Gene Summary

Gene:PECAM1; platelet and endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1
Aliases: CD31, PECA1, GPIIA', PECAM-1, endoCAM, CD31/EndoCAM
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is found on the surface of platelets, monocytes, neutrophils, and some types of T-cells, and makes up a large portion of endothelial cell intercellular junctions. The encoded protein is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily and is likely involved in leukocyte migration, angiogenesis, and integrin activation. [provided by RefSeq, May 2010]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


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 (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Latest Publications: PECAM1 (cancer-related)

Jankowska-Konsur A, Kobierzycki C, Grzegrzolka J, et al.
Expression of CD31 in Mycosis Fungoides.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(9):4575-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Mycosis fungoides (MF) is the most common primary cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) characterized by malignant proliferation of mature T lymphocytes and primary skin involvement. Recent reports suggest that angiogenesis may play a role in the growth and spread of this malignancy. Cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31) is a protein classified into the Ig-superfamily of cell adhesion molecules, expressed on endothelial cells and majority of hematopoietic non-erythroid cells. The aim of our study was to explore the role of angiogenesis in MF.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: We evaluated the expression of CD31 in relation to clinicopathological data and potential impact on patients' outcome in MF utilizing immunohistochemistry (IHC) and western blot (WB) techniques in 73 and 19 MF and 21 and 4 control samples, respectively.
RESULTS: In the IHC study, statistical analysis revealed significantly higher CD31 expression in MF compared to the controls (p<0.0001) with highest expression in advanced stages vs. early ones and controls (p<0.0001 for both). In regard to skin involvement, expression was also elevated in more infiltrative (T3, tumors) and in more extensive (T4, erythroderma) cutaneous lesions compared to less infiltrative and limited skin lesions (T1, T2, patches and/or plaques) (p<0.01 for both). Regarding the extracutaneous spread, higher CD31 expression correlated with nodal involvement (N1-3 vs. N0; p<0.0001). In the WB study, statistical analysis revealed significantly higher CD31 expression only in advanced vs. early stage of MF (p<0.05). In regard to skin involvement, expression was also elevated in T3 and T4 as compared T1+T2 (p=0.08, p<0.05; respectively). Higher CD31 expression correlated with nodal involvement (N1-3 vs. N0; p<0.01). A strong significant correlation between CD31 expression at the protein level analyzed by IHC and WB was noticed (r=0.802, p<0.0001). Moreover, strong positive correlations between IHC expression of CD31 and podoplanin (PDPN; r=0.582, p<0.0001), vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC; r=0.332, p<0.01) and Ki-67 (r=0.330, p<0.01) were disclosed.
CONCLUSION: Expression of CD31 in MF skin biopsies provides new evidence for the role of angiogenesis in the progression of MF. Additionally, the new data revealed prompts for further research on potential use of CD31 as a new marker of the disease advancement, as well as the target of new therapeutic strategies.

Yun CW, Yun S, Lee JH, et al.
Silencing Prion Protein in HT29 Human Colorectal Cancer Cells Enhances Anticancer Response to Fucoidan.
Anticancer Res. 2016; 36(9):4449-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The putative functions of the cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) are believed to be associated with cell signaling, differentiation, survival, and cancer progression. With respect to cancer development and progression, elevations and mutations of PrP(c) expression have been shown to increase the risk for malignancy and metastasis in breast and colorectal cancer. Since both natural supplements and direct regulation of PrP(c) expression contribute to inhibition of cancer progression and growth, we hypothesized that knockdown of PrP(c) could lead to an enhanced synergic effect on the inhibition of cancer growth by fucoidan.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: PrP(c) expression was suppressed in HT29 human colon cancer cells by utilizing small-interfering RNA (si-PRNP), and cells were subsequently used to study the antiproliferative and anticancer effects of fucoidan treatment of HT29 human colon cancer cells.
RESULTS: Fucoidan treatment significantly inhibited growth and reduced cyclin and cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) expression in HT29 colon cancer cells. Furthermore, silencing PrP(c) expression with si-PRNP amplified the fucoidan-induced changes in cell proliferation, apoptosis, and migration. Intraperitoneal injection of si-PRNP with fucoidan reduced proliferation and tumor volume in Balb/c nude mice. This enhanced antitumor efficacy was associated with decreased angiogenesis.
CONCLUSION: Combination of fucoidan with silencing of PrP(c) has a synergic effect on the inhibition of HT29 colon cancer cell growth. Furthermore, we provide evidence for the therapeutic application of PrP(c) silencing with other anticancer drugs for cancer.

El-Shemi AG, Ashshi AM, Na Y, et al.
Combined therapy with oncolytic adenoviruses encoding TRAIL and IL-12 genes markedly suppressed human hepatocellular carcinoma both in vitro and in an orthotopic transplanted mouse model.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:74 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gene-based virotherapy mediated by oncolytic viruses is currently experiencing a renaissance in cancer therapy. However, relatively little attention has been given to the potentiality of dual gene virotherapy strategy as a novel therapeutic approach to mediate triplex anticancer combination effects, particularly if the two suitable genes are well chosen. Both tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) and interleukin-12 (IL-12) have been emerged as promising pharmacological candidates in cancer therapy; however, the combined efficacy of TRAIL and IL-12 genes for treatment of human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) remains to be determined.
METHODS: Herein, we investigated the therapeutic efficacy of concurrent therapy with two armed oncolytic adenoviruses encoding human TRAIL gene (Ad-ΔB/TRAIL) and IL-12 gene (Ad-ΔB/IL-12), respectively, on preclinical models of human HCC, and also elucidated the possible underlying mechanisms. The effects of Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 combination therapy were assessed both in vitro on Hep3B and HuH7 human HCC cell lines and in vivo on HCC-orthotopic model established in the livers of athymic nude mice by intrahepatic implantation of human Hep3B cells.
RESULTS: Compared to therapy with non-armed control Ad-ΔB, combined therapy with Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 elicited profound anti-HCC killing effects on Hep3B and HuH7 cells and on the transplanted Hep3B-orthotopic model. Efficient viral replication and TRAIL and IL-12 expression were also confirmed in HCC cells and the harvested tumor tissues treated with this combination therapy. Mechanistically, co-therapy with Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 exhibited an enhanced effect on apoptosis promotion, activation of caspase-3 and-8, generation of anti-tumor immune response evidenced by upregulation of interferon gamma (IFN-γ) production and infiltration of natural killer-and antigen presenting cells, and remarkable repression of intratumor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and cluster of differentiation 31 (CD31) expression and tumor microvessel density.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our data showed a favorable therapeutic effect of Ad-ΔB/TRAIL+Ad-ΔB/IL-12 combination therapy against human HCC, and may therefore constitute a promising and effective therapeutic strategy for treating human HCC. However, further studies are warranted for its reliable clinical translation.

Mercurio L, Ajmone-Cat MA, Cecchetti S, et al.
Targeting CXCR4 by a selective peptide antagonist modulates tumor microenvironment and microglia reactivity in a human glioblastoma model.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016; 35:55 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The CXCL12/CXCR4 pathway regulates tumor cell proliferation, metastasis, angiogenesis and the tumor-microenvironment cross-talk in several solid tumors, including glioblastoma (GBM), the most common and fatal brain cancer. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of peptide R, a new specific CXCR4 antagonist that we recently developed by a ligand-based approach, in an in vitro and in vivo model of GBM. The well-characterized CXCR4 antagonist Plerixafor was also included in the study.
METHODS: The effects of peptide R on CXCR4 expression, cell survival and migration were assessed on the human glioblastoma cell line U87MG exposed to CXCL12, by immunofluorescence and western blotting, MTT assay, flow cytometry and transwell chamber migration assay. Peptide R was then tested in vivo, by using U87MG intracranial xenografts in CD1 nude mice. Peptide R was administered for 23 days since cell implantation and tumor volume was assessed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at 4.7 T. Glioma associated microglia/macrophage (GAMs) polarization (anti-tumor M1 versus pro-tumor M2 phenotypes) and expressions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and CD31 were assessed by immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence.
RESULTS: We found that peptide R impairs the metabolic activity and cell proliferation of human U87MG cells and stably reduces CXCR4 expression and cell migration in response to CXCL12 in vitro. In the orthotopic U87MG model, peptide R reduced tumor cellularity, promoted M1 features of GAMs and astrogliosis, and hindered intra-tumor vasculature.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that targeting CXCR4 by peptide R might represent a novel therapeutic approach against GBM, and contribute to the rationale to further explore in more complex pre-clinical settings the therapeutic potential of peptide R, alone or in combination with standard therapies of GBM.

Huang JS, Yao CJ, Chuang SE, et al.
Honokiol inhibits sphere formation and xenograft growth of oral cancer side population cells accompanied with JAK/STAT signaling pathway suppression and apoptosis induction.
BMC Cancer. 2016; 16:245 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Eliminating cancer stem cells (CSCs) has been suggested for prevention of tumor recurrence and metastasis. Honokiol, an active compound of Magnolia officinalis, had been proposed to be a potential candidate drug for cancer treatment. We explored its effects on the elimination of oral CSCs both in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: By using the Hoechst side population (SP) technique, CSCs-like SP cells were isolated from human oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cell lines, SAS and OECM-1. Effects of honokiol on the apoptosis and signaling pathways of SP-derived spheres were examined by Annexin V/Propidium iodide staining and Western blotting, respectively. The in vivo effectiveness was examined by xenograft mouse model and immunohistochemical tissue staining.
RESULTS: The SP cells possessed higher stemness marker expression (ABCG2, Ep-CAM, Oct-4 and Nestin), clonogenicity, sphere formation capacity as well as tumorigenicity when compared to the parental cells. Treatment of these SP-derived spheres with honokiol resulted in apoptosis induction via Bax/Bcl-2 and caspase-3-dependent pathway. This apoptosis induction was associated with marked suppression of JAK2/STAT3, Akt and Erk signaling pathways in honokiol-treated SAS spheres. Consistent with its effect on JAK2/STAT3 suppression, honokiol also markedly inhibited IL-6-mediated migration of SAS cells. Accordingly, honokiol dose-dependently inhibited the growth of SAS SP xenograft and markedly reduced the immunohistochemical staining of PCNA and endothelial marker CD31 in the xenograft tumor.
CONCLUSIONS: Honokiol suppressed the sphere formation and xenograft growth of oral CSC-like cells in association with apoptosis induction and inhibition of survival/proliferation signaling pathways as well as angiogenesis. These results suggest its potential as an integrative medicine for combating oral cancer through targeting on CSCs.

Parida S, Pal I, Parekh A, et al.
GW627368X inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in cervical cancer by interfering with EP4/EGFR interactive signaling.
Cell Death Dis. 2016; 7:e2154 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PGE2, the major product of cyclooxygenases implicated in carcinogenesis, is significantly upregulated in cervical cancer. PGE2 via prostanoid receptor EP4 stimulates proliferation and motility while inhibiting apoptosis and immune surveillance. It promotes angiogenesis by stimulating the production of pro-angiogenic factors. The present study demonstrates GW627368X, a highly selective competitive EP4 antagonist, which hinders cervical cancer progression by inhibiting EP4/epithelial growth factor receptor (EGFR) interactive signaling. GW627368X reduced protein kinase A (PKA) phosphorylation which in turn leads to decreased cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) activation. Decreased PKA phosphorylation also directly enhanced Bax activity and in part reduced glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3)β phosphorylation. Owing to the interactive signaling between EP4 and EGFR, GW627368X lowered EGFR phosphorylation in turn reducing Akt, mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and GSK3β activity significantly. Sublethal dose of GW627368X was found to reduce the nuclear translocation of β-catenin in a time dependent manner along with time-dependent decrease in cytoplasmic as well as whole-cell β-catenin. Decreased CREB and β-catenin transcriptional activity restricts the aberrant transcription of key genes like EP4, cyclooxygenase (COX)-2, vascular endothelial growth factor and c-myc, which ultimately control cell survival, proliferation and angiogenesis. Reduced activity of EGFR resulted in enhanced expression of 15-hydroxyprostaglandin dehydrogenase increasing PGE2 degradation thereby blocking a positive feedback loop. In xenograft model, dose-dependent decrease in cancer proliferation was observed characterized by reduction in tumor mass and volume and a marked decrease in Ki67 expression. A diminished CD31 specific staining signified decreased tumor angiogenesis. Reduced expression of pAkt, pMAPK, pEGFR and COX-2 validated in vitro results. GW627368X therefore effectively inhibits tumor survival, motility, proliferation and angiogenesis by blocking EP4/EGFR interactive signaling. EP4 is a potent therapeutic target in cervical cancer and can be explored in combination with conventional therapies to attain superior outcomes and to overcome complications associated with organ toxicities, therapeutic resistance and disease relapse.

Jia Y, Wang Z, Zang A, et al.
Tetramethylpyrazine inhibits tumor growth of lung cancer through disrupting angiogenesis via BMP/Smad/Id-1 signaling.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(5):2079-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
The underlying mechanisms of inhibitory effects induced by tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) on angiogenesis and tumor growth of lung cancer were investigated. In vitro cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation of human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) were evaluated by a 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-dephenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), wound healing, Transwell, and Matrigel assays. The expression of BMP/Smad/Id-1 signals was detected by RT-PCR and western blotting. In an A549 xenograft tumor model, TMP (40 and 80 mg/kg/day) was intraperitoneally injected into mice. The expressions of CD31, phosphorylated Smad1/5/8, and Id-1 were measured by immunohistochemistry. We demonstrated that TMP inhibited proliferation, migration, and capillary tube formation of HMEC-1 in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Furthermore, treatment of HMEC-1 cells with TMP (0.4 mg/ml) significantly upregulated BMP2 expression and downregulated BMPRIA, BMPRII, phosphorylated Smad1/5/8, and Id-1 expression. In addition, administrations of TMP remarkably inhibited tumor growth of A549 xenograft in nude mice. The CD31, phosphorylated Smad1/5/8, and Id-1 expression were significantly inhibited in TMP-treated xenograft tumors compared with the vehicle. In conclusion, our results indicated that TMP suppressed angiogenesis and tumor growth of lung cancer via blocking the BMP/Smad/Id-1 signaling.

You A, Cao M, Guo Z, et al.
Metformin sensitizes sorafenib to inhibit postoperative recurrence and metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma in orthotopic mouse models.
J Hematol Oncol. 2016; 9:20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Sorafenib is recognized as a standard treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). However, many patients have to adopt dose reduction or terminate the use of sorafenib because of side effects. In addition, a large number of patients are resistant to sorafenib. Thus, it is essential to investigate the underlying mechanisms of the resistance to sorafenib and seek potential strategy to enhance its efficacy.
METHODS: The protein expression of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF)-2α, 30-kDa HIV Tat-interacting protein (TIP30), E-cadherin, N-cadherin, and pAMPK was detected by Western blot. Cell viability assays were performed to study the influence of metformin and sorafenib on cell proliferation. Annexin V-FITC apoptosis assays were used to detect the influence of metformin and sorafenib on cell apoptosis. The relationship between HIF-2α and TIP30 was studied using gene silencing approach and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. To investigate the effect of metformin and sorafenib on postoperative recurrence and lung metastasis of HCC in tumor-bearing mice, the mice were orally treated either with metformin or sorafenib once a day for continuous 37 days after the operation to remove the lobe where the tumor was implanted. CD31, Ki67, and TUNEL were examined by immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Our study demonstrated that metformin synergized with sorafenib reduced HIF-2α expression as examined by Western blot. Gene silencing approach indicated TIP30 was upregulated after knocking-down of HIF-2α and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that HIF-2α could bind to TIP30 promoter under hypoxic condition. Cell Counting Kit-8 (CCK8) cell viability assay and Annexin V-FITC apoptosis assay showed that metformin in combination with sorafenib suppressed cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis. Besides, combined therapy suppressed epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) process both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, metformin in combination with sorafenib significantly minimized postoperative recurrence and lung metastasis of HCC in orthotopic mouse model. Combined therapy inhibited CD31 and Ki67 expression but promoted TUNEL expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Metformin may potentially enhance the effect of sorafenib to inhibit HCC recurrence and metastasis after liver resection by regulating the expression of HIF-2α and TIP30.

Liu L, Tong Q, Liu S, et al.
ZEB1 Upregulates VEGF Expression and Stimulates Angiogenesis in Breast Cancer.
PLoS One. 2016; 11(2):e0148774 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Although zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) has been identified as a key factor in the regulation of breast cancer differentiation and metastasis, its potential role in modulating tumor angiogenesis has not been fully examined. Here, we present the novel finding that conditioned medium derived from ZEB1-expressing MDA-MB-231 cells significantly increased the capillary tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), whereas ZEB1 knockdown by RNA interference had the opposite effect. ZEB1 caused marked upregulation of the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) at both mRNA and protein levels. Pre-incubation of HUVECs with anti-VEGFA neutralized antibody attenuated ZEB1-mediated tube formation of HUVECs. In breast cancer tissues, expression of ZEB1 was positively correlated with those of VEGFA and CD31. At the molecular level, ZEB1 activated VEGFA transcription by increasing SP1 recruitment to its promoter, which was mediated via the activation of PI3K and p38 pathways. Using a nude mouse xenograft model, we demonstrated that elevated expression of ZEB1 promotes in vivo tumorigenesis and angiogenesis in breast cancer. Collectively, we found that ZEB1-expressing breast cancer cells increase VEGFA production and thus stimulate tumor growth and angiogenesis via a paracrine mechanism.

Pizzo RJ, Azadniv M, Guo N, et al.
Phenotypic, genotypic, and functional characterization of normal and acute myeloid leukemia-derived marrow endothelial cells.
Exp Hematol. 2016; 44(5):378-89 [PubMed] Related Publications
In addition to participation in homing, egress, and transmigration of hematopoietic cells, marrow endothelium also contributes to cell proliferation and survival. Endothelial cells from multiple vascular beds are able to prevent spontaneous or therapy-induced apoptosis in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) blasts. Marrow-derived endothelial cells from leukemia patients have not been well-characterized, and in this work, endothelial cells were purified from marrow aspirates from normal subjects or from newly diagnosed AML patients to compare these cells phenotypically and functionally. By reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, these cells express CD31, Tie-2, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), supporting endothelial origin. They take up acetyl low-density lipoprotein and are able to form tubular structures. Culture of AML cells with endothelial cells from both normal and AML subjects supported adhesion, transmigration, and leukemia colony-forming unit outgrowth. RNA-sequencing analysis revealed 130 genes significantly up- or downregulated in AML-derived endothelial cells as compared with those derived from normal marrow. The genes differentially expressed (p < 0.001) were included in biological function categories involving cancer, cell development, cell growth and proliferation, cell signaling, inflammatory response, and cell death and survival. Further pathway analysis revealed upregulation of c-Fos and genes involved in chemotaxis such as CXCL16. AML-derived endothelial cells are similar in phenotype and function to their normal marrow-derived counterparts, but genomic analysis suggests a differential signature with altered expression of genes, which could play a role in leukemogenesis or leukemia cell maintenance in the marrow microenvironment.

Di Liddo R, Bridi D, Gottardi M, et al.
Adrenomedullin in the growth modulation and differentiation of acute myeloid leukemia cells.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 48(4):1659-69 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adrenomedullin (ADM) is a regulatory peptide endowed with multiple biological effects, including the regulation of blood pressure, cell growth and innate host defence. In the present study, we demonstrated that ADM signaling could be involved in the impaired cellular differentiation of myeloid leukemia cells to mature granulocytes or monocytes by modulating RAMPs/CRLR expression, PI3K/Akt cascade and the ERK/MAPK signaling pathway. When exogenously administered to in vitro cultures of HL60 promyelocytic leukemia cells, ADM was shown to exert a strong proliferative effect with minimal upregulation in the expression level of monocyte antigen CD14. Notably, the experimental inhibition of ADM signaling with inhibitor ADM22-52 promoted a differentiative stimulation towards monocytic and granulocytic lineages. Moreover, based on the expression of CD31 relative to CD38, we hypothesized that an excess of ADM in bone marrow (BM) niche could increase the transendothelial migration of leukemia cells while any inhibitory event of ADM activity could raise cell retention in hyaluronate matrix by upregulating CD38. Taken into consideration the above evidence, we concluded that ADM and ADM22-52 could differently affect the growth of leukemia cells by autocrine/paracrine mechanisms and may have clinical relevance as biological targets for the intervention of tumor progression.

Huang SC, Zhang L, Sung YS, et al.
Recurrent CIC Gene Abnormalities in Angiosarcomas: A Molecular Study of 120 Cases With Concurrent Investigation of PLCG1, KDR, MYC, and FLT4 Gene Alterations.
Am J Surg Pathol. 2016; 40(5):645-55 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
Angiosarcoma (AS) is a rare sarcoma subtype showing considerable clinicopathologic and genetic heterogeneity. Most radiation-induced AS show MYC gene amplifications, with a subset of cases harboring KDR, PTPRB, and PLCG1 mutations. Despite recent advances, the genetic abnormalities of most primary AS remain undefined. Whole-transcriptome sequencing was initiated in 2 index cases of primary soft tissue AS with epithelioid morphology occurring in young adults for novel gene discovery. The candidate abnormalities were validated and then screened by targeted sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization in a large cohort of 120 well-characterized AS cases. Findings were subsequently correlated with the status of KDR, PLCG1, MYC, and FLT4 gene abnormalities. The clinicopathologic relevance and prognostic significance of these genetic changes were analyzed by statistical methods. Concurrent CIC mutations and CIC rearrangements were identified in both index cases, with a CIC-LEUTX fusion detected in 1 case. Upon screening, an additional visceral AS in a young adult had a complex CIC rearrangement, whereas 6 others harbored only CIC mutations. All 3 CIC-rearranged AS cases lacked vasoformation and had a solid growth of round, epithelioid to rhabdoid cells, showing immunoreactivity for CD31 and Ets-related gene and sharing a transcriptional signature with other round cell sarcomas, including CIC-rearranged tumors. Overall, CIC abnormalities occurred in 9% (9/98) of cases, affecting younger patients with primary AS, with an inferior disease-free survival. In contrast, PLCG1 and KDR mutations occurred in both primary and secondary AS cases, accounting for 9.5% and 7%, respectively, with a predilection for breast and bone/viscera location, regardless of MYC status. MYC amplification was present in most secondary AS related to breast cancer (91%) compared with other causes (25%) or primary AS (7%). FLT4-amplified AS lacked PLCG1/KDR mutations, occurring predominantly in MYC-amplified population, and showed poor prognosis.

Hatem R, Labiod D, Château-Joubert S, et al.
Vandetanib as a potential new treatment for estrogen receptor-negative breast cancers.
Int J Cancer. 2016; 138(10):2510-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
The receptor tyrosine kinase RET is implicated in the progression of luminal breast cancers (BC) but its role in estrogen receptor (ER) negative tumors is unknown. Here we investigated the expression of RET in breast cancer patients tumors and patient-derived xenografts (PDX) and evaluated the therapeutic potential of Vandetanib, a tyrosin kinase inhibitor with strong activity against RET, EGFR and VEGFR2, in ER negative breast cancer PDX. The RT-PCR analysis of RET expression in breast tumors of 446 patients and 57 PDX, showed elevated levels of RET in ER+ and HER2+ subtypes and in a small subgroup of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBC). The activity of Vandetanib was tested in vivo in three PDX models of TNBC and one model of HER2+ BC with different expression levels of RET and EGFR. Vandetanib induced tumor regression in PDX models with high expression of RET or EGFR. The effect was associated with inhibition of RET/EGFR phosphorylation and MAP kinase pathway and increased necrosis. In a PDX model with no expression of RET nor EGFR, Vandetanib slowed tumor growth without inducing tumor regression. In addition, treatment by Vandetanib decreased expression of murine Vegf receptors and the endothelial marker Cd31 in the four PDX models tested, suggesting inhibition of tumor vascularization. In summary, these preclinical results suggest that Vandetanib treatment could be useful for patients with ER negative breast cancers overexpressing Vandetanib's main targets.

Wang Y, Wu X, Zhou Y, et al.
Piperlongumine Suppresses Growth and Sensitizes Pancreatic Tumors to Gemcitabine in a Xenograft Mouse Model by Modulating the NF-kappa B Pathway.
Cancer Prev Res (Phila). 2016; 9(3):234-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer is an aggressive malignancy, which generally respond poorly to chemotherapy. Hence, novel agents that are safe and effective are highly needed. The aim of this study was to investigate whether piperlongumine, a natural product isolated from the fruit of the pepper Piper longum, has any efficacy against human pancreatic cancer when used either alone or in combination with gemcitabine in vitro and in a xenograft mouse model. In vitro, piperlongumine inhibited the proliferation of pancreatic cancer cell lines, potentiated the apoptotic effects of gemcitabine, inhibited the constitutive and inducible activation of NF-κB, and suppressed the NF-κB-regulated expression of c-Myc, cyclin D1, Bcl-2, Bcl-xL, Survivin, XIAP, VEGF, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). Furthermore, in an in vivo xenograft model, we found piperlongumine alone significantly suppressed tumor growth and enhanced the antitumor properties of gemcitabine. These results were consistent with the downregulation of NF-κB activity and its target genes, decreased proliferation (PCNA and Ki-67), decreased microvessel density (CD31), and increased apoptosis (TUNEL) in tumor remnants. Collectively, our results suggest that piperlongumine alone exhibits significant antitumor effects against human pancreatic cancer and it further enhances the therapeutic effects of gemcitabine, possibly through the modulation of NF-κB- and NF-κB-regulated gene products.

Weijer R, Broekgaarden M, Krekorian M, et al.
Inhibition of hypoxia inducible factor 1 and topoisomerase with acriflavine sensitizes perihilar cholangiocarcinomas to photodynamic therapy.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(3):3341-56 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Photodynamic therapy (PDT) induces tumor cell death by oxidative stress and hypoxia but also survival signaling through activation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1). Since perihilar cholangiocarcinomas are relatively recalcitrant to PDT, the aims were to (1) determine the expression levels of HIF-1-associated proteins in human perihilar cholangiocarcinomas, (2) investigate the role of HIF-1 in PDT-treated human perihilar cholangiocarcinoma cells, and (3) determine whether HIF-1 inhibition reduces survival signaling and enhances PDT efficacy.
RESULTS: Increased expression of VEGF, CD105, CD31/Ki-67, and GLUT-1 was confirmed in human perihilar cholangiocarcinomas. PDT with liposome-delivered zinc phthalocyanine caused HIF-1α stabilization in SK-ChA-1 cells and increased transcription of HIF-1α downstream genes. Acriflavine was taken up by SK-ChA-1 cells and translocated to the nucleus under hypoxic conditions. Importantly, pretreatment of SK-ChA-1 cells with acriflavine enhanced PDT efficacy via inhibition of HIF-1 and topoisomerases I and II.
METHODS: The expression of VEGF, CD105, CD31/Ki-67, and GLUT-1 was determined by immunohistochemistry in human perihilar cholangiocarcinomas. In addition, the response of human perihilar cholangiocarcinoma (SK-ChA-1) cells to PDT with liposome-delivered zinc phthalocyanine was investigated under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions. Acriflavine, a HIF-1α/HIF-1β dimerization inhibitor and a potential dual topoisomerase I/II inhibitor, was evaluated for its adjuvant effect on PDT efficacy.
CONCLUSIONS: HIF-1, which is activated in human hilar cholangiocarcinomas, contributes to tumor cell survival following PDT in vitro. Combining PDT with acriflavine pretreatment improves PDT efficacy in cultured cells and therefore warrants further preclinical validation for therapy-recalcitrant perihilar cholangiocarcinomas.

Avci NG, Fan Y, Dragomir A, et al.
Investigating the Influence of HUVECs in the Formation of Glioblastoma Spheroids in High-Throughput Three-Dimensional Microwells.
IEEE Trans Nanobioscience. 2015; 14(7):790-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common form of primary brain tumor with a high infiltrative capacity, increased vascularity, and largely elusive tumor progression mechanism. The current GBM treatment methods do not increase the patient survival rate and studies using two-dimensional (2D) cell cultures and in vivo animal models to investigate GBM behavior and mechanism have limitations. Therefore, there is an increasing need for in vitro three-dimensional (3D) models that closely mimic in vivo microenvironment of the GBM tumors to understand the underlying mechanisms of the tumor progression. In this study we propose to use a 3D in vitro model to overcome these limitations, using poly (ethylene glycol) dimethyl acrylate (PEGDA) hydrogel-based microwells and co-culture GBM (U87) cells and endothelial cells (HUVEC) in the 3D microwells to provide a 3D in vitro simulation of the tumor microenvironment. Furthermore, we investigated the gene expression differences of co-cultures by quantitative real-time PCR. Our results suggested that the relative expression profiles of tumor angiogenesis markers, PECAM1/CD31, and VEGFR2, in co-cultures are consistent with in vivo GBM studies. Furthermore, we suggest that our microwell platform could provide robust and useful 3D co-culture models for high-throughput drug screening and treatment of the GBM.

Frezzetti D, Gallo M, Roma C, et al.
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A Regulates the Secretion of Different Angiogenic Factors in Lung Cancer Cells.
J Cell Physiol. 2016; 231(7):1514-21 [PubMed] Related Publications
Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) is one of the main mediators of angiogenesis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Recently, it has been described an autocrine feed-forward loop in NSCLC cells in which tumor-derived VEGFA promoted the secretion of VEGFA itself, amplifying the proangiogenic signal. In order to investigate the role of VEGFA in lung cancer progression, we assessed the effects of recombinant VEGFA on proliferation, migration, and secretion of other angiogenic factors in A549, H1975, and HCC827 NSCLC cell lines. We found that VEGFA did not affect NSCLC cell proliferation and migration. On the other hand, we demonstrated that VEGFA not only produced a strong and persistent increase of VEGFA itself but also significantly induced the secretion of a variety of angiogenic factors, including follistatin (FST), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2), granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), interleukin (IL)-8, leptin (LEP), platelet/endothelial cell adhesion molecule 1 (PECAM-1), and platelet-derived growth factor bb (PDGF-BB). PI3K/AKT, RAS/ERK, and STAT3 signalling pathways were found to mediate the effects of VEGFA in NSCLC cell lines. We also observed that VEGFA regulation mainly occurred at post-transcriptional level and that NSCLC cells expressed different isoforms of VEGFA. Collectively, our data suggested that VEGFA contributes to lung cancer progression by inducing a network of angiogenic factors, which might offer potential for therapeutic intervention.

Wu J, Zhu Y, Xu C, et al.
Adenovirus-mediated p53 and ING4 gene co-transfer elicits synergistic antitumor effects through enhancement of p53 acetylation in breast cancer.
Oncol Rep. 2016; 35(1):243-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
Multigene-based combination therapy may be an effective practice in cancer gene therapy. Substantial studies have demonstrated that tumor suppressor p53 acetylation is indispensable for p53 activation. Inhibitor of growth 4 (ING4), as a novel tumor suppressor, is capable of remarkably enhancing p53 acetylation and its transcriptional activity. Hence, we assumed that combined treatment of p53 and ING4 double tumor suppressors would exhibit enhanced antitumor effects. The combined therapeutic efficacy of p53 and ING4 for human cancers has not been previously reported. We thus generated multiple promoter expression cassette-based recombinant adenovirus-co-expressing ING4 and p53 double tumor suppressor genes (AdVING4/p53), evaluated the combined effects of AdVING4/p53 on breast cancer using the MDA-MB-231 (mutant p53) human breast cancer cell line, and also elucidated its underlying molecular mechanisms. We demonstrated that AdVING4/p53-mediated p53 and ING4 co-expression induced synergistic growth inhibition and apoptosis as well as enhanced effects on upregulation of acetylated p53, P21, Bax, PUMA, Noxa, cleaved caspase-9, cleaved caspase-3 and cleaved PARP, and downregulation of Bcl-2, CD31 and microvessel density (MVD) in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer in vitro and/or in vivo subcutaneous (s.c.) xenografted tumors. The synergistic antitumor activity elicited by AdVING4/p53 was closely associated with the enhanced activation of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway and synergistic inhibition of tumor angiogenesis, very possibly via ING4-mediated enhancement of p53 acetylation and activity. Thus, our results indicate that cancer gene therapy combining two or more tumor suppressors such as p53 and ING4 may constitute a novel and effective therapeutic modality for human breast cancer and other cancers.

Zhou Y, Shou F, Zhang H, You Q
Adenovirus-delivered wwox inhibited lung cancer growth in vivo in a mouse model.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016; 23(1):1-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lung cancer is the most prevalent and deadly malignancy worldwide. This study investigated the possibility of inhibiting lung cancer in vivo with adenovirus-delivered WW domain-containing oxidoreductase (wwox). The lung cancer model was established by inoculating A549 lung cancer cells into the pleural space of nude mice. The control or wwox adenovirus was injected into the pleural space 7 days after cell inoculation and 14 days after first injection. The tumor number and burdens were measured 2 weeks after second virus injection. The carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) and alpha-feto protein (AFP) levels in pleural effusion were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Apoptosis, proliferation and angiogenesis of tumor cells were assessed by terminal deoxinucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP-fluorescein nick end labeling assay, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and CD31 staining, respectively. Ectopic wwox significantly reduced both the number and size of lung tumors accompanied by substantially lower CEA and AFP levels in pleural effusion. The expression levels of Bcl2, Bcl-xL, vascular endothelial growth factor, PCNA-positive and CD31-positive cells in the tumors were significantly decreased, whereas levels of p21 and p73 and apoptotic cells markedly increased in mice receiving the wwox virus. These data demonstrated that wwox delivered by adenovirus was able to inhibit the growth of lung cancer in vivo, indicating the potential of using wwox as a gene therapy agent for lung cancer.

Chi Y, Huang S, Peng H, et al.
Critical role of CDK11(p58) in human breast cancer growth and angiogenesis.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:701 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: A capillary network is needed in cancer growth and metastasis. Induction of angiogenesis represents one of the major hallmarks of cancer. CDK11(p58), a Ser/Thr kinase that belongs to the Cell Division Cycle 2-like 1 (CDC2L1) subfamily is associated with cell cycle progression, tumorigenesis, sister chromatid cohesion and apoptotic signaling. However, its role in breast cancer proliferation and angiogenesis remains unclear.
METHODS: Tumorigenicity assays and blood vessel assessment in athymic mice were used to assess the function of CDK11(p58) in tumor proliferation and angiogenesis. CCK-8 assay was used to detect breast cancer cell growth. Immunohistochemistry was used to detect the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), CD31 and CD34 in CDK11 positive patient breast cancer tissues. Dual-Luciferase array was used to analyze the function of CDK11(p58) in the regulation of VEGF promoter activity. Western blot was used to detect related protein expression levels.
RESULTS: CDK11(p58) inhibited breast cancer growth and angiogenesis in breast cancer cells and in nude mice transplanted with tumors. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that CDK11(p58) was negatively associated with angiogenesis-related proteins such as VEGF, CD31 and CD34 in breast cancer patients. Real-time PCR and dual-luciferase assay showed CDK11(p58) inhibited the mRNA levels of VEGF and the promoter activity of VEGF. As CDK11(p58) is a Ser/Thr kinase, the kinase-dead mutant failed to inhibit VEGF mRNA and promoter activity. Western blot analysis showed the same pattern of related protein expression. The data suggested angiogenesis inhibition was dependent on CDK11(p58) kinase activity.
CONCLUSION: This study indicates that CDK11(p58) inhibits the growth and angiogenesis of breast cancer dependent on its kinase activity.

Ciortea CD, Jung I, Gurzu S, et al.
Correlation of angiogenesis with other immunohistochemical markers in cutaneous basal and squamous cell carcinomas.
Rom J Morphol Embryol. 2015; 56(2 Suppl):665-70 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The aim of this study was to establish an immunoprofile of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and basal cell carcinoma (BCC), and to explore as first time in literature the possible correlation between maspin, DOG-1, p16 protein and angiogenesis in these tumors. For SCCs, the histological grade of differentiation was also taken into account. The angiogenesis was quantified in 38 randomly selected cases of SCCs and 17 BCCc, respectively, using the antibodies vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) and COX-2, while the microvessel density (MVD) was evaluated with the CD31.
RESULTS: In SCCs, maspin cytoplasm to nuclear shift was an indicator of a deeper tissue invasion and dedifferentiation in the invasion front. The poorly differentiated cases, compared to G1÷G2-SCCs, expressed more frequent the markers p16 (30.77% vs. 8%) and VEGF-A (53.85% vs. 32%), regardless the MVD. However, the p16 positivity was more frequent in BCCs than SCCs (52.94% vs. 15.79%). All of the p16-positive carcinomas were located in the head and neck area. DOG-1 marked 21.05% of SCCs and 5.88% of BCCs, being directly correlated with COX-2 positivity. Eccrine glands and hair follicles also expressed DOG-1.
CONCLUSIONS: In cutaneous SCCs located in the head and neck area, sun-dependent p16÷VEGF interaction seems to be responsible by tumor dedifferentiation, whereas maspin cytoplasm to nuclear shift might indicate a high degree of invasiveness. This is the first report about DOG-1 positivity in BCCs and eccrine glands, the significance of this pattern being unknown.

Lin L, Chen YS, Yao YD, et al.
CCL18 from tumor-associated macrophages promotes angiogenesis in breast cancer.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(33):34758-73 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The infiltration of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is associated with extensive angiogenesis, which contributes to a poor prognosis in breast cancer. However, anti-angiogenic therapy with VEGF-specific monotherapy has been unsuccessful in treating breast cancer, and the molecular mechanisms associated with chemoresistance remain unclear. Here, we investigated whether CCL18, a chemokine produced by TAMs, can stimulate angiogenesis in breast cancer, as well as the underlying mechanisms. Double immunohistochemical staining for CCL18 and CD34/CD31/vWF was performed in 80 breast cancer samples to study the correlation between CCL18+ TAMs and microvascular density (MVD). Cocultures of TAMs with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were used to model the inflammatory microenvironment, and CCL18-induced angiogenesis was evaluated both in vitro and in vivo. We demonstrated that CCL18+ TAM infiltration positively associated with MVD in breast cancer samples, which was correlated with tumor metastasis and poor prognosis. We confirmed, both in vitro and in vivo, that CCL18 and VEGF synergistically promoted endothelial cell migration and angiogenesis. Conversely, blocking CCL18 or VEGF with neutralizing antibodies synergistically inhibited the promigratory effects of TAMs. Silencing PITPNM3, a putative CCL18 receptor, on the surface of HUVECs abrogated CCL18-mediated promigration and the enhancement of HUVEC tube formation, independently of VEGFR signaling. Moreover, CCL18 exposure induced the endothelial-mesenchymal transformation and activated ERK and Akt/GSK-3β/Snail signaling in HUVECs, thereby contributing to its pro-angiogenic effects. In conclusion, our findings suggest that CCL18 released from TAMs promotes angiogenesis and tumor progression in breast cancer; thus, CCL18 may serve as a novel target for anti-angiogenic therapies.

Mu X, Sang Y, Fang C, et al.
Immunotherapy of tumors with human telomerase reverse transcriptase immortalized human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
Int J Oncol. 2015; 47(5):1901-11 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human umbilical endothelial cells (HUVECs) have been proven to be effective in tumor anti-angiogenesis but the mechanism remained to be further demonstrated. The restricted ability of HUVECs to proliferate in vitro also limits their application on a large scale. In the present study, we immortalized HUVECs with hTERT genes by lentiviral infection and explored the antitumor immunity of hTERT-expressing HUVECs (HUVEC-TERTs). Results showed that HUVEC-TERTs maintained high telomere activity and expressed CD31, VEGFR-II and integrin α5. Passage-30 HUVEC-TERTs were able to form vascular tubes in vitro without showing signs of senescence. In vivo HUVEC-TERTs elicited antitumor immunity in mouse LL2 and CT26 models protectively and therapeutically. Both humoral and cellular immunity participated in the tumor anti-angiogenesis as HUVEC-neutralizing sera antibodies and HUVEC-specific CTL were detected. The subsets of activated spleen T lymphocytes included both CD4(+) T cells and CD8(+) T cells. Moreover, MDSCs and Tregs were decreased while T lymphocytes were aggregated in the tumor microenvironment. Collectively, the present study is the first to confirm the antitumor immunity of hTERT-immortalized HUVECs. Both anti-angiogenesis and tumor microenvironmental regulation participated in the antitumor activity. Transducing hTERT genes might be a new strategy to allow HUVECs to be applied on a large scale in cancer immunotherapy.

Li Z, Jia M, Wu X, et al.
Overexpression of Trps1 contributes to tumor angiogenesis and poor prognosis of human osteosarcoma.
Diagn Pathol. 2015; 10:167 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Trichorhinophalangeal syndrome 1 (Trps1) gene is a member of GATA transcription factor family and has an important function in tumorigenesis and progression. However, there are rare studies on its roles in carcinogenesis and prognostic significance in human osteosarcoma.
METHODS: The expression of Trps1 was detected by immunohistochemistry, and MVD was evaluated to determine the amounts of microvessels by counting CD31-positive endothelial cells.
RESULTS: Of the 74 cases that underwent study, Trps1-positive cases were 24. And it was associated with MVD significantly (P = 0.008). The data also exhibited more cases of remote metastasis (P = 0.013) and higher Enneking stage (P = 0.017) in Trps1-positive group compared to Trps1-negative group. Univariate analysis revealed that distant metastasis, MVD and Trps1 expression were associated with a lower 3-year overall survival rate and disease-free survival rate (P = 0.003, and P = 0.012 respectively). Furthermore, Trps1 and distant metastasis retained their significant prognostic effects on patients survival rate by multivariate analysis (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Trps1 plays a crucial role in osteosarcoma angiogenesis, metastasis and clinical surgical stage. Trps1 can be a novel promising prognostic marker and therapeutic target, and antiangiogenic therapy which targets Trps1 molecule in patients with osteosarcoma may lead to improved prognosis and longer-term survival.

Katkoori VR, Basson MD, Bond VC, et al.
Nef-M1, a peptide antagonist of CXCR4, inhibits tumor angiogenesis and epithelial‑to‑mesenchymal transition in colon and breast cancers.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(29):27763-77 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
The Nef-M1 peptide competes effectively with the natural ligand of CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4), stromal cell-derived factor 1-alpha, to induce apoptosis and inhibit growth in colon cancer (CRC) and breast cancer (BC). Its role in tumor angiogenesis, and epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulation, key steps involved in tumor growth and metastasis, are unknown. We evaluated the angioinhibitory effect of Nef-M1 peptide and examined its role in the inhibition of EMT in these cancers. Colon (HT29) and breast (MDA-MB231) cancer cells expressing CXCR4 were studied in vitro and in xenograft tumors propagated in severe combined immunodeficient mice. The mice were treated intraperitoneally with Nef-M1 or scrambled amino acid sequence of Nef-M1 (sNef-M1) peptide, a negative control, starting at the time of tumor implantation. Sections from tumors were evaluated for tumor angiogenesis, as measured by microvessel density (MVD) based on immunostaining of endothelial markers. In vitro tumor angiogenesis was assessed by treating human umbilical vein endothelial cells with conditioned media from the tumor cell lines. A BC cell line (MDA-MB 468) which does not express CXCR4 was used to study the actions of Nef-M1 peptide. Western blot and immunofluorescence analyses assessed the effect of Nef-M1 on tumor angiogenesis and EMT in both tumors and cancer cells. Metastatic lesions of CRC and BC expressed more CXCR4 than primary lesions. It was also found that tumors from mice treated with sNef-M1 had well established vascularity, while Nef-M1 treated tumors had very poor vascularization. Indeed, the mean MVD was lower in tumors from Nef-M1 treated mice than in sNef-M1 treated tumors. Nef-M1 treated tumor has poor morphology and loss of endothelial integrity. Although conditioned medium from CRC or BC cells supported HUVEC tube formation, the conditioned medium from Nef-M1 treated CRC or BC cells did not support tube formation. Western blot analyses revealed that Nef-M1 effectively suppressed the expression of VEGF-A in CRC and BC cells and tumors. This suggests that Nef-M1 treated CRC and BC cells are more consistent with E-cadherin signature, and thus appears more epithelial in nature. Our data indicate that Nef-M1 peptide inhibits tumor angiogenesis and the oncogenic EMT process. Targeting the chemokine receptor, CXCR4, mediated pathways using Nef-M1 may prove to be a novel therapeutic approach for CRC and BC.

Ilhan-Mutlu A, Siehs C, Berghoff AS, et al.
Expression profiling of angiogenesis-related genes in brain metastases of lung cancer and melanoma.
Tumour Biol. 2016; 37(1):1173-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
Brain metastases (BM) are the most common brain tumors of adults and are associated with fatal prognosis. Formation of new blood vessels, named angiogenesis, was proposed to be the main hallmark of the growth of BM. Previous preclinical evidence revealed that angiogenic blockage might be considered for treatment; however, there were varying responses. In this study, we aimed to characterize the expression pattern of angiogenesis-related genes in BM of lung cancer and melanoma, which might be of importance for the different responses against anti-angiogenic treatment. Fifteen snap-frozen tissues obtained from BM of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), and melanoma patients were analyzed for angiogenesis-related genes using a commercially available gene expression kit. Epilepsy tissue was used as control. Expression values were analyzed using hierarchical clustering investigating relative fold changes and mapping to Omicsnet protein interaction network. CXCL10, CEACAM1, PECAM1, KIT, COL4A2, COL1A1, and HSPG2 genes were more than 50-fold up-regulated in all diagnosis groups when compared to control, whereas genes such as ANGPT4, PDGFRB, and SERPINF1 were down-regulated only in SCLC and melanoma groups, respectively. Using hierarchical clustering, 12 out of 15 cases were allocated to the correct histological primary tumor type. We identified genes with consistent up-regulation in BM of lung cancer and melanoma and other genes with differential expression across BM of these tumor types. Our data may be of relevance for targeted therapy or prophylaxis of BM using anti-angiogenic agents.

Siamakpour-Reihani S, Owzar K, Jiang C, et al.
Prognostic significance of differential expression of angiogenic genes in women with high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma.
Gynecol Oncol. 2015; 139(1):23-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To identify angiogenic biomarkers associated with tumor angiogenesis and clinical outcome in high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSC).
METHODS: 51 HGSC samples were analyzed using Affymetrix HG-U133A microarray. Microvessel density (MVD) counts were determined using CD31 and CD105. Associations between mRNA expression levels and overall survival were assessed using rank score statistic. Effect size was estimated as a hazard ratio (HR) under a proportional hazard model. The Storey q-value method was used to account for multiple testing within the false-discovery rate (FDR) framework. Publicly available databases including TCGA and GSE were used for external confirmation.
RESULTS: Thirty-one angiogenic-related genes were significantly associated with survival (q≤0.05). Of these 31 genes, 4 were also associated with outcome in the TCGA data: AKT1 (q=0.02; TCGA p=0.01, HR=0.8), CD44 (q=0.003; TCGA p=0.05, HR=0.9), EPHB2 (q=0.01; TCGA p=0.05, HR=1.2), and ERBB2 (q=0.02; TCGA p=0.05, HR=1.2). While 5 were associated with outcome in the GSE database: FLT1 (q=0.03; GSE26712 p=0.01, HR=3.1); PF4 (q=0.02; GSE26712 p=0.01, HR=3.0); NRP1 (q=0.02; GSE26712 p<0.04, HR>1.4); COL4A3 (q=0.04; GSE26712 p=0.03, HR=1.3); and ANGPTL3 (q=0.02; GSE14764 p=0.02, HR=1.5). High AKT1 and CD44 were associated with longer survival. In contrast, high expression of EPHB2, ERBB2, FLT1; PF4, NRP1, COL4A3, and ANGPTL3 were associated with shorter survival. CD105-MVD and CD31-MVD were not significantly associated with angiogenic gene expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Thirty-one angiogenic-related genes were associated with survival in advanced HGSC and nine of these genes were confirmed in independent publicly available databases.

Cornejo KM, Hutchinson L, Cyr MS, et al.
MYC Analysis by Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization and Immunohistochemistry in Primary Adrenal Angiosarcoma (PAA): a Series of Four Cases.
Endocr Pathol. 2015; 26(4):334-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
Primary adrenal angiosarcomas (PAA) are rare with 36 cases reported in the English literature. MYC protein expression and gene amplification have been detected in secondary angiosarcoma (AS), and a subset of primary AS. The aim of this study was to report the clinicopathologic features of PAA and examine these tumors for MYC amplification and protein expression in a small series of four cases (resection, n = 4). Three had available material for ancillary studies and were investigated for MYC gene abnormalities and protein expression using fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC), respectively. Tumors occurred in three females and one male with a mean age of 69 (53-75) years. The sizes ranged from 8.5 to 15 (mean 11.5) cm and were epithelioid in morphology. All tumors had prominent necrosis, and the mitotic count ranged from 4 to 41/10 high-power fields (HPFs) (mean 20/10 HPFs, ×400). Immunohistochemically, the tumor cells were positive for CD31 in 4/4 cases, CD34 in 1/4 cases, and cytokeratin in 4/4 cases. The mean follow-up period was 10.8 (3-19) months, of which three patients died of disease with distant metastases, and one patient was alive with disease. MYC nuclear staining was identified in the three cases tested. Two cases showed polysomy of chromosome 8 without MYC amplification or rearrangement. Two MYC-positive cases by IHC demonstrated copy number gain in chromosome 8, and one MYC-positive case was not associated with a chromosome 8/MYC gene abnormality. In the context of new targeted therapies, MYC positivity in PAA may be clinically valuable in treating patients with these aggressive neoplasms.

Smith SJ, Ward JH, Tan C, et al.
Endothelial-like malignant glioma cells in dynamic three dimensional culture identifies a role for VEGF and FGFR in a tumor-derived angiogenic response.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(26):22191-205 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/05/2017 Related Publications
AIMS: Recent studies have observed that cells from high-grade glial tumors are capable of assuming an endothelial phenotype and genotype, a process termed 'vasculogenic mimicry' (VM). Here we model and manipulate VM in dynamic 3-dimensional (3D) glioma cultures.
METHODS: The Rotary Cell Culture System (RCCS) was used to derive large macroscopic glioma aggregates, which were sectioned for immunohistochemistry and RNA extracted prior to angiogenic array-PCR.
RESULTS: A 3D cell culture induced microenvironment (containing only glial cells) is sufficient to promote expression of the endothelial markers CD105, CD31 and vWF in a proportion of glioma aggregates in vitro. Many pro-angiogenic genes were upregulated in glioma aggregates and in primary explants and glioma cells were capable of forming tubular-like 3D structures under endothelial-promoting conditions. Competitive inhibition of either vascular endothelial growth factor or fibroblast growth factor receptor was sufficient to impair VM and downregulate the tumor-derived angiogenic response, whilst impairing tumor cell derived tubule formation. Glioma xenografts using the same cells reveal tumor-derived vessel-like structures near necrotic areas, consistent with widespread tumor-derived endothelial expression in primary glioma tissue.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support studies indicating that tumor-derived endothelial cells arise in gliomas and describe a dynamic 3D culture as a bona fide model to interrogate the molecular basis of this phenomenon in vitro. Resistance to current anti-angiogenic therapies and the contribution of tumor derived endothelial cells to such resistance are amenable to study using the RCCS.

Tang Y, Bhandaru M, Cheng Y, et al.
The role of the metastasis suppressor gene KAI1 in melanoma angiogenesis.
Pigment Cell Melanoma Res. 2015; 28(6):696-706 [PubMed] Related Publications
The tetraspan protein KAI1 (CD82) has been previously shown to have important roles in cell migration, invasion, and melanoma prognosis. In this study, we investigated the role of KAI1 regarding melanoma angiogenesis. KAI1 overexpression strongly suppressed the growth of the human umbilical vein endothelial cells and their tubular structure formation in vitro. Also, KAI1 was able to inhibit both interleukin-6 (IL-6) and VEGF at mRNA and protein levels. Using nude mice in the in vivo study, we showed that KAI1, through the regulation of ING4, inhibited blood vessel formation in matrigel plugs along with the downregulation of IL-6 and VEGF, and the recruitment of CD31-positive cells. Finally, we found that KAI1 was able to suppress the activity of a serine/threonine kinase Akt by suppressing Akt phosphorylation (Ser473). Taken together, our results suggested that KAI1 was able to suppress melanoma angiogenesis by downregulating IL-6 and VEGF expression, and the restoration of KAI1 functionality offered a new approach in human melanoma treatment.

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