for detection of the underlying susceptibility gene or region. However, it is unclear which variants, or class of them, in a gene contribute most to the association. We proposed a subregion-based burden test (REBET) to simultaneously select susceptibility genes and identify important underlying subregions. The subregions are predefined by shared common biologic characteristics, such as the protein domain or functional impact. Based on a subset-based approach considering local correlations between combinations of test statistics of subregions, REBET is able to properly control the type I error rate while adjusting for multiple comparisons in a computationally efficient manner. Simulation studies show that REBET can achieve power competitive to alternative methods when rare variants cluster within subregions. In two case studies, REBET is able to identify known disease susceptibility genes, and more importantly pinpoint the unreported most susceptible subregions, which represent protein domains essential for gene function. R package REBET is available at

Zhang T, Kastrenopoulou A, Larrouture Q, et al.
Angiopoietin-like 4 promotes osteosarcoma cell proliferation and migration and stimulates osteoclastogenesis.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):536 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Osteosarcoma is the most common primary bone cancer in children and young adults. It is highly aggressive and patients that present with metastasis have a poor prognosis. Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) drives the progression and metastasis of many solid tumours, but has not been described in osteosarcoma tissue. ANGPTL4 also enhances osteoclast activity, which is required for osteosarcoma growth in bone. We therefore investigated the expression and function of ANGPTL4 in human osteosarcoma tissue and cell lines.
METHODS: Expression of ANGPTL4 in osteosarcoma tissue microarrays was determined by immunohistochemistry. Hypoxic secretion of ANGPTL4 was tested by ELISA and Western blot. Regulation of ANGPTL4 by hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) was investigated using isoform specific HIF siRNA (HIF-1α, HIF-2α). Effects of ANGPTL4 on cell proliferation, migration (scratch wound assay), colony formation and osteoblastogenesis were assessed using exogenous ANGPTL4 or cells stably transfected with ANGPTL4. Osteoclastogenic differentiation of CD14+ monocytes was assessed by staining for tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), bone resorption was assessed by lacunar resorption of dentine.
RESULTS: ANGPTL4 was immunohistochemically detectable in 76/109 cases. ANGPTL4 was induced by hypoxia in 6 osteosarcoma cell lines, under the control of the HIF-1α transcription factor. MG-63 cells transfected with an ANGPTL4 over-expression plasmid exhibited increased proliferation and migration capacity and promoted osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Individually the full-length form of ANGPTL4 could increase MG-63 cell proliferation, whereas N-terminal ANGPTL4 mediated the other pro-tumourigenic phenotypes.
CONCLUSIONS: This study describes a role(s) for ANGPTL4 in osteosarcoma and identifies ANGPTL4 as a treatment target that could potentially reduce tumour progression, inhibit angiogenesis, reduce bone destruction and prevent metastatic events.

Liu LQ, Feng LF, Nan CR, Zhao ZM
CREB3L1 and PTN expressions correlate with prognosis of brain glioma patients.
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(3) [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
The present study was conducted to investigate the clinical significance of cAMP responsive element binding protein 3 like 1 (CREB3L1) and pleiotrophin (PTN) expression in prognosis of patients with brain gliomas. Human brain tissue samples were collected from normal glial tissues (control), low- and high-grade glioma tissues. CREB3L1 and PTN expression levels in cells were assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), and population distribution of the CREB3L1- and PTN-presenting patients was examined. The

Chen JW, Luo YJ, Yang ZF, et al.
Knockdown of angiopoietin-like 4 inhibits the development of human gastric cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(4):1739-1746 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human gastric cancer (GC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and is one of the most common metastatic cancers. Tumor proliferation, apoptosis, metastasis and invasion are important predictors of the invasiveness of GC and are key factors in cancer-induced death. Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) is a secreted protein that belongs to the angiopoietin (ANGPTL) family and is involved in the regulation of cancer metastasis. However, whether ANGPTL4 plays a role in the progression of GC remain unclear. In the present study, immunoreactivity of ANGPTL4 demonstrated that ANGPTL4 expression was upregulated in GC tissues with the development of GC. The siRNA targeting ANGPTL4 effectively knocked down ANGPTL4 in the SNU‑1 and BGC823 cell lines at the mRNA and protein levels. Following ANGPTL4 downregulation, the proliferation and invasion abilities of GC cell lines were suppressed as determined by MTT and Transwell assays, and cell apoptosis level and sensitivity to cisplatin were increased as determined by flow cytometry and MTT assay. In conclusion, these findings suggest that ANGPTL4 may be a new potential therapeutic target for GC.

Pérez-Valencia JA, Prosdocimi F, Cesari IM, et al.
Angiogenesis and evading immune destruction are the main related transcriptomic characteristics to the invasive process of oral tongue cancer.
Sci Rep. 2018; 8(1):2007 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Metastasis of head and neck tumors is responsible for a high mortality rate. Understanding its biochemistry may allow insights into tumorigenesis. To that end we carried out RNA-Seq analyses of 5 SCC9 derived oral cancer cell lines displaying increased invasive potential. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were annotated based on p-values and false discovery rate (q-values). All 292 KEGG pathways related to the human genome were compared in order to pinpoint the absolute and relative contributions to the invasive process considering the 8 hallmarks of cancer plus 2 new defined categories, as well as we made with our transcriptomic data. In terms of absolute contribution, the highest correlations were associated to the categories of evading immune destruction and energy metabolism and for relative contributions, angiogenesis and evading immune destruction. DEGs were distributed into each one of all possible modes of regulation, regarding up, down and continuum expression, along the 3 stages of metastatic progression. For p-values twenty-six genes were consistently present along the tumoral progression and 4 for q-values. Among the DEGs, we found 2 novel potentially informative metastatic markers: PIGG and SLC8B1. Furthermore, interactome analysis showed that MYH14, ANGPTL4, PPARD and ENPP1 are amenable to pharmacological interventions.

Lange A, Jaskula E, Lange J, et al.
The sorafenib anti-relapse effect after alloHSCT is associated with heightened alloreactivity and accumulation of CD8+PD-1+ (CD279+) lymphocytes in marrow.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(1):e0190525 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
We studied three FLT3 ITD acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients who relapsed after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) and received multikinase inhibitor (MKI) sorafenib as part of salvage therapy. MKI was given to block the effect of FLT3 ITD mutation which powers proliferation of blast cells. However, the known facts that sorafenib is more effective in patents post alloHSCT suggested that this MKI can augment the immune system surveillance on leukaemia. In the present study, we investigated in depth the effect of sorafenib on the alloreactivity seen post-transplant including that on leukaemia. The patients (i) responded to the treatment with cessation of blasts which lasted 1, 17 and 42+ months, (ii) developed skin lesions with CD3+ cell invasion of the epidermis, (iii) had marrow infiltrated with CD8+ lymphocytes which co-expressed PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1 receptor, CD279) in higher proportions than those in the blood (163±32 x103 cells/μl vs 38±8 x103 cells/μl, p<0.001). The Lymphoprep fraction of marrow cells investigated for the expression of genes involved in lymphocyte activation showed in the patients with long lasting complete remission (CR) a similar pattern characterized by (i) a low expression of nitric oxide synthase 2 (NOS2) and colony stimulating factor 2 (CSF2) as well as that of angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) (supporting the immune response and anti-angiogenic) genes, and (ii) higher expression of fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) and collagen type IV alpha 3 chain (COL4A3) as well as toll like receptor 9 (TLR9) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) (pro-inflammatory expression profile) genes as compared with the normal individual. The positive effect in one patient hardly justified the presence of unwanted effects (progressive chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGvHD) and avascular necrosis of the femur), which were in contrast negligible in the other patient. The anti-leukemic and unwanted effects of sorafenib do not rely on each other.

Wang R, Cai Y, Zhang B, Wu Z
A 16-gene expression signature to distinguish stage I from stage II lung squamous carcinoma.
Int J Mol Med. 2018; 41(3):1377-1384 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
The present study aimed to perform screening of a gene signature for the discrimination and prognostic prediction of stage I and II lung squamous carcinoma. A microarray meta‑analysis was performed to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between stage I and II lung squamous carcinoma samples in seven microarray datasets collected from the Gene Expression Omnibus database via the MetaQC and MetaDE package in R. The important DEGs were selected according to the betweenness centrality value of the protein‑protein interaction (PPI) network. Support vector machine (SVM) analysis was performed to screen the feature genes for discrimination and prognosis. One independent dataset downloaded from The Cancer Genome Atlas was used to validate the reliability. Pathway enrichment analysis was also performed for the feature genes. A total of 924 DEGs were identified to construct a PPI network consisting of 392 nodes and 686 edges. The top 100 of the 392 nodes were selected as crucial genes to construct an SVM classifier, and a 16‑gene signature (caveolin 1, eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1γ, casein kinase 2α1, tyrosine 3-monooxygenase/tryptophan 5-monooxygenase activation η, tyrosine 3‑monooxygenase/tryptophan 5‑monooxygenase activation θ, pleiotrophin, insulin receptor, insulin receptor substrate 1, 3‑phosphoinositide‑dependent protein kinase‑1, specificity protein 1, COP9 signalosome subunit 6, N‑myc downstream regulated gene 1, retinoid X receptor α, heat shock protein 90α A1, karyopherin subunit β1 and erythrocyte membrane protein band 4.1) with high discrimination accuracy was identified. This 16‑gene signature had significant prognostic value, and patients with stage II lung squamous carcinoma exhibited shorter survival rates, compared with those with stage I disease. Seven DEGs of the 16-gene signature were significantly involved in the phosphoinositide 3‑kinase‑Akt signaling pathway. The 16‑gene signature identified in the present study may be useful for stratifying the patients with stage I or II lung squamous carcinoma and predicting prognosis.

Hsieh HY, Jou YC, Tung CL, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of the dual-role signal mediator, ANGPTL4 in tumor tissues and its overexpression in the urothelial carcinoma microenvironment.
Oncogene. 2018; 37(5):673-686 [PubMed] Related Publications
Urothelial carcinoma (UC) carcinogenesis has been hypothesized to occur through epigenetic repression of tumor-suppressor genes (TSGs). By quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction array, we found that one potential TSG, angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4), was expressed at very low levels in all bladder cancer cell lines we examined. Previous studies had demonstrated that ANGPTL4 is highly expressed in some cancers, but downregulated, by DNA methylation, in others. Consequently, owing to these seemingly conflicting functions in distinct cancers, the precise role of ANGPTL4 in the etiology of UC remains unclear. In this study, using methylation-specific PCR and bisulfite pyrosequencing, we show that ANGPTL4 is transcriptionally repressed by DNA methylation in UC cell lines and primary tumor samples, as compared with adjacent noncancerous bladder epithelium. Functional studies further demonstrated that ectopic expression of ANGPTL4 potently suppressed UC cell proliferation, monolayer colony formation in vitro, and invasion, migration, and xenograft formation in vivo. Surprisingly, circulating ANGPTL4 was significantly higher in plasma samples from UC patients than normal control, suggesting it might be secreted from other cell types. Interestingly, our data also indicated that exogenous cANGPTL4 could promote cell proliferation and cell migration via activation of signaling through the Erk/focal adhesion kinase axis. We further confirmed that mouse xenograft tumor growth could be promoted by administration of exogenous cANGPTL4. Finally, immunohistochemistry demonstrated that ANGPTL4 was downregulated in tumor cells but overexpressed in tumor adjacent stromal tissues of muscle-invasive UC tissue samples. In conclusion, our data support dual roles for ANGPTL4 in UC progression, either as a tumor suppressor or oncogene, in response to microenvironmental context.

Ness C, Garred Ø, Eide NA, et al.
Multicellular tumor spheroids of human uveal melanoma induce genes associated with anoikis resistance, lipogenesis, and SSXs.
Mol Vis. 2017; 23:680-694 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
PURPOSE: Uveal melanoma (UM) has a high propensity for metastatic spread, and approximately 40-50% of patients die of metastatic disease. Metastases can be found at the time of diagnosis but also several years after the tumor has been removed. The survival of disseminated cancer cells is known to be linked to anchorage independence, anoikis resistance, and an adaptive cellular metabolism. The cultivation of cancer cells as multicellular tumor spheroids (MCTS) by anchorage-independent growth enriches for a more aggressive phenotype. The present study examines the differential gene expression of adherent cell cultures, non-adherent MCTS cultures, and uncultured tumor biopsies from three patients with UM. We elucidate the biochemical differences between the culture conditions to find whether the culture of UM as non-adherent MCTS could be linked to an anchorage-independent and more aggressive phenotype, thus unravelling potential targets for treatment of UM dissemination.
METHODS: The various culture conditions were evaluated with microarray analysis, quantitative reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), RNAscope, immunohistochemistry (IHC), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) followed by gene expression bioinformatics.
RESULTS: The MCTS cultures displayed traits associated with anoikis resistance demonstrated by
CONCLUSIONS: The MCTS cultures displayed traits associated with anoikis resistance, a metabolic shift toward a lipogenic profile, and upregulation of SSXs, related to the PcG proteins.

Liu L, Zhuang X, Jiang M, et al.
ANGPTL4 mediates the protective role of PPARγ activators in the pathogenesis of preeclampsia.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(9):e3054 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) has been shown to be a therapeutic target for preeclampsia (PE). Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (ANGPTL4) is a multifunctional secretory protein involved in regulating lipid metabolism and angiogenesis in various tissues. However, the expression of PPARγ and ANGPTL4 and their interaction in PE remain elusive. Here we showed that PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone upregulated the expression and secretion of ANGPTL4 in a dose-dependent manner in HTR8/SVneo cells, human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and placental explants. More importantly, we confirmed that the PPARγ/retinoid X receptor α heterodimer specifically binds to the ANGPTL4 promoter region and enhances its transcriptional activity. In addition, the levels of ANGPTL4 and PPARγ activators in the serum and their expression in placental tissues were significantly reduced in preeclamptic patients compared with normal pregnant subjects. Furthermore, functional studies demonstrated that ANGPTL4 mediates the facilitative effects of the PPARγ agonist on the survival, proliferation, migration and invasion of HTR8/SVneo cells, placental explants outgrowth and angiogenesis in HUVECs. Taken together, our results suggest that ANGPTL4 is a potential target gene for PPARγ and mediates the protective role of PPARγ activators in the pathogenesis of PE.

Baba K, Kitajima Y, Miyake S, et al.
Hypoxia-induced ANGPTL4 sustains tumour growth and anoikis resistance through different mechanisms in scirrhous gastric cancer cell lines.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):11127 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Patients with scirrhous gastric cancer (SGC) frequently develop peritoneal dissemination, which leads to poor prognosis. The secreted protein angiopoietin-like-4 (ANGPTL4), which is induced by hypoxia, exerts diverse effects on cancer progression. Here, we aimed to determine the biological function of ANGPTL4 in SGC cells under hypoxia. ANGPTL4 levels were higher in SGC cells under hypoxia than in other types of gastric cancer cells. Hypoxia-induced ANGPTL4 mRNA expression was regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α). Under hypoxic conditions, monolayer cultures of ANGPTL4 knockdown (KD) 58As9 SGC (58As9-KD) cells were arrested in the G

Tan ZW, Teo Z, Tan C, et al.
ANGPTL4 T266M variant is associated with reduced cancer invasiveness.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Cell Res. 2017; 1864(10):1525-1536 [PubMed] Related Publications
Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) is a secretory protein that can be cleaved to form an N-terminal and a C-terminal protein. Studies performed thus far have linked ANGPTL4 to several cancer-related and metabolic processes. Notably, several point mutations in the C-terminal ANGPTL4 (cANGPTL4) have been reported, although no studies have been performed that ascribed these mutations to cancer-related and metabolic processes. In this study, we compared the characteristics of tumors with and without wild-type (wt) cANGPTL4 and tumors with cANGPTL4 bearing the T266M mutation (T266M cANGPTL4). We found that T266M cANGPTL4 bound to integrin α5β1 with a reduced affinity compared to wt, leading to weaker activation of downstream signaling molecules. The mutant tumors exhibited impaired proliferation, anoikis resistance, and migratory capability and had reduced adenylate energy charge. Further investigations also revealed that cANGPTL4 regulated the expression of Glut2. These findings may explain the differences in the tumor characteristics and energy metabolism observed with the cANGPTL4 T266M mutation compared to tumors without the mutation.

Wei Z, Shan Y, Tao L, et al.
Diallyl trisulfides, a natural histone deacetylase inhibitor, attenuate HIF-1α synthesis, and decreases breast cancer metastasis.
Mol Carcinog. 2017; 56(10):2317-2331 [PubMed] Related Publications
Intratumoral hypoxia promotes the distant metastasis of cancer subclones. The clinical expression level of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) reflects the prognosis of a variety of cancers, especially breast cancer. Histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors can target HIF-1α protein due to von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) protein-dependent degradation. Dietary organosulfur compounds, such as those in garlic, have been reported as HDAC inhibitors. The effects of diallyl sulfide (DAS), diallyl disulfide (DADS), and diallyl trisulfide (DATS) on the ratio of firefly/Renilla luciferase activity in hypoxic MDA-MB-231 cells were determined. The mRNA expressions of HIF-1α target genes ANGPTL4, LOXL4, and LOX in hypoxic MDA-MB-231 cells were significantly down-regulated by DATS. DATS attenuated the metastatic potential of MDA-MB-231 cells in hypoxia-induced embryonic zebrafish, xenograft, and orthotopic tumors. Endothelial cell-cancer cell adhesion, wound healing, transwell, and tube formation assays showed that DATS dose-dependently inhibited the migration and angiogenesis of MDA-MB-231 cells in vitro. The expressions of L1CAM, VEGF-A, and EMT-related proteins (Slug, Snail, MMP-2) were inhibited by DATS. DATS dose-dependently inhibited HIF-1α transcriptional activity and hypoxia-induced hematogenous metastasis of MDA-MB-231 cells. It reduced the protein expression of HIF-1α, which did not involve inhibition of HIF-1α mRNA expression or ubiquitin proteasome degradation. Efficient inhibition of HIF-1α expression was required for DATS to resist breast cancer.

Zha L, He L, Xie W, et al.
Therapeutic silence of pleiotrophin by targeted delivery of siRNA and its effect on the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(5):e0177964 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a secreted cytokine that is expressed in various cancer cell lines and human tumor such as colon cancer, lung cancer, gastric cancer and melanoma. It plays significant roles in angiogenesis, metastasis, differentiation and cell growth. The expression of PTN in the adult is limited to the hippocampus in an activity-dependent manner, making it a very attractive target for cancer therapy. RNA interference (RNAi) offers great potential as a new powerful therapeutic strategy based on its highly specific and efficient silencing of a target gene. However, efficient delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) in vivo remains a significant hurdle for its successful therapeutic application. In this study, we first identified, on a cell-based experiment, applying a 1:1 mixture of two PTN specific siRNA engenders a higher silencing efficiency on both mRNA and protein level than using any of them discretely at the same dose. As a consequence, slower melanoma cells growth was also observed for using two specific siRNA combinatorially. To establish a robust way for siRNA delivery in vivo and further investigate how silence of PTN affects tumor growth, we tested three different methods to deliver siRNA in vivo: first non-targeted in-vivo delivery of siRNA via jetPEI; second lung targeted delivery of siRNA via microbubble coated jetPEI; third tumor cell targeted delivery of siRNA via transferrin-polyethylenimine (Tf-PEI). As a result, we found that all three in-vivo siRNAs delivery methods led to an evident inhibition of melanoma growth in non-immune deficiency C57BL/6 mice without a measureable change of ALT and AST activities. Both targeted delivery methods showed more significant curative effect than jetPEI. The lung targeted delivery by microbubble coated jetPEI revealed a comparable therapeutic effect with Tf-PEI, indicating its potential application for target delivery of siRNA in vivo.

Bai PS, Xia N, Sun H, Kong Y
Pleiotrophin, a target of miR-384, promotes proliferation, metastasis and lipogenesis in HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma.
J Cell Mol Med. 2017; 21(11):3023-3043 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection plays a crucial role and is a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in China. microRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key players in hepatic steatosis and carcinogenesis. We found that down-regulation of miR-384 expression was a common event in HCC, especially HBV-related HCC. However, the possible function of miR-384 in HBV-related HCC remains unclear. The oncogene pleiotrophin (PTN) was a target of miR-384. HBx inhibited miR-384, increasing PTN expression. The PTN receptor N-syndecan was highly expressed in HCC. PTN induced by HBx acted as a growth factor via N-syndecan on hepatocytes and further promoted cell proliferation, metastasis and lipogenesis. PTN up-regulated sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) through the N-syndecan/PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 pathway and the expression of lipogenic genes, including fatty acid synthesis (FAS). PTN-mediated de novo lipid synthesis played an important role in HCC proliferation and metastasis. PI3K/AKT and an mTORC1 inhibitor diminished PTN-induced proliferation, metastasis and lipogenesis. Taken together, these data strongly suggest that the dysregulation of miR-384 could play a crucial role in HBV related to HCC, and the target gene of miR-384, PTN, represents a new potential therapeutic target for the prevention of hepatic steatosis and further progression to HCC after chronic HBV infection.

Cao Y, Agarwal R, Dituri F, et al.
NGS-based transcriptome profiling reveals biomarkers for companion diagnostics of the TGF-β receptor blocker galunisertib in HCC.
Cell Death Dis. 2017; 8(2):e2634 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β) signaling has gained extensive interest in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The small molecule kinase inhibitor galunisertib, targeting the TGF-β receptor I (TGF-βRI), blocks HCC progression in preclinical models and shows promising effects in ongoing clinical trials. As the drug is not similarly effective in all patients, this study was aimed at identifying new companion diagnostics biomarkers for patient stratification. Next-generation sequencing-based massive analysis of cDNA ends was used to investigate the transcriptome of an invasive HCC cell line responses to TGF-β1 and galunisertib. These identified mRNA were validated in 78 frozen HCC samples and in 26 ex-vivo HCC tissues treated in culture with galunisertib. Respective protein levels in patients blood were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. SKIL, PMEPA1 ANGPTL4, SNAI1, Il11 and c4orf26 were strongly upregulated by TGF-β1 and downregulated by galunisertib in different HCC cell lines. In the 78 HCC samples, only SKIL and PMEPA1 (P<0.001) were correlated with endogenous TGF-β1. In ex-vivo samples, SKIL and PMEPA1 were strongly downregulated (P<0.001), and correlated (P<0.001) with endogenous TGF-β1. SKIL and PMEPA1 mRNA expression in tumor tissues was significantly increased compared with controls and not correlated with protein levels in the blood of paired HCC patients. SKIL and PMEPA1 mRNA levels were positively correlated with TGF-β1 mRNA concentrations in HCC tissues and strongly downregulated by galunisertib. The target genes identified here may serve as biomarkers for the stratification of HCC patients undergoing treatment with galunisertib.

Wragg JW, Heath VL, Bicknell R
Sunitinib Treatment Enhances Metastasis of Innately Drug-Resistant Breast Tumors.
Cancer Res. 2017; 77(4):1008-1020 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Antiangiogenic therapies have failed to confer survival benefits in patients with metastatic breast cancer (mBC). However, to date, there has not been an inquiry into the roles for acquired versus innate drug resistance in this setting. In this study, we report roles for these distinct phenotypes in determining therapeutic response in a murine model of mBC resistance to the antiangiogenic tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib. Using tumor measurement and vascular patterning approaches, we differentiated tumors displaying innate versus acquired resistance. Bioluminescent imaging of tumor metastases to the liver, lungs, and spleen revealed that sunitinib administration enhances metastasis, but only in tumors displaying innate resistance to therapy. Transcriptomic analysis of tumors displaying acquired versus innate resistance allowed the identification of specific biomarkers, many of which have a role in angiogenesis. In particular, aquaporin-1 upregulation occurred in acquired resistance, mTOR in innate resistance, and pleiotrophin in both settings, suggesting their utility as candidate diagnostics to predict drug response or to design tactics to circumvent resistance. Our results unravel specific features of antiangiogenic resistance, with potential therapeutic implications.

Shen CJ, Chan SH, Lee CT, et al.
Oleic acid-induced ANGPTL4 enhances head and neck squamous cell carcinoma anoikis resistance and metastasis via up-regulation of fibronectin.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 386:110-122 [PubMed] Related Publications
Obese patients have higher levels of free fatty acids (FFAs) in their plasma and a higher risk of cancer than their non-obese counterparts. However, the mechanisms involved in the regulation of cancer metastasis by FFAs remain unclear. In this study, we found that oleic acid (OA) induced angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) protein expression and secretion and conferred anoikis resistance to head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs). The autocrine production of OA-induced ANGPTL4 further promoted HNSCC migration and invasion. In addition, the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) was essential for the OA-induced ANGPTL4 expression and invasion. The levels of OA-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition markers, such as vimentin, MMP-9, and fibronectin and its downstream effectors Rac1/Cdc42, were significantly reduced in ANGPTL4-depleted cells. Knocking down fibronectin inhibited the expression of MMP-9 and repressed OA- and recombinant ANGPTL4-induced HNSCC invasion. On the other hand, ANGPTL4 siRNA inhibited OA-induced MMP-9 expression, which was reversed in fibronectin-overexpressing cells. Furthermore, the depletion of ANGPTL4 impeded the OA-primed metastatic seeding of tumor cells in the lungs. These results demonstrate that OA enhances HNSCC metastasis through the ANGPTL4/fibronectin/Rac1/Cdc42 and ANGPTL4/fibronectin/MMP-9 signaling axes.

Gu Z, Churchman M, Roberts K, et al.
Genomic analyses identify recurrent MEF2D fusions in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Nat Commun. 2016; 7:13331 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Chromosomal rearrangements are initiating events in acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). Here using RNA sequencing of 560 ALL cases, we identify rearrangements between MEF2D (myocyte enhancer factor 2D) and five genes (BCL9, CSF1R, DAZAP1, HNRNPUL1 and SS18) in 22 B progenitor ALL (B-ALL) cases with a distinct gene expression profile, the most common of which is MEF2D-BCL9. Examination of an extended cohort of 1,164 B-ALL cases identified 30 cases with MEF2D rearrangements, which include an additional fusion partner, FOXJ2; thus, MEF2D-rearranged cases comprise 5.3% of cases lacking recurring alterations. MEF2D-rearranged ALL is characterized by a distinct immunophenotype, DNA copy number alterations at the rearrangement sites, older diagnosis age and poor outcome. The rearrangements result in enhanced MEF2D transcriptional activity, lymphoid transformation, activation of HDAC9 expression and sensitive to histone deacetylase inhibitor treatment. Thus, MEF2D-rearranged ALL represents a distinct form of high-risk leukaemia, for which new therapeutic approaches should be considered.

Zhang L, Laaniste L, Jiang Y, et al.
Pleiotrophin enhances PDGFB-induced gliomagenesis through increased proliferation of neural progenitor cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(49):80382-80390 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Pleiotrophin (PTN) augments tumor growth by increasing proliferation of tumor cells and promoting vascular abnormalization, but its role in early gliomagenesis has not been evaluated. Through analysis of publically available datasets, we demonstrate that increased PTN mRNA expression is associated with amplification of chromosome 7, identified as one of the earliest steps in glioblastoma development. To elucidate the role of PTN in tumor initiation we employed the RCAS/tv-a model that allows glioma induction by RCAS-virus mediated expression of oncogenes in neural progenitor cells. Intracranial injection of RCAS-PTN did not induce glioma formation when administrated alone, but significantly enhanced RCAS-platelet derived growth factor (PDGF)B-induced gliomagenesis. PTN co-treatment augmented PDGFB-induced Akt activation in neural progenitor cells in vitro, and enhanced neural sphere size associated with increased proliferation. Our data indicates that PTN expression is associated with chromosome 7 gain, and that PTN enhances PDGFB-induced gliomagenesis by stimulating proliferation of neural progenitor cells.

Liao YH, Chiang KH, Shieh JM, et al.
Epidermal growth factor-induced ANGPTL4 enhances anoikis resistance and tumour metastasis in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
Oncogene. 2017; 36(16):2228-2242 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2019 Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is important for cancer cell proliferation, angiogenesis and metastasis in many types of cancer. However, the mechanisms involved in EGF-induced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) metastasis remain largely unknown. In this study, we reveal that angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) plays an important role in the regulation of EGF-induced cancer metastasis. We showed that EGF-induced ANGPTL4 expression promoted anoikis resistance and cancer cell migration and invasion in HNSCC. In addition, depletion of ANGPTL4 inhibited EGF-induced cancer cell invasion. Autocrine production of EGF-induced ANGPTL4 regulated the expression of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The induction of MMP-1 gene expression by ANGPTL4-activated integrin β1 signalling occurred through the AP-1 binding site in the MMP-1 gene promoter. Furthermore, down-regulation of MMP-1 impeded EGF- and recombinant ANGPTL4-enhanced HNSCC cell migration and invasion. Depletion of ANGPTL4 significantly blocked EGF-primed extravasation and metastatic seeding of tumour cells and MMP-1 expression in lungs. However, no effect of ANGPTL4 on tumour growth was observed. These results suggest that EGF-induced expression and autocrine production of ANGPTL4 enhances HNSCC metastasis via the up-regulation of MMP-1 expression. Inhibition of ANGPTL4 expression may be a potential strategy for the treatment of EGFR-mediated HNSCC metastasis.

Papadimitriou E, Pantazaka E, Castana P, et al.
Pleiotrophin and its receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase beta/zeta as regulators of angiogenesis and cancer.
Biochim Biophys Acta. 2016; 1866(2):252-265 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pleiotrophin (PTN) is a secreted heparin-binding growth factor that through its receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase beta/zeta (RPTPβ/ζ) has a significant regulatory effect on angiogenesis and cancer. PTN and RPTPβ/ζ are over-expressed in several types of human cancers and regulate important cancer cell functions in vitro and cancer growth in vivo. This review begins with a brief introduction of PTN and the regulation of its expression. PTN receptors are described with special emphasis on RPTPβ/ζ, which also interacts with and/or affects the function of other important targets for cancer therapy, such as vascular endothelial growth factor A, α

Dotterweich J, Schlegelmilch K, Keller A, et al.
Contact of myeloma cells induces a characteristic transcriptome signature in skeletal precursor cells -Implications for myeloma bone disease.
Bone. 2016; 93:155-166 [PubMed] Related Publications
Physical interaction of skeletal precursors with multiple myeloma cells has been shown to suppress their osteogenic potential while favoring their tumor-promoting features. Although several transcriptome analyses of myeloma patient-derived mesenchymal stem cells have displayed differences compared to their healthy counterparts, these analyses insufficiently reflect the signatures mediated by tumor cell contact, vary due to different methodologies, and lack results in lineage-committed precursors. To determine tumor cell contact-mediated changes on skeletal precursors, we performed transcriptome analyses of mesenchymal stem cells and osteogenic precursor cells cultured in contact with the myeloma cell line INA-6. Comparative analyses confirmed dysregulation of genes which code for known disease-relevant factors and additionally revealed upregulation of genes that are associated with plasma cell homing, adhesion, osteoclastogenesis, and angiogenesis. Osteoclast-derived coupling factors, a dysregulated adipogenic potential, and an imbalance in favor of anti-anabolic factors may play a role in the hampered osteoblast differentiation potential of mesenchymal stem cells. Angiopoietin-Like 4 (ANGPTL4) was selected from a list of differentially expressed genes as a myeloma cell contact-dependent target in skeletal precursor cells which warranted further functional analyses. Adhesion assays with full-length ANGPTL4-coated plates revealed a potential role of this protein in INA-6 cell attachment. This study expands knowledge of the myeloma cell contact-induced signature in the stromal compartment of myelomatous bones and thus offers potential targets that may allow detection and treatment of myeloma bone disease at an early stage.

Tanaka T, Imamura T, Yoneda M, et al.
Enhancement of active MMP release and invasive activity of lymph node metastatic tongue cancer cells by elevated signaling via the TNF-α-TNFR1-NF-κB pathway and a possible involvement of angiopoietin-like 4 in lung metastasis.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 49(4):1377-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
To study the role of TNF-α in tongue cancer metastasis, we made highly metastatic cells from a human oral squamous cell carcinoma cell line (SAS) by repeating the passage in which the cells were injected into a nude mouse tongue and harvested from metastasized cervical lymph nodes. Cancer cells after 5 passages (GSAS/N5) increased invasive activity 7-fold in a TNF-α receptor 1 (TNFR1)-dependent manner and enhanced mRNA expression of TNF-α and TNFR1. In the highly metastatic cells, NF-κB activation was upregulated via elevated phosphorylation of Akt and Ikkα/β in the signaling pathway and secretion of TNF-α, active MMP-2 and MMP-9 increased. Suppression of increase of TNF-α mRNA expression and MMP secretion by NF-κB inhibitor NBD peptide suggested a positive feedback loop in GSAS/N5 cells; TNF-α activates NF-κB and activated NF-κB induces further TNF-α secretion, leading to increase of active MMP release and promotion of invasion and metastasis of the cells. GSAS/N5 cells that had been injected into the nude mouse tongue and harvested from metastasized lungs multiplied angiopoietin-like 4 (angptl4) expression with enhanced migration activity, which indicated a possible involvement of angptl4 in lung metastasis of the cells. These results suggest that TNF-α and angptl4 promote metastasis of the oral cancer cells, thus, these molecules may be therapeutic targets for patients with tongue cancer.

Huang Z, Xie J, Lin S, et al.
The downregulation of ANGPTL4 inhibits the migration and proliferation of tongue squamous cell carcinoma.
Arch Oral Biol. 2016; 71:144-149 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Tongue squamous cell carcinoma (TSCC) is the most common malignant cancer in the oral cavity, with a high rate of metastasis to the neck lymphoid node. Angiopoietin-like protein 4 (ANGPTL4) and microvessel density (MVD) may be novel indicators for tumor metastasis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the expression and function of ANGPTL4 in TSCC and the relationship between ANGPTL4 and MVD.
METHODS: The expression levels of ANGPTL4 and MVD (CD34) were analyzed in 65 TSCC specimens and the adjacent non-cancerous tissues using immunohistochemistry (IHC). siRNA was delivered into TSCCA cells to downregulate ANGPTL4 expression. Subsequently, validation with real-time RT-PCR and western blot analyses was performed to analyze ANGPTL4 expression levels. In addition, a proliferation assay, migration and invasion assays were carried out.
RESULTS: ANGPTL4 expression was associated with tumor stage, lymph node metastasis and MVD expression. Cox regression analysis showed that high levels of ANGPTL4 expression were closely associated with poor survival time. In vitro analyses using qRT-PCR and western blot confirmed that ANGPTL4 was successfully inhibited in TSCCA cells. Suppressing ANGPTL4 resulted in the inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, but neither invasion nor cisplatin resistance was significantly affected.
CONCLUSION: High expression levels of ANGPTL4 are associated with the T stage, lymphatic metastasis, angiogenesis and poor overall survival in TSCC patients. The downregulation of ANGPTL4 inhibits the migration and proliferation of cells in TSCC. Taken together, ANGPTL4 may serve as a novel biomarker and therapeutic target for TSCC.

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