NRP2; neuropilin 2 (2q33.3)

Gene Summary

Gene:NRP2; neuropilin 2
Aliases: NP2, NPN2, PRO2714, VEGF165R2
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the neuropilin family of receptor proteins. The encoded transmembrane protein binds to SEMA3C protein {sema domain, immunoglobulin domain (Ig), short basic domain, secreted, (semaphorin) 3C} and SEMA3F protein {sema domain, immunoglobulin domain (Ig), short basic domain, secreted, (semaphorin) 3F}, and interacts with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). This protein may play a role in cardiovascular development, axon guidance, and tumorigenesis. Multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms have been identified for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Updated:12 December, 2014


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (22)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1989-2014)
Graph generated 12 December 2014 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.

  • Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood
  • Phenotype
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • siRNA
  • Angiogenesis
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor D
  • Neuropilin-1
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • TGFB1
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Up-Regulation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Brain Tumours
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Xenograft Models
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair None
  • Genotype
  • Transcription Factors
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Lung Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Neuropilin-2
  • Signal Transduction
  • Western Blotting
  • Messenger RNA
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Tumor Markers
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
  • RHOA
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Phosphorylation
  • Epigenetics
Tag cloud generated 12 December, 2014 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Notable (5)

Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Entity Topic PubMed Papers
Lung Cancer, Non-Small CellNRP2 and Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer View Publications4
Brain Stem Glioma, ChildhoodNRP2 and Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood View Publications3
Brain Tumours, ChildhoodNRP2 and Brain Tumours View Publications2
Bladder CancerNRP2 and Bladder Cancer View Publications1
Lung CancerNRP2 and Lung Cancer View Publications4

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

Related Links

Latest Publications: NRP2 (cancer-related)

Shahrabi-Farahani S, Wang L, Zwaans BM, et al.
Neuropilin 1 expression correlates with differentiation status of epidermal cells and cutaneous squamous cell carcinomas.
Lab Invest. 2014; 94(7):752-65 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Neuropilins (NRPs) are cell surface receptors for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and SEMA3 (class 3 semaphorin) family members. The role of NRPs in neurons and endothelial cells has been investigated, but the expression and role of NRPs in epithelial cells is much less clear. Herein, the expression and localization of NRP1 was investigated in human and mouse skin and squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs). Results indicated that NRP1 mRNA and protein was expressed in the suprabasal epithelial layers of the skin sections. NRP1 staining did not overlap with that of keratin 14 (K14) or proliferating cell nuclear antigen, but did co-localize with staining for keratin 1, indicating that differentiated keratinocytes express NRP1. Similar to the expression of NRP1, VEGF-A was expressed in suprabasal epithelial cells, whereas Nrp2 and VEGFR2 were not detectable in the epidermis. The expression of NRP1 correlated with a high degree of differentiation in human SCC specimens, human SCC xenografts, and mouse K14-HPV16 transgenic SCC. UVB irradiation of mouse skin induced Nrp1 upregulation. In vitro, Nrp1 was upregulated in primary keratinocytes in response to differentiating media or epidermal growth factor-family growth factors. In conclusion, the expression of NRP1 is regulated in the skin and is selectively produced in differentiated epithelial cells. NRP1 may function as a reservoir to sequester VEGF ligand within the epithelial compartment, thereby modulating its bioactivity.

Related: Skin Cancer VEGFA

Zachary I
Neuropilins: role in signalling, angiogenesis and disease.
Chem Immunol Allergy. 2014; 99:37-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuropilins (NRPs) are co-receptors for class 3 semaphorins and for members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of angiogenic cytokines. Genetic analysis of the role of NRPs in mice shows that NRP1 is essential for embryonic neuronal pathfinding and cardiovascular development, mediated via semaphorins and VEGF, respectively, while NRP2 has a more restricted role in neuronal patterning and lymphangiogenesis. NRPs are thought to mediate functional responses, most importantly cell migration, as a result of complex formation with other receptors, such as plexins in the case of semaphorins and the VEGF receptor, VEGFR2, resulting in enhanced signalling via some intracellular pathways. Recent findings indicate that NRPs may have important biological roles in other physiological and disease-related processes. In particular, NRPs are highly expressed in diverse tumour cell lines and human neoplasms and have been implicated in several biological processes regulating tumour growth in vivo, suggesting that NRP1 may be a future therapeutic target in cancer.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction Angiogenesis and Cancer Signal Transduction

Sanmartín E, Sirera R, Usó M, et al.
A gene signature combining the tissue expression of three angiogenic factors is a prognostic marker in early-stage non-small cell lung cancer.
Ann Surg Oncol. 2014; 21(2):612-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are key mechanisms for tumor growth and dissemination. They are mainly regulated by the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family of ligands and receptors. The aim of this study was to analyze relative expression levels of angiogenic markers in resectable non-small cell lung cancer patients in order to asses a prognostic signature that could improve characterization of patients with worse clinical outcomes.
METHODS: RNA was obtained from tumor and normal lung specimens from 175 patients. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction was performed to analyze the relative expression of HIF1A, PlGF, VEGFA, VEGFA165b, VEGFB, VEGFC, VEGFD, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, VEGFR3, NRP1 and NRP2.
RESULTS: Univariate analysis showed that tumor size and ECOG-PS are prognostic factors for time to progression (TTP) and overall survival (OS). This analysis in the case of angiogenic factors also revealed that PlGF, VEGFA, VEGFB and VEGFD distinguish patients with different outcomes. Taking into account the complex interplay between the different ligands of the VEGF family and to more precisely predict the outcome of the patients, we considered a new analysis combining several VEGF ligands. In order to find independent prognostic variables, we performed a multivariate Cox analysis, which showed that the subgroup of patients with higher relative expression of VEGFA plus lower VEGFB and VEGFD presented the poorest outcome for both TTP and OS.
CONCLUSIONS: The relative expression of these three genes can be considered as an angiogenic gene signature whose applicability for the selection of candidates for targeted therapies needs to be further validated.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer Angiogenesis and Cancer VEGFA VEGFB

Epis MR, Giles KM, Candy PA, et al.
miR-331-3p regulates expression of neuropilin-2 in glioblastoma.
J Neurooncol. 2014; 116(1):67-75 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Aberrant expression of microRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs, has been implicated in the development and progression of high-grade gliomas. However, the precise mechanistic role of many miRNAs in this disease remains unclear. Here, we investigate the functional role of miR-331-3p in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). We found that miR-331-3p expression in GBM cell lines is significantly lower than in normal brain, and that transient overexpression of miR-331-3p inhibits GBM cell line proliferation and clonogenic growth, suggesting a possible tumor suppressor role for miR-331-3p in this system. Bioinformatics analysis identified neuropilin-2 (NRP-2) as a putative target of miR-331-3p. Using transfection studies, we validated NRP-2 mRNA as a target of miR-331-3p in GBM cell lines, and show that NRP-2 expression is regulated by miR-331-3p. RNA interference (RNAi) to inhibit NRP-2 expression in vitro decreased the growth and clonogenic growth of GBM cell lines, providing further support for an oncogenic role for NRP-2 in high-grade gliomas. We also show that miR-331-3p inhibits GBM cell migration, an effect due in part to reduced NRP-2 expression. Finally, we identified a significant inverse correlation between miR-331-3p and NRP-2 expression in The Cancer Genome Atlas GBM cohort of 491 patients. Together, our results suggest that a loss of miR-331-3p expression contributes to GBM development and progression, at least in part via upregulating NRP-2 expression and increasing cell proliferation and clonogenic growth.

Nasarre P, Gemmill RM, Potiron VA, et al.
Neuropilin-2 Is upregulated in lung cancer cells during TGF-β1-induced epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(23):7111-21 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and its reversal, mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET), are fundamental processes involved in tumor cell invasion and metastasis. SEMA3F is a secreted semaphorin and tumor suppressor downregulated by TGF-β1 and ZEB1-induced EMT. Here, we report that neuropilin (NRP)-2, the high-affinity receptor for SEMA3F and a coreceptor for certain growth factors, is upregulated during TGF-β1-driven EMT in lung cancer cells. Mechanistically, NRP2 upregulation was TβRI dependent and SMAD independent, occurring mainly at a posttranscriptional level involving increased association of mRNA with polyribosomes. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and AKT inhibition blocked NRP2 upregulation, whereas RNA interference-mediated attenuation of ZEB1 reduced steady-state NRP2 levels. In addition, NRP2 attenuation inhibited TGF-β1-driven morphologic transformation, migration/invasion, ERK activation, growth suppression, and changes in gene expression. In a mouse xenograft model of lung cancer, NRP2 attenuation also inhibited locally invasive features of the tumor and reversed TGF-β1-mediated growth inhibition. In support of these results, human lung cancer specimens with the highest NRP2 expression were predominantly E-cadherin negative. Furthermore, the presence of NRP2 staining strengthened the association of E-cadherin loss with high-grade tumors. Together, our results demonstrate that NRP2 contributes significantly to TGF-β1-induced EMT in lung cancer.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer TGFB1

Zhang HH, Zhang ZY, Che CL, et al.
Array analysis for potential biomarker of gemcitabine identification in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(9):1734-46 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Gemcitabine is one of the most widely used drugs for the treatment of advanced Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), but modest objective response rate of patients to gemcitabine makes it necessary to identify novel biomarkers for patients who can benefit from gemcitabine-based therapy and to improve the effect of clinical therapy. In this work, 3 NSCLC cell lines displaying different sensitivities to gemcitabine were applied for mRNA and microRNA (miR) expression chips to figure out the biomarkers for gemcitabine sensitivity. Genes whose expression increased dramatically in sensitive cell lines were mainly enriched in cell adhesion (NRP2, CXCR3, CDK5R1, IL32 and CDH2) and secretory granule (SLC11A1, GP5, CD36 and IGF1), while genes with significantly upregulated expression in resistant cell line were mainly clustered in methylation modification (HIST1H2BF, RAB23 and TP53) and oxidoreductase (TP53I3, CYP27B1 and SOD3). The most intriguing is the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in gemcitabine resistant NSCLC cell lines. The miR-155, miR-10a, miR-30a, miR-24-2* and miR-30c-2* were upregulated in sensitive cell lines, while expression of miR-200c, miR-203, miR-885-5p, miR-195 and miR-25* was increased in resistant cell line. Genes with significantly altered expression and putatively mediated by the expression-changed miRs were mainly enriched in chromatin assembly (MAF, HLF, BCL2, and IGSF3), anti-apoptosis (BCL2, IGF1 and IKBKB), protein kinase (NRP2, PAK7 and CDK5R1) (all the above genes were upregulated in sensitive cells) and small GTPase mediated signal transduction (GNA13, RAP2A, ARHGAP5 and RAB23, down-regulated in sensitive cells). Our results might provide potential biomarkers for gemcitabine sensitivity prediction and putative targets to overcome gemcitabine resistance in NSCLC patients.

Related: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Lung Cancer Gemcitabine

Hayden Gephart MG, Su YS, Bandara S, et al.
Neuropilin-2 contributes to tumorigenicity in a mouse model of Hedgehog pathway medulloblastoma.
J Neurooncol. 2013; 115(2):161-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway has been implicated in the most common childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma (MB). Given the toxicity of post-surgical treatments for MB, continued need exists for new, targeted therapies. Based upon our finding that Neuropilin (Nrp) transmembrane proteins are required for Hh signal transduction, we investigated the role of Nrp in MB cells. Cultured cells derived from a mouse Ptch (+/-) ;LacZ MB (Med1-MB), effectively modeled the Hh pathway-related subcategory of human MBs in vitro. Med1-MB cells maintained constitutively active Hh target gene transcription, and consistently formed tumors within one month after injection into mouse cerebella. The proliferation rate of Med1-MBs in culture was dependent upon Nrp2, while reducing Nrp1 function had little effect. Knockdown of Nrp2 prior to cell implantation significantly increased mouse survival, compared to transfection with a non-targeting siRNA. Knocking down Nrp2 specifically in MB cells avoided any direct effect on tumor vascularization. Nrp2 should be further investigated as a potential target for adjuvant therapy in patients with MB.

Related: Childhood Medulloblastoma / PNET Signal Transduction

Coma S, Allard-Ratick M, Akino T, et al.
GATA2 and Lmo2 control angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis via direct transcriptional regulation of neuropilin-2.
Angiogenesis. 2013; 16(4):939-52 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
GATA-binding protein 2 (GATA2) and LIM domain only 2 (Lmo2) form common transcription complexes during hematopoietic differentiation. Here we show that these two transcription factors also play a key role in endothelial cells (EC) and lymphatic EC (LEC) function. Primary EC and tumor-associated blood vessels expressed GATA2 and Lmo2. VEGF-induced sprouting angiogenesis in both differentiating embryonic stem cells (embryoid bodies) and primary EC increased GATA2 and Lmo2 levels. Conversely, silencing of GATA2 and Lmo2 expression in primary EC inhibited VEGF-induced angiogenic activity, including EC migration and sprouting in vitro, two key steps of angiogenesis in vivo. This inhibition of EC function was associated with downregulated expression of neuropilin-2 (NRP2), a co-receptor of VEGFRs for VEGF, at the protein, mRNA and promoter levels. NRP2 overexpression partially rescued the impaired angiogenic sprouting in the GATA2/Lmo2 knockdown EC, confirming that GATA2 and Lmo2 mediated EC function, at least in part, by directly regulating NRP2 gene expression. Furthermore, it was found that primary LEC expressed GATA2 and Lmo2 as well. Silencing of GATA2 and Lmo2 expression in LEC inhibited VEGF-induced LEC sprouting, also in a NRP2-dependent manner. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that GATA2 and Lmo2 cooperatively regulate VEGF-induced angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis via NRP2.

Related: GATA2 gene VEGFA

Miaskowski C, Dodd M, Paul SM, et al.
Lymphatic and angiogenic candidate genes predict the development of secondary lymphedema following breast cancer surgery.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(4):e60164 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
The purposes of this study were to evaluate for differences in phenotypic and genotypic characteristics in women who did and did not develop lymphedema (LE) following breast cancer treatment. Breast cancer patients completed a number of self-report questionnaires. LE was evaluated using bioimpedance spectroscopy. Genotyping was done using a custom genotyping array. No differences were found between patients with (n = 155) and without LE (n = 387) for the majority of the demographic and clinical characteristics. Patients with LE had a significantly higher body mass index, more advanced disease and a higher number of lymph nodes removed. Genetic associations were identified for four genes (i.e., lymphocyte cytosolic protein 2 (rs315721), neuropilin-2 (rs849530), protein tyrosine kinase (rs158689), vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (rs3176861)) and three haplotypes (i.e., Forkhead box protein C2 (haplotype A03), neuropilin-2 (haplotype F03), vascular endothelial growth factor-C (haplotype B03)) involved in lymphangiogensis and angiogenesis. These genetic associations suggest a role for a number of lymphatic and angiogenic genes in the development of LE following breast cancer treatment.

Related: Breast Cancer VEGFC

Lee E, Koskimaki JE, Pandey NB, Popel AS
Inhibition of lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis in breast tumor xenografts and lymph nodes by a peptide derived from transmembrane protein 45A.
Neoplasia. 2013; 15(2):112-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from preexisting blood vessels, is a process that supports tumor growth and metastatic dissemination. Lymphangiogenesis also facilitates metastasis by increasing dissemination through the lymphatic vessels (LVs). Even after treatment with antiangiogenic agents, breast cancer patients are vulnerable to LV-mediated metastasis. We report that a 14-amino acid peptide derived from transmembrane protein 45A shows multimodal inhibition of lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis in breast cancer. The peptide blocks lymphangiogenic and angiogenic phenotypes of lymphatic and blood endothelial cells induced by tumor-conditioned media prepared from MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. The peptide delays growth of MDA-MB-231 tumor xenografts and normalizes tumor-conditioned lymph nodes (LNs). These studies demonstrate the antilymphangiogenic and antiangiogenic potential of the peptide against primary tumors and premetastatic, tumor-conditioned regional LNs. Mechanistically, the peptide blocks vascular endothelial growth factor receptors 2 and 3 (VEGFR2/3) and downstream proteins by binding to neuropilin 1/2 (NRP1/2) and inhibiting VEGFR2/3 and NRP1/2 complex formation in the presence of VEGFA/C.

Related: Breast Cancer Angiogenesis and Cancer VEGFA VEGFC

Goel HL, Pursell B, Chang C, et al.
GLI1 regulates a novel neuropilin-2/α6β1 integrin based autocrine pathway that contributes to breast cancer initiation.
EMBO Mol Med. 2013; 5(4):488-508 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
The characterization of cells with tumour initiating potential is significant for advancing our understanding of cancer and improving therapy. Aggressive, triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) are enriched for tumour-initiating cells (TICs). We investigated that hypothesis that VEGF receptors expressed on TNBC cells mediate autocrine signalling that contributes to tumour initiation. We discovered the VEGF receptor neuropilin-2 (NRP2) is expressed preferentially on TICs, involved in the genesis of TNBCs and necessary for tumour initiation. The mechanism by which NRP2 signalling promotes tumour initiation involves stimulation of the α6β1 integrin, focal adhesion kinase-mediated activation of Ras/MEK signalling and consequent expression of the Hedgehog effector GLI1. GLI1 also induces BMI-1, a key stem cell factor, and it enhances NRP2 expression and the function of α6β1, establishing an autocrine loop. NRP2 can be targeted in vivo to retard tumour initiation. These findings reveal a novel autocrine pathway involving VEGF/NRP2, α6β1 and GLI1 that contributes to the initiation of TNBC. They also support the feasibility of NRP2-based therapy for the treatment of TNBC that targets and impedes the function of TICs.

Related: Breast Cancer GLI

Stanton MJ, Dutta S, Polavaram NS, et al.
Angiogenic growth factor axis in autophagy regulation.
Autophagy. 2013; 9(5):789-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Understanding the molecular mechanisms promoting therapy resistance is important. Previously, we reported that VEGFC can promote cancer cell survival during stress via interaction with its receptor NRP2. While examining the molecular mechanisms involved in this survival, we performed a microarray study in which we identified two genes, WDFY1 and LAMP2, which have been suggested to function in autophagy. Our subsequent studies further confirmed the regulation of autophagy by the VEGFC-NRP2 axis in cancer during starvation- and chemotherapy-induced stress. We are currently in the process of determining the mechanism(s) through which WDFY1 and LAMP2 control autophagy; however, we did observe an increase in MTOR complex 1 (MTORC1) activity after the depletion of the VEGFC-NRP2 axis. It would therefore be interesting to study whether WDFY1 and LAMP2 can influence MTORC1 activity and regulate autophagy. Taken together, our data suggest that targeting the VEGFC-NRP2 axis in combination with chemotherapy could be an effective treatment for advanced cancers.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction Signal Transduction

Stanton MJ, Dutta S, Zhang H, et al.
Autophagy control by the VEGF-C/NRP-2 axis in cancer and its implication for treatment resistance.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(1):160-71 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
A major contributor to cancer mortality is recurrence and subsequent metastatic transformation following therapeutic intervention. Therefore, in order to develop new treatment modalities and improve the efficacy of current ones, it is important to understand the molecular mechanisms that promote resistance to therapy in cancer cells. One pathway contributing to therapy resistance is autophagy, a self-digestive process that can eliminate unnecessary or damaged organelles to protect cancer cells from death. We have found that the VEGF-C/NRP-2 axis is involved in the activation of autophagy, which helps cancer cell survival following treatment. Inhibition of mTOR complex 1 activity by this axis is the underlying mechanism for the activation of autophagy. Furthermore, we identified two VEGF-C/NRP-2-regulated genes, LAMP-2 and WDFY-1, that have previously been suggested to participate in autophagy and vesicular trafficking. Upregulation of WDFY-1 following VEGF-C or NRP-2 depletion contributes to cytotoxic drug-mediated cell death. Together, these data suggest a link between the VEGF-C/NRP-2 axis and cancer cell survival despite the presence of chemotherapy-induced stress. Effective targeting of this pathway may lead to the development of new cancer therapies.

Related: Apoptosis Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction Signal Transduction

Tsiligiannis SE, Zaitseva M, Coombs PR, et al.
Fibroid-associated heavy menstrual bleeding: correlation between clinical features, Doppler ultrasound assessment of vasculature, and tissue gene expression profiles.
Reprod Sci. 2013; 20(4):361-70 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Despite the prevalence of uterine fibroids (Fs), few studies have investigated the links between clinical features and the cellular or molecular mechanisms that drive F growth and development. Such knowledge will ultimately help to differentiate symptomatic from asymptomatic Fs and could result in the development of more effective and individualized treatments. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between ultrasound appearance, blood flow, and angiogenic gene expression in F, perifibroid (PM), and distant myometrial (DM) tissues. We hypothesized that angiogenic gene expression would be increased in tissues and participants that showed increased blood flow by Doppler ultrasound. The study was performed using Doppler ultrasound to measure blood flow prior to hysterectomy, with subsequent tissue samples from the F, PM, and DM being investigated for angiogenic gene expression. Overall, PM blood flow (measured as peak systolic velocity [PSV]) was higher than F blood flow, although significant heterogeneity was seen in vascularity and blood flow between different Fs and their surrounding myometrium. We did not find any correlation between PSV and any other clinical or molecular parameter in this study. We identified 19 angiogenesis pathway-related genes with significant differences in expression between F and DM, and 2 genes, matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9) and Neuropilin 2 (NRP2), that were significantly different between F and PM. These results are consistent with subtle differences between PM and DM. Understanding the differences between symptomatic versus asymptomatic Fs may eventually lead to more effective treatments that directly target the source of heavy menstrual bleeding.

Partanen TA, Vuola P, Jauhiainen S, et al.
Neuropilin-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 are up-regulated in human vascular malformations.
Angiogenesis. 2013; 16(1):137-46 [PubMed] Related Publications
Despite multiple previous studies in the field of vascular anomalies, the mechanism(s) leading to their development, progression and maintenance has remained unclear. In this study, we have characterized the expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factors and their receptors in 33 human vascular anomalies. Analysis with quantitative real-time PCR and gene-specific assays showed higher expression of neuropilin-2 (NRP2) and VEGF-receptor-3 (VEGFR-3) mRNAs in vascular malformations (VascM) as compared to infantile hemangiomas (Hem). In addition, the expression levels of PlGF and VEGF-C mRNA were significantly higher in venous VascM when compared to the other VascM and Hem. Higher expression of NRP2 and VEGFR-3 were confirmed by immunohistochemistry. To further study the importance of NRP2 and VEGFR-3, endothelial cell (EC) cultures were established from vascular anomalies. It was found that NRP2 and VEGFR-3 mRNA levels were significantly higher in some of the VascM ECs as compared to human umbilical vein ECs which were used as control cells in the study. Furthermore, adenoviral delivery of soluble decoy NRP2 prevented the proliferation of ECs isolated from most of the vascular anomalies. Our findings suggest that NRP2 functions as a factor maintaining the pathological vascular network in these anomalies. Thus, NRP2 could become a potential therapeutic target for the diagnosis and treatment of vascular anomalies.

Jubb AM, Sa SM, Ratti N, et al.
Neuropilin-2 expression in cancer.
Histopathology. 2012; 61(3):340-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Neuropilin-2 is a coreceptor for vascular endothelial growth factor family members. Blockade of neuropilin-2 is able to suppress lymphogenous metastasis in preclinical models. The aim of this study was to validate a protocol for the evaluation of neuropilin-2 protein expression in situ, by comparison with in-situ hybridization, western blotting, and mRNA expression levels.
METHODS AND RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry was performed on normal human tissues, and whole sections for 79 primary non-small-cell lung carcinomas, 65 primary breast carcinomas, 79 primary colorectal cancers, and 52 metastases. Neuropilin-2 expression was observed in lymphatic and blood vessels from all normal and malignant tissues examined. In addition, 32% of primary non-small-cell lung carcinomas, 15% of primary breast carcinomas and 22% of primary colorectal cancers showed tumour cell expression. Fifty-five primary and nine secondary malignant melanomas were also examined for neuropilin-2 expression by in-situ hybridization. All showed vascular expression, and 85% of primary malignant melanomas showed tumour cell expression.
CONCLUSIONS: In the majority of lung, breast and colorectal cancers, the effects of anti-neuropilin-2 are likely to be restricted to the vasculature. These results will assist in pharmacokinetic evaluations, tolerability assessments and the choice of setting to evaluate the activity of anti-neuropilin-2 therapies.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Samuel S, Gaur P, Fan F, et al.
Neuropilin-2 mediated β-catenin signaling and survival in human gastro-intestinal cancer cell lines.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(10):e23208 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
NRP-2 is a high-affinity kinase-deficient receptor for ligands belonging to the class 3 semaphorin and vascular endothelial growth factor families. NRP-2 has been detected on the surface of several types of human cancer cells, but its expression and function in gastrointestinal (GI) cancer cells remains to be determined. We sought to determine the function of NRP-2 in mediating downstream signals regulating the growth and survival of human gastrointestinal cancer cells. In human gastric cancer specimens, NRP-2 expression was detected in tumor tissues but not in adjacent normal mucosa. In CNDT 2.5 cells, shRNA mediated knockdown NRP-2 expression led to decreased migration and invasion in vitro (p<0.01). Focused gene-array analysis demonstrated that loss of NRP-2 reduced the expression of a critical metastasis mediator gene, S100A4. Steady-state levels and function of β-catenin, a known regulator of S100A4, were also decreased in the shNRP-2 clones. Furthermore, knockdown of NRP-2 sensitized CNDT 2.5 cells in vitro to 5FU toxicity. This effect was associated with activation of caspases 3 and 7, cleavage of PARP, and downregulation of Bcl-2. In vivo growth of CNDT 2.5 cells in the livers of nude mice was significantly decreased in the shNRP-2 group (p<0.05). Intraperitoneal administration of NRP-2 siRNA-DOPC decreased the tumor burden in mice (p = 0.01). Collectively, our results demonstrate that tumor cell-derived NRP-2 mediates critical survival signaling in gastrointestinal cancer cells.

Related: Gastrointestinal System Cancers Signal Transduction CTNNB1 gene S100A4

Nguyen H, Ivanova VS, Kavandi L, et al.
Progesterone and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D₃ inhibit endometrial cancer cell growth by upregulating semaphorin 3B and semaphorin 3F.
Mol Cancer Res. 2011; 9(11):1479-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Class 3 semaphorins (SEMA), SEMA3B and SEMA3F, are secreted proteins that regulate angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis by binding to their transmembrane receptor complex consisting of plexins and neuropilins (NP). Expression of SEMAs and their receptors was assessed in tissue microarrays by immunohistochemistry. SEMA3B, SEMA3F, and plexin A3 were expressed strongly in normal endometrial tissues, whereas grade-dependent decreases were found in endometrial carcinomas. No change was observed in the expression of plexin A1, NP1, and NP2 in normal versus endometrial cancer tissues. Endometrial cancer cells showed decreased expression of SEMA3B, SEMA3F, and plexin A3 compared with their normal counterparts. Treatment of cancer cells with progesterone (P4) and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) [1,25(OH)(2)D(3)] for a period of 72 hours induced a significant upregulation of SEMA3B and SEMA3F as well as inhibited growth of cancer cells by increasing caspase-3 activity. Cotreatment of cell lines with P4 or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) and their respective antagonists confirmed the specificity of their actions. Transfection of siRNA-targeting SEMA3B and SEMA3F in endometrial cancer cells attenuated P4 or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-induced growth inhibition. Restoration of SEMA3B or SEMA3F expression in cancer cells caused growth inhibition, reduced soft agar colony formation, and cell invasiveness by inhibiting expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2), MMP-9, integrin αvβ3, and proangiogenic genes and by upregulating antiangiogenic genes. Thus, we have identified two new P4 and 1,25(OH)(2)D(3)-regulated antitumor genes for endometrial cancer. These results suggest that the loss of SEMAs contribute to the malignant phenotype of endometrial cancer cells and that reexpression of SEMAs by ectopic expression or with anticancer agents P4 or 1,25(OH)(2)D(3) can be a promising therapeutic treatment against endometrial cancer.

Related: Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer Endometrial Cancer

Fink DJ, Wechuck J, Mata M, et al.
Gene therapy for pain: results of a phase I clinical trial.
Ann Neurol. 2011; 70(2):207-12 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Preclinical evidence indicates that gene transfer to the dorsal root ganglion using replication-defective herpes simplex virus (HSV)-based vectors can reduce pain-related behavior in animal models of pain. This clinical trial was carried out to assess the safety and explore the potential efficacy of this approach in humans.
METHODS: We conducted a multicenter, dose-escalation, phase I clinical trial of NP2, a replication-defective HSV-based vector expressing human preproenkephalin (PENK) in subjects with intractable focal pain caused by cancer. NP2 was injected intradermally into the dermatome(s) corresponding to the radicular distribution of pain. The primary outcome was safety. As secondary measures, efficacy of pain relief was assessed using a numeric rating scale (NRS), the Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ), and concurrent opiate usage.
RESULTS: Ten subjects with moderate to severe intractable pain despite treatment with >200mg/day of morphine (or equivalent) were enrolled into the study. Treatment was well tolerated with no study agent-related serious adverse events observed at any point in the study. Subjects receiving the low dose of NP2 reported no substantive change in pain. Subjects in the middle- and high-dose cohorts reported pain relief as assessed by NRS and SF-MPQ.
INTERPRETATION: Treatment of intractable pain with NP2 was well tolerated. There were no placebo controls in this relatively small study, but the dose-responsive analgesic effects suggest that NP2 may be effective in reducing pain and warrants further clinical investigation.

Related: Cancer Prevention and Risk Reduction

Grandclement C, Pallandre JR, Valmary Degano S, et al.
Neuropilin-2 expression promotes TGF-β1-mediated epithelial to mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2011; 6(7):e20444 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Neuropilins, initially characterized as neuronal receptors, act as co-receptors for cancer related growth factors and were recently involved in several signaling pathways leading to cytoskeletal organization, angiogenesis and cancer progression. Then, we sought to investigate the ability of neuropilin-2 to orchestrate epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cells. Using specific siRNA to target neuropilin-2 expression, or gene transfer, we first observed that neuropilin-2 expression endows HT29 and Colo320 for xenograft formation. Moreover, neuropilin-2 conferred a fibroblastic-like shape to cancer cells, suggesting an involvement of neuropilin-2 in epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Indeed, the presence of neuropilin-2 in colorectal carcinoma cell lines was correlated with loss of epithelial markers such as cytokeratin-20 and E-cadherin and with acquisition of mesenchymal molecules such as vimentin. Furthermore, we showed by surface plasmon resonance experiments that neuropilin-2 is a receptor for transforming-growth factor-β1. The expression of neuropilin-2 on colon cancer cell lines was indeed shown to promote transforming-growth factor-β1 signaling, leading to a constitutive phosphorylation of the Smad2/3 complex. Treatment with specific TGFβ-type1 receptor kinase inhibitors restored E-cadherin levels and inhibited in part neuropilin-2-induced vimentin expression, suggesting that neuropilin-2 cooperates with TGFβ-type1 receptor to promote epithelial-mesenchymal transition in colorectal cancer cells. Our results suggest a direct role of NRP2 in epithelial-mesenchymal transition and highlight a cross-talk between neuropilin-2 and TGF-β1 signaling to promote cancer progression. These results suggest that neuropilin-2 fulfills all the criteria of a therapeutic target to disrupt multiple oncogenic functions in solid tumors.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Signal Transduction SMAD3 TGFB1

Wu F, Zhou Q, Yang J, et al.
Endogenous axon guiding chemorepulsant semaphorin-3F inhibits the growth and metastasis of colorectal carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2011; 17(9):2702-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To elucidate the role of Semaphorin-3F (SEMA3F), originally described as an axon guiding chemorepulsant implicated in nerve development, in the progression of colorectal carcinoma.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: SEMA3F and its receptor NRP2 were examined in 72 cases of human colorectal carcinoma specimens and cell lines LoVo, SW480, and SW620 with immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. SEMA3F mRNA expression in the frozen tissue specimens and cell lines was examined with quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR. Confocal laser scanning microscopy was used for detection of cellular localization of the proteins by immunofluorescent staining. MTT assay, flow cytometry, cell adhesion and migration, and xenografts were used to evaluate biological significance of SEMA3F.
RESULTS: SEMA3F was significantly reduced in colorectal carcinoma tissues and cell lines. Overexpression of SEMA3F resulted in reduced proliferation, adhesion to fibronectin, and migratory capability as well as reduced S-phase population and integrin αvβ3 expression of SW480 colon cancer cells. In addition, SEMA3F-overexpressing cells exhibited diminished tumorigenesis when transplanted orthotopically in nude mice and reduced liver metastases. Moreover, transfection of siRNA targeting SEMA3F in colon cancer cells increased their tumorigenicity in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Endogenous SEMA3F acts as a suppressor of the growth and metastasis of human colorectal cancer cells.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer

Stine MJ, Wang CJ, Moriarty WF, et al.
Integration of genotypic and phenotypic screening reveals molecular mediators of melanoma-stromal interaction.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(7):2433-44 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Tumor-endothelium interactions are critical for tumor survival and metastasis. Melanomas can rapidly metastasize early in tumor progression, but the dependence of this aggressive behavior on tumor-stromal interaction is poorly understood. To probe the mechanisms involved, we developed a heterotypic coculture methodology, allowing simultaneous tracking of genomic and phenotypic changes in interacting tumor and endothelial cells in vitro. We found a dramatic rearrangement of endothelial cell networks into patterns reminiscent of vascular beds, even on plastic and glass. Multiple genes were upregulated in the process, many coding for cell surface and secreted proteins, including Neuropilin-2 (NRP2). A critical role of NRP2 in coordinated cell patterning and growth was confirmed using the coculture system. We conclude that NRP2 represents an important mediator of melanoma-endothelial interactions. Furthermore, the described methodology represents a powerful yet simple system to elucidate heterotypic intercellular interactions mediating diverse physiological and pathological processes.

Related: Melanoma

Brooks-Kayal A
Molecular mechanisms of cognitive and behavioral comorbidities of epilepsy in children.
Epilepsia. 2011; 52 Suppl 1:13-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
Intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) such as autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) and epilepsies are heterogeneous disorders that have diverse etiologies and pathophysiologies. The high rate of co-occurrence of these disorders, however, suggests potentially shared underlying mechanisms. A number of well-known genetic disorders share epilepsy, intellectual disability, and autism as prominent phenotypic features, including tuberous sclerosis complex, Rett syndrome, and fragile X syndrome. In addition, mutations of several genes involved in neurodevelopment, including ARX, DCX, neuroligins, and neuropilin 2 have been identified in children with epilepsy, IDDs, ASDs, or a combination of thereof. Finally, in animal models, early life seizures can result in cellular and molecular changes that could contribute to learning and behavioral disabilities. Increased understanding of the common genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms of IDDs, ASDs, and epilepsy may provide insight into their underlying pathophysiology and elucidate new therapeutic approaches for these conditions.

Oliveira NM, Trikha R, McKnight Á
A novel envelope mediated post entry restriction of murine leukaemia virus in human cells is Ref1/TRIM5α independent.
Retrovirology. 2010; 7:81 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: 'Intrinsic' resistance to retroviral infection was first recognised with the Friend virus susceptibility gene (Fv1), which determines susceptibility to murine leukaemia virus (MLV) infection in different murine species. Similarly, the tripartite motif (TRIM) family of proteins determine lentiviral restriction in a primate host-species specific manner. For example rhesus TRIM5α (rhTRIM5α) can potently restrict HIV-1 infection while human TRIM5α (huTRIM5α) only has a mild effect on SIVmac and HIV-1 infectivity (Lv1). Human TRIM5α is able to restrict MLV-N virus replication, but is ineffective against MLV-B or MLV-NB virus infection. Lv2 restriction of some HIV-2 viruses is seen in human cells. Like Lv1, Lv2 is a post-entry restriction factor, whose viral determinants have been mapped to the viral capsid (CA). Unlike Lv1, however, Lv2 is determined by envelope (Env) in addition to CA. Here we present evidence of a novel Env determined post entry restriction to infection in human cells of pseudotyped MLV-B and MLV-NB cores.
RESULTS: We generated retroviral vectors pseudotyped with various gamma and lentiviral Envs on MLV-B and -NB CAs containing a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter. Flow cytometry was used to determine transduction efficiencies in NP2/CD4/CXCR4 (glioma cell line stably transduced with the HIV receptors) and HeLa/CD4 cell lines. The HeLa/CD4 cell line restricted both MLV CAs in an Env dependent manner, compared to NP2/CD4/CXCR4 cells. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (QT-PCR) analysis of reverse transcription (RT) transcripts demonstrates that this restriction occurs at a post entry and RT level. siRNA knockdown of huTRIM5α ruled out a direct role for this cellular component in mediating this restriction. We describe a previously unobserved Env determined restriction of MLV-B and MLV-NB CAs in HeLa/CD4 cells when pseudotyped with HIV-2 and RD114 Envs, but not gibbon ape leukaemia virus (GALV), HIV-1 or Amphotrophic (Ampho) Envs.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data further demonstrate the variability of Env and CA mediated susceptibility to post entry host cell restriction. We discuss the relevance of these findings in light of the growing evidence supporting the complexities involved in innate host immunity to retroviral infection.

Cai Y, Wang R, Zhao YF, et al.
Expression of Neuropilin-2 in salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma: its implication in tumor progression and angiogenesis.
Pathol Res Pract. 2010; 206(12):793-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Neuropilin-2(Nrp2), which is a nontyrosine kinase transmembrane glycoprotein, can promote angiogenesis and is a poor prognostic factor in some human cancers. In the present study, to explore the expression and potential function of Nrp2 in salivary adenoid cystic carcinoma (SACC), immunohistochemistry was used to examine the Nrp2 expression in 50 SACCs and 20 normal salivary gland tissues nearby SACCs. The result showed that immunoreactivity for Nrp2 was detected in 47 of 50 SACCs, and its expression level had significant correlations with microvessel density, tumor size, TMN clinical stage, vascular invasion, and metastasis (P<0.05) of SACCs. In addition, inhibition of Nrp2 function by the receptor-ligand interaction-blocking antibody decreased cell migration, invasion, and angiogenic promotion without influences on the cell proliferation of Acc-3 cells. Taken together, the expression of Nrp2 protein is significantly correlated with tumor progression and angiogenesis in SACCs. These results suggest that Nrp2 may be a potential therapeutic target for SACCs.

Related: Angiogenesis and Cancer Salivary Gland Cancer

Moussai D, Mitsui H, Pettersen JS, et al.
The human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma microenvironment is characterized by increased lymphatic density and enhanced expression of macrophage-derived VEGF-C.
J Invest Dermatol. 2011; 131(1):229-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastases from primary cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) account for the majority of the ∼10,000 non-melanoma skin cancer deaths in the United States annually. We studied lymphangiogenesis in human SCC because of the potential link to metastasis. SCC samples were stained for lymphatic endothelial vessel marker LYVE-1 and positive cells were counted and compared with cells in normal skin. Gene set enrichment analysis and reverse transcription (RT)-PCR were performed on SCC, on adjacent non-tumor-bearing skin, and on normal skin to determine the differential expression of lymphangiogenesis-associated genes. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) was performed to isolate tumor cells and tumor-associated inflammatory cells for further gene expression analysis. Immunofluorescence was performed to determine the source of vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) in the tumor microenvironment. We found increased lymphatic density and reorganized lymphatic endothelial vessels in the dermis immediately adjacent to SCC nests. RT-PCR confirmed the presence of VEGF-C in skin immediately adjacent to SCC. LCM confirmed the increased expression of VEGF-C, the SCC inflammatory infiltrate. The presence of CD163(+)/CD68(+)/VEGFC(+) cells and absence of VEGF-C expression by CD3(+) or CD11C(+) cells suggested that VEGF-C is derived from tumor-associated macrophages. Clarification of mechanisms governing SCC-mediated lymphangiogenesis may identify potential targets for therapeutic intervention against aggressive or inoperable disease.

Related: Skin Cancer

Rahmatpanah FB, Carstens S, Hooshmand SI, et al.
Large-scale analysis of DNA methylation in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Epigenomics. 2009; 1(1):39-61 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
AIMS: B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a heterogeneous malignancy that clinically ranges from indolent to rapidly progressive. CLL, like other cancers, can be affected by epigenetic alterations.
MATERIALS & METHODS: A microarray discovery-based study was initiated to determine DNA methylation in CLL cases with a range of CD38 expression (1–92%).
RESULTS: Many loci were either methylated or unmethylated across all CD38 levels, but differential methylation was also observed for some genes. Genomic sequencing of DLEU7 confirmed extensive cytosine methylation preferentially in patient samples with low CD38 expression, whereas NRP2, SFRP2 and ADAM12 were more commonly methylated in those with high CD38 expression.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates that CLL is affected by CpG island methylation in some genes that segregate with CD38 expression levels, while most others show similar methylation patterns across all levels. The CpG island methylation in certain functional gene groups and pathway-associated genes that are known to be deregulated in CLL provides additional insights into the CLL methylome and epigenetic contribution to cellular dysfunction. It will now be useful to investigate the effectiveness of epigenetic therapeutic reversal of these alterations to develop effective treatments for the disease.

Related: Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) CLL - Molecular Biology

Gomes AQ, Correia DV, Grosso AR, et al.
Identification of a panel of ten cell surface protein antigens associated with immunotargeting of leukemias and lymphomas by peripheral blood gammadelta T cells.
Haematologica. 2010; 95(8):1397-404 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Vgamma9Vdelta2 T lymphocytes are regarded as promising mediators of cancer immunotherapy due to their capacity to eliminate multiple experimental tumors, particularly within those of hematopoietic origin. However, Vgamma9Vdelta2 T-cell based lymphoma clinical trials have suffered from the lack of biomarkers that can be used as prognostic of therapeutic success.
DESIGN AND METHODS: We have conducted a comprehensive study of gene expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemias and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, aimed at identifying markers of susceptibility versus resistance to Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. We employed cDNA microarrays and quantitative real-time PCR to screen 20 leukemia and lymphoma cell lines, and 23 primary hematopoietic tumor samples. These data were analyzed using state-of-the-art bioinformatics, and gene expression patterns were correlated with susceptibility to Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cell mediated cytolysis in vitro.
RESULTS: We identified a panel of 10 genes encoding cell surface proteins that were statistically differentially expressed between "gammadelta-susceptible" and "gammadelta-resistant" hematopoietic tumors. Within this panel, 3 genes (ULBP1, TFR2 and IFITM1) were associated with increased susceptibility to Vgamma9Vdelta2 T-cell cytotoxicity, whereas the other 7 (CLEC2D, NRP2, SELL, PKD2, KCNK12, ITGA6 and SLAMF1) were enriched in resistant tumors. Furthermore, some of these candidates displayed a striking variance of expression among primary follicular lymphomas and T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that hematopoietic tumors display a highly variable repertoire of surface proteins that can impact on Vgamma9Vdelta2 cell-mediated immunotargeting. The prognostic value of the proposed markers can now be evaluated in upcoming Vgamma9Vdelta2 T cell-based lymphoma/leukemia clinical trials.

Related: Leukemia

Yasuoka H, Kodama R, Tsujimoto M, et al.
Neuropilin-2 expression in breast cancer: correlation with lymph node metastasis, poor prognosis, and regulation of CXCR4 expression.
BMC Cancer. 2009; 9:220 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Neuropilin-2 (Nrp2) is a receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C), which is a well-known lymphangiogenic factor and plays an important role in lymph node metastasis of various human cancers, including breast cancer. Recently, Nrp2 was shown to play a role in cancer by promoting tumor cell metastasis. CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) also promotes tumor metastasis. In the previous studies, we demonstrated that VEGF-C and cytoplasmic CXCR4 expressions were correlated with poorer patient prognosis (BMC Cancer 2008,8:340; Breast Cancer Res Treat 2005, 91:125-132).
METHODS: The relationship between Nrp2 expression and lymph node metastasis, VEGF-C expression, CXCR4 expression, and other established clinicopathological variables (these data were cited in our previous papers), including prognosis, was analyzed in human breast cancer. Effects of neutralizing anti-Nrp2 antibody on CXCR4 expression and chemotaxis were assessed in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells.
RESULTS: Nrp2 expression was observed in 53.1% (60 of 113) of the invasive breast carcinomas. Nrp2 expression was significantly correlated with lymph node metastasis, VEGF-C expression, and cytoplasmic CXCR4 expression. Survival curves determined by the Kaplan-Meier method showed that Nrp2 expression was associated with reduced overall survival. In multivariate analysis, Nrp2 expression emerged as a significant independent predictor for overall survival. Neutralizing anti-Nrp2 antibody blocks cytoplasmic CXCR4 expression and CXCR4-induced migration in MDA-MB-231 cells.
CONCLUSION: Nrp2 expression was correlated with lymph node metastasis, VEGF-C expression, and cytoplasmic CXCR4 expression. Nrp2 expression may serve as a significant prognostic factor for long-term survival in breast cancer. Our data also showed a role for Nrp2 in regulating cytoplasmic CXCR4 expression in vitro.

Related: Breast Cancer

Albonici L, Doldo E, Palumbo C, et al.
Placenta growth factor is a survival factor for human malignant mesothelioma cells.
Int J Immunopathol Pharmacol. 2009 Apr-Jun; 22(2):389-401 [PubMed] Related Publications
Placenta growth factor (PlGF) is a key regulator of pathological angiogenesis and its overexpression has been linked to neoplastic progression. To assess whether PlGF could have a role in malignant mesothelioma (MM), we analyzed the expression of PlGF, VEGF, and their cognate receptors (VEGF-R1 and VEGF-R2) and co-receptors (neuropilin-1 and neuropilin-2) in MM cell lines as well as in resected MM tissues, hyperplastic/reactive mesothelium and normal mesothelium. MM cell cultures expressed both ligands and the associated receptors to a variable extent and released different amounts of PlGF. As assessed by immunohistochemistry, PlGF expression was switched on in hyperplastic/reactive compared to normal mesothelium. Moreover, 74 and 94 percent of MM tissues overexpressed PlGF and VEGF-R1, respectively (p<0.05 MM vs normal mesothelium). Administration of recombinant PlGF-2 did not elicit a significant stimulation of MM cell growth, while it was associated with a transient phosphorylation of Akt, suggesting that PlGF-2 could activate downstream effectors of proliferative and cytoprotective signals via VEGF-R1 in MM cells. Indeed, the administration of an anti-PlGF antibody was found to cause a significant reduction of MM cell survival. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that, by acting as a survival factor, PlGF can play a role which goes beyond the stimulation of angiogenesis in MM. This evidence could help the rational design of new therapeutic interventions for this aggressive tumor.

Related: Mesothelioma Angiogenesis and Cancer AKT1 VEGFA FLT1


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Cite this page: Cotterill SJ. NRP2, Cancer Genetics Web: http://www.cancerindex.org/geneweb/NRP2.htm Accessed: date

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