Gene Summary

Gene:ANGPT2; angiopoietin 2
Aliases: ANG2, AGPT2
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is an antagonist of angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1) and endothelial TEK tyrosine kinase (TIE-2, TEK). The encoded protein disrupts the vascular remodeling ability of ANGPT1 and may induce endothelial cell apoptosis. Three transcript variants encoding three different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Specific Cancers (4)

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

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

Latest Publications: ANGPT2 (cancer-related)

Yan L, Sundaram S, Mehus AA, Picklo MJ
Time-restricted Feeding Attenuates High-fat Diet-enhanced Spontaneous Metastasis of Lewis Lung Carcinoma in Mice.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(4):1739-1748 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Obesity is a risk factor for cancer. Disruption of the daily feeding and fasting rhythm can contribute to obesity. This study tested the hypothesis that time-restricted feeding (TRF) attenuates obesity-enhanced metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a spontaneous metastasis model of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC), male C57BL/6 mice were fed the standard AIN93G diet or a high-fat diet (HFD) with or without dark-phase restricted feeding (12 h per day) for 10 weeks. Pulmonary metastases from a subcutaneous tumor were quantified.
RESULTS: The number and size of lung metastases were greater in the HFD group than in the AIN93G group, but did not differ between the TRF and AIN93G groups. TRF prevented HFD-induced increases in plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, proinflammatory cytokines (leptin, monocyte chemotactic protein-1, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1), and angiogenic factors (angiopoietin-2, hepatic growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor).
CONCLUSION: TRF attenuates the HFD-enhanced spontaneous metastasis of LLC in mice.

Sundaram S, Yan L
Adipose-specific Monocyte Chemotactic Protein-1 Deficiency Reduces Pulmonary Metastasis of Lewis Lung Carcinoma in Mice.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(4):1729-1738 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP1) is a potent adipokine. This study tested the hypothesis that adipose-produced MCP1 contributes to metastasis.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In a spontaneous metastasis model of Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC), male adipose MCP1-deficient (Mcp1
RESULTS: The adipose expression of MCP1 was lower in Mcp1
CONCLUSION: Adipose MCP1 deficiency attenuates HFD-enhanced pulmonary metastasis of LLC.

Hua X, Zhu X
[Research Advances of Ang-2 in Non-small Cell Lung Cancer].
Zhongguo Fei Ai Za Zhi. 2018; 21(11):868-874 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is one of the malignant tumors with highest mortality in the world, it is still a difficult problem in clinical field. Its occurrence and development are closely associated with tumor angiogenesis. Angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) is an important angiogenesis factor that has involved in many researches and it has been confirmed that the expression of Ang-2 is significantly up-regulated in tissues and blood of NSCLC. Meanwhile, Ang-2 is related to malignant biological behavior of cancer cells, making it a potential biological marker for the diagnosis and prognosis of NSCLC. At present, researches on Ang-2 how to promote the progression of NSCLC around the world are focused on Ang-2 regulating the proliferation, invasion, and metastasis of NSCLC. This paper summarized and estimated the studies and literature reports of regulatory mechanisms of Ang-2 in NSCLC, hopefully it could help looking for targeted drug treatment of Ang-2 in the future.

Marisi G, Cucchetti A, Ulivi P, et al.
Ten years of sorafenib in hepatocellular carcinoma: Are there any predictive and/or prognostic markers?
World J Gastroenterol. 2018; 24(36):4152-4163 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Sorafenib has been considered the standard of care for patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) since 2007 and numerous studies have investigated the role of markers involved in the angiogenesis process at both the expression and genetic level and clinical aspect. What results have ten years of research produced? Several clinical and biological markers are associated with prognosis. The most interesting clinical parameters are adverse events, Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer stage, and macroscopic vascular invasion, while several single nucleotide polymorphisms and plasma angiopoietin-2 levels represent the most promising biological biomarkers. A recent pooled analysis of two phase III randomized trials showed that the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio, etiology and extra-hepatic spread are predictive factors of response to sorafenib, but did not identify any predictive biological markers. After 10 years of research into sorafenib there are still no validated prognostic or predictive factors of response to the drug in HCC. The aim of the present review was to summarize 10 years of research into sorafenib, looking in particular at the potential of associated clinical and biological markers to predict its efficacy in patients with advanced HCC.

Ladeira K, Macedo F, Longatto-Filho A, Martins SF
Angiogenic factors: role in esophageal cancer, a brief review.
Esophagus. 2018; 15(2):53-58 [PubMed] Related Publications
Esophageal cancer has an aggressive behavior with rapid tumor mass growth and frequently poor prognosis; it is known as one of the most fatal types of cancer worldwide. The identification of potential molecular markers that can predict the response to treatment and the prognosis of this cancer has been subject of a vast investigation in the recent years. Among several molecules, various angiogenic factors that are linked to the tumor development, growth, and invasion, such as VEGF, HGF, angiopoietin-2, IL-6, and TGF-B1, were investigated. In this paper, the authors sought to review the role of these angiogenic factors in prognosis and hypothesize how they can be used as a treatment target.

Gardini AC, Faloppi L, Aprile G, et al.
Multicenter prospective study of angiogenesis polymorphism validation in HCC patients treated with sorafenib. An INNOVATE study protocol.
Tumori. 2018; 104(6):476-479 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Although sorafenib is the upfront standard of care for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), molecular predictors of efficacy have not been identified yet. In the ALICE-1 study, rs2010963 of VEGF-A and VEGF-C proved to be independent predictive factors for progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) in multivariate analysis. The ALICE-1 study results were confirmed in the ALICE-2 study, in which VEGF and VEGFR SNPs were analyzed. In the ePHAS study we analyzed the SNPs of eNOS. In univariate analysis, patients homozygous for an eNOS haplotype (HT1: T-4b at eNOS-786/eNOS VNTR) had significantly shorter median PFS and OS than those with other haplotypes. These data were confirmed in the validation set.
METHODS: This nonpharmacological, interventional, prospective multicenter study aims to determine whether eNOS, HIF-1, VEGF, Ang2 and VEGFR polymorphisms play a role in predicting the objective response rate, PFS, and OS of advanced HCC patients treated with sorafenib. The study will involve 160 advanced HCC patients with Child-Pugh class A disease. The primary aim is to validate the prognostic or predictive roles of eNOS, Ang2, HIF-1, VEGF and VEGFR polymorphisms in relation to the clinical outcome (PFS) of HCC patients treated with sorafenib.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our data may suggest that polymorphism analysis of the VEGF, VEGFR-2, HIF and eNOS genes can identify HCC patients who are more likely to benefit from sorafenib.

Lin CY, Cho CF, Bai ST, et al.
ADAM9 promotes lung cancer progression through vascular remodeling by VEGFA, ANGPT2, and PLAT.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):15108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lung cancer has a very high prevalence of brain metastasis, which results in a poor clinical outcome. Up-regulation of a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 9 (ADAM9) in lung cancer cells is correlated with metastasis to the brain. However, the molecular mechanism underlying this correlation remains to be elucidated. Since angiogenesis is an essential step for brain metastasis, microarray experiments were used to explore ADAM9-regulated genes that function in vascular remodeling. The results showed that the expression levels of vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA), angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2), and tissue plasminogen activator (PLAT) were suppressed in ADAM9-silenced cells, which in turn leads to decreases in angiogenesis, vascular remodeling, and tumor growth in vivo. Furthermore, simultaneous high expression of ADAM9 and VEGFA or of ADAM9 and ANGPT2 was correlated with poor prognosis in a clinical dataset. These findings suggest that ADAM9 promotes tumorigenesis through vascular remodeling, particularly by increasing the function of VEGFA, ANGPT2, and PLAT.

González-González A, González A, Alonso-González C, et al.
Complementary actions of melatonin on angiogenic factors, the angiopoietin/Tie2 axis and VEGF, in co‑cultures of human endothelial and breast cancer cells.
Oncol Rep. 2018; 39(1):433-441 [PubMed] Related Publications
Melatonin exerts oncostatic activity in breast cancer through antiangiogenic actions. There, the aim of the present study was to ascertain whether melatonin modulates, in a coordinated action, angiopoietin-1 (ANG-1), ANG-2, their cognate Tie2 receptor and VEGF in co-cultures of human endothelial cells (HUVECs) and breast cancer (MCF-7) cells. To accomplish this we used co-cultures of human breast cancer cells (MCF-7) or non-malignant human mammary epithelial cells (MCF‑10A) with endothelial cells (HUVECs). The presence of breast cancer cells increased HUVEC proliferation and 1 mM melatonin prevented this effect. ANG-1, ANG-2 and VEGF levels in co-culture media and mRNA expression were upregulated and Tie2 mRNA expression was downregulated in the HUVECs and MCF-7. Melatonin (1 mM) downregulated ANG-1, ANG-2 and VEGF levels in the co-culture media and mRNA expression in both types of cells and upregulated Tie2 mRNA expression in HUVECs. ANG-1, ANG-2, Tie2 and VEGF mRNA expression were not modified during HUVEC/MCF-10A co-culture. Estradiol (10 nM) increased ANG-1, ANG-2 and VEGF mRNA expression in HUVECs and melatonin (1 mM) counteracted this effect. We conclude that melatonin simultaneously coordinates downregulation of angiopoietins with a reduction in VEGF, which could be an effective therapeutic strategy for blocking tumor angiogenesis.

Huang R, Andersen LMK, Rofstad EK
Metastatic pathway and the microvascular and physicochemical microenvironments of human melanoma xenografts.
J Transl Med. 2017; 15(1):203 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Malignant melanoma of the skin can metastasize through blood vessels and lymphatics. The primary tumor develops a vascular microenvironment characterized by abnormal blood vessels and lymphatics and a physicochemical microenvironment characterized by low oxygen tension, regions with hypoxic tissue, and high interstitial fluid pressure (IFP). This study aimed at identifying relationships between the metastatic route of melanomas and characteristic features of the microvascular and physicochemical microenvironments of the primary tumor.
METHODS: Two patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models (E-13, N-15) and four cell line-derived xenografts (CDX) models (C-10, D-12, R-18, T-22) of human melanoma were included in the study. Tumors were transplanted to an orthotopic site in BALB/c-nu/nu mice, and when the tumors had grown to a volume of 500-600 mm
RESULTS: C-10, D-12, and E-13 tumors disseminated primarily by the hematogenous route and developed pulmonary metastases. These tumors showed high angiogenic activity and high expression of the F3 gene as well as ANGPT2 and TIE1, genes encoding proteins of the angiopoietin-tie system. N-15, R-18, and T-22 tumors disseminated mainly by the lymphogenous route and developed metastases in draining lymph nodes. These tumors had highly elevated IFP and showed high expression of NRP2, a gene encoding neuropilin-2.
CONCLUSION: The primary metastatic route of orthotopic human melanoma xenografts and the development of lung and lymph node metastases are influenced significantly by the microvascular and physicochemical microenvironments of the primary tumor.

Yang P, Chen N, Yang D, et al.
Cervical cancer cell-derived angiopoietins promote tumor progression.
Tumour Biol. 2017; 39(7):1010428317711658 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastatic or recurrent cervical cancer has limited treatment options and a high rate of mortality. Although anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs have shown great promise as a therapeutic target for treatment of advanced cervical cancer, drug resistance and class-specific side effects negate long-term benefits. The identification of alternative anti-angiogenic factors will be critical for future drug development for advanced or recurrent cervical cancer. In this study, we found that angiopoietins and Tie receptors were highly expressed in cervical cancer cells. Tie-2 expression in tumor cells predicted poorer prognosis. Wound closure assay and Transwell assay showed that upregulated or downregulated Ang-1 and Ang-2 expression promoted or reduced cervical cancer cell lines migration and invasion, respectively. In subcutaneous xenograft models of cervical cancer, downregulation of Ang-1 and Ang-2 attenuated tumor growth. The expression of vimentin and endomucin and microvessel density were all significantly decreased in the siAng-1 group and siAng-2 group relative to the infection control group. Our data support that dual inhibition of Ang-1 and Ang-2 may be an alternative target for anti-angiogenic adjuvant therapy in advanced or recurrent cervical squamous cell cancer.

Maffei R, Fiorcari S, Martinelli S, et al.
Angiopoietin-2 acts as a survival factor for chronic lymphocytic leukemia B cells throughout Tie-2 receptor engagement.
Hematol Oncol. 2018; 36(1):372-375 [PubMed] Related Publications

Tahara M, Schlumberger M, Elisei R, et al.
Exploratory analysis of biomarkers associated with clinical outcomes from the study of lenvatinib in differentiated cancer of the thyroid.
Eur J Cancer. 2017; 75:213-221 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lenvatinib significantly prolonged progression-free survival (PFS) versus placebo in the phase III Study of (E7080) LEnvatinib in differentiated Cancer of the Thyroid (SELECT) of patients with radioiodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer. This exploratory analysis investigated potential predictive biomarkers of lenvatinib efficacy and target engagement.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Circulating cytokine/angiogenic factors (CAFs) in blood samples collected at baseline and throughout treatment were analysed from patients randomised to receive lenvatinib or placebo from August 5, 2011 to October 4, 2012. For CAF biomarker analyses, patients were dichotomised by baseline levels. Tumour tissues were analysed for BRAF and NRAS/KRAS/HRAS mutations.
RESULTS: Tumours and CAFs were analysed from 183/392 (47%) and 387/392 (99%) patients, respectively. Lenvatinib PFS benefit was maintained in all assessments. For lenvatinib-treated patients, interaction-term analyses revealed that low baseline Ang2 level was predictive of tumour shrinkage (P
CONCLUSION: The lenvatinib PFS benefit was maintained regardless of baseline CAF or BRAF/RAS status. Baseline Ang2 was predictive of PFS in a subgroup of lenvatinib-treated patients, indicating that Ang2 may be predictive of lenvatinib sensitivity. BRAF

Kuć P, Charkiewicz R, Klasa-Mazurkiewicz D, et al.
Profiling of selected angiogenesis-related genes in serous ovarian cancer patients.
Adv Med Sci. 2017; 62(1):116-120 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Since angiogenesis plays an important role in the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer the aim of the study was to compare the expression of the most relevant angiogenesis-related genes in serous ovarian cancer samples. Genes were divided into 5 subgroups according to their angiogenic potential: growth factors and their receptors; cytokines/chemokines; adhesion molecules and other matrix related proteins; transcriptions factors and signaling molecules; morphogenic factors, and angiogenesis inhibitors.
MATERIALS/METHODS: Twenty-nine patients were involved in the study: 20 with serous ovarian cancer and 9 healthy controls. All neoplasms were confirmed by histopathological examination. Healthy ovarian control samples were obtained from women diagnosed with fibroids and had previously scheduled operations. Real-time PCR gene arrays were used to examine the expression of 84 human angiogenesis-related genes and expression of selected proteins was assessed with ELISA.
RESULTS: Significantly higher expressions of 46 genes were found in the ovarian cancer group compared to the healthy control group. By the use of ELISA we confirmed the expression of three proteins i.e.: angiopoietin-2, angiopoietin-like protein 3, and angiopoietin receptor 2. Only angiopoietin-2 and angiopoietin receptor 2 showed significant differences between ovarian cancer and healthy controls.
CONCLUSIONS: Changes in the expression of selected genes associated with angiogenesis may add new information to the pathogenesis of ovarian cancer. Although the angiopoietin-2 signaling pathway may play an important role in neovascularization in ovarian cancer, the role of angiopoietin-like protein 3 is yet to be established.

Leiss L, Mutlu E, Øyan A, et al.
Tumour-associated glial host cells display a stem-like phenotype with a distinct gene expression profile and promote growth of GBM xenografts.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):108 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Little is known about the role of glial host cells in brain tumours. However, supporting stromal cells have been shown to foster tumour growth in other cancers.
METHODS: We isolated stromal cells from patient-derived glioblastoma (GBM) xenografts established in GFP-NOD/scid mice. With simultaneous removal of CD11b
RESULTS: TAGs were highly enriched for the expression of glial cell proteins including GFAP and myelin basic protein (MBP), and immature markers such as Nestin and O4. A fraction of TAGs displayed sphere formation in stem cell medium. Moreover, TAGs promoted brain tumour growth in vivo when co-implanted with glioma cells, compared to implanting only glioma cells, or glioma cells and unconditioned glial cells from mice without tumours. Genome-wide microarray analysis of TAGs showed an expression profile distinct from glial cells from healthy mice brains. Notably, TAGs upregulated genes associated with immature cell types and self-renewal, including Pou3f2 and Sox2. In addition, TAGs from highly angiogenic tumours showed upregulation of angiogenic factors, including Vegf and Angiopoietin 2. Immunohistochemistry of three GBMs, two patient biopsies and one GBM xenograft, confirmed that the expression of these genes was mainly confined to TAGs in the tumour bed. Furthermore, their expression profiles displayed a significant overlap with gene clusters defining prognostic subclasses of human GBMs.
CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that glial host cells in brain tumours are functionally distinct from glial cells of healthy mice brains. Furthermore, TAGs display a gene expression profile with enrichment for genes related to stem cells, immature cell types and developmental processes. Future studies are needed to delineate the biological mechanisms regulating the brain tumour-host interplay.

Wang LH, Tsai HC, Cheng YC, et al.
CTGF promotes osteosarcoma angiogenesis by regulating miR-543/angiopoietin 2 signaling.
Cancer Lett. 2017; 391:28-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Osteosarcoma is the most common primary solid tumor of bone. It has a high metastatic potential and occurs predominantly in adolescents and young adults. Angiopoietin 2 (Angpt2) is a key regulator in tumor angiogenesis, facilitating tumor growth and metastasis. Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF, also known as CCN2), is a cysteine-rich protein that has been reported to promote metastasis of osteosarcoma. However, the effect of CTGF on Angpt2 regulation and angiogenesis in human osteosarcoma remains largely unknown. We found that overexpression of CTGF in osteosarcoma cells increased Angpt2 production and induced angiogenesis, in vitro and in vivo. Our findings demonstrate that CTGF-enhanced Angpt2 expression and angiogenesis is mediated by the phospholipase C (PLC)/protein kinase C (PKCδ) signaling pathway. Moreover, endogenous microRNA-543 (miR-543) expression was negatively regulated by CTGF via the PLC/PKCδ pathway. We also provide evidence showing clinical significance between CTGF, Angpt2, and miR-543 as well as tumor staging in human osteosarcoma tissue. CTGF may serve as a therapeutic target in the process of osteosarcoma metastasis and angiogenesis.

Ramanathan R, Olex AL, Dozmorov M, et al.
Angiopoietin pathway gene expression associated with poor breast cancer survival.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017; 162(1):191-198 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Angiogenesis is one of the hallmarks of cancer and is essential for cancer progression and metastasis. However, clinical trials with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway inhibitors have failed to show overall survival benefit in breast cancer. Targeted therapy against the angiopoietin pathway, a downstream angiogenesis cascade, could be effective in breast cancer. This study investigates the association of angiopoietin pathway gene expression with breast cancer survival using a "big data" approach employing RNA sequencing data from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA).
METHODS: A total of 888 patients with adequate gene expression, disease-free survival (DFS), and overall survival (OS) data were selected for analysis. DFS and OS were calculated for patients with high and low expression of angiopoietin and VEGF pathway genes using TCGA data. Gene-specific thresholds to dichotomize patients into high and low expression were determined and survival plots were generated.
RESULTS: The TCGA cohort was representative of national breast cancer patients with respect to stage, pathology, and survival. High Ang2 gene expression was associated with not only decreased DFS (p = 0.05), but also decreased OS (p < 0.05). High co-expression of Ang2 and its receptor Tie2 was associated with both decreased DFS and OS (p < 0.05). There was strong correlation between angiopoietin and VEGF pathway genes. While high expression of VEGFA alone was not associated with survival, high co-expression with Ang2 was associated with decreased OS.
CONCLUSIONS: This study validates TCGA as a representative database providing genomic data and survival outcomes in breast cancer. Our TCGA data support the angiopoietin pathway as a key mediator in the pathologic angiogenic switch in breast cancer.

Makhoul I, Todorova VK, Siegel ER, et al.
Germline Genetic Variants in TEK, ANGPT1, ANGPT2, MMP9, FGF2 and VEGFA Are Associated with Pathologic Complete Response to Bevacizumab in Breast Cancer Patients.
PLoS One. 2017; 12(1):e0168550 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: We previously reported improved pathologic complete response (pCR) in a prospective phase II study using neoadjuvant bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy compared to chemotherapy alone in breast cancer patients (41% vs. 25%, p = 0.0291). In this study, we queried germline single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in angiogenesis-related genes for their impact on pCR and overall survival (OS).
METHODS: DNA for genotyping was available from 34 subjects who received bevacizumab in addition to chemotherapy and 29 subjects who did not. Using Illumina® technology, we queried 504 SNPs with a minor allele frequency (MAF) of at least 5%, located in 10 angiogenesis-related genes, for their effect on pCR via logistic regression with an additive-inheritance model while adjusting for race and bevacizumab treatment. SNPs that showed significant associations with pCR were selected for additional characterization.
RESULTS: After adjusting for race and tumor type, patients who had bevacizumab added to their neoadjuvant therapy were found to experience a significantly improved rate of pCR compared to patients who did not (adjusted OR 8.40, 95% CI 1.90-37.1). When patients were analyzed for SNP effects via logistic regression with race and bevacizumab treatment included as covariates, two SNPs in angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1), six in ANGPT2, three in fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2), four in matrix metalloproteinase 9 (MMP9), three in tyrosine kinase, endothelial (TEK) and two in vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) were associated with pCR (P<0.05). However, when overall survival was considered, there was no difference between treatment groups or between genotypes.
CONCLUSION: Genetic variability in TEK, ANGPT1, ANGPT2, FGF2, MMP9 and VEGFA is associated with pCR in bevacizumab-treated patients. Consistent with other studies, adding bevacizumab to standard chemotherapy did not impact OS, likely due to other factors and thus, while SNPs in TEK, ANGPT1, ANGPT2, FGF2, MMP9 and VEGFA were associated with pCR, they were not predictive of OS in this patient population.

Li X, Sun R, Geng X, et al.
A comprehensive analysis of candidate gene signatures in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Neoplasma. 2017; 64(2):167-174 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed to unravel the molecular mechanism of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC). With microarray dataset GSE30784, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified between OSCC and control samples. The DEGs overlapped with genes obtained from online database MalaCards were determined as OSCCDEG, followed by Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis. A total of 5177 up-regulated and 6081 down-regulated DEGs were identified between OSCC and control. Out of the DEGs, 451 genes were overlapped with the 704 genes gained from MalaCards and regarded as "OSCCDEG". Up-regulated OSCCDEG were associated with cell cycle pathway, while down-regulated OSCCDEG were linked to ErbB pathway. ANGPT1, ANGPT2 and 3 hub proteins (EGFR, HSP90AA1, RB1) in the PPI network were associated with the survival rates of several tumors. The largest network module with the hub protein EGFR was associated with positive regulation of cell communication. The second largest module with the hub node FN1 was related to angiogenesis. For the third network module in connection with DNA metabolism, the hub protein was PCNA. ErbB and cell cycle pathways were crucial for OSCC. EGFR, FN1, PCNA, ANGPT1 and ANGPT2 might be potential biomarkers for OSCC. These findings help provide guidelines for treating OSCC.

Chou WC, Lin PH, Yeh YC, et al.
Genes involved in angiogenesis and mTOR pathways are frequently mutated in Asian patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.
Int J Biol Sci. 2016; 12(12):1523-1532 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications

Zhou HC, Fang JH, Shang LR, et al.
MicroRNAs miR-125b and miR-100 suppress metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma by disrupting the formation of vessels that encapsulate tumour clusters.
J Pathol. 2016; 240(4):450-460 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously shown that vessels that encapsulated tumour cluster (VETC), a prevalent vascular pattern in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), facilitates the entry of the whole tumour cluster into the bloodstream in an invasion-independent manner, and that angiopoietin 2 (Angpt2), the levels of which are increased in HCC cells, is essential for VETC formation. However, the mechanisms underlying VETC formation remains unclear. Herein, we characterized miR-125b and miR-100 as novel VETC suppressors by using human HCC specimens, and cell and animal models. We showed that reduced expression of either miR-125b or miR-100 in human HCC tissues was significantly associated with the presence of VETC, venous invasion of tumour cells, and the occurrence of endothelium-coated microemboli. To confirm the role of miR-125b and miR-100 in VETC formation and HCC metastasis, cell lines with stable miR-125b and miR-100 expression were established by using human VETC-2 cells and mouse Hepa1-6 cells, the hepatoma cells that developed xenografts with VETC patterns. Our results showed that expression of miR-125b or miR-100 in VETC-2 and Hepa1-6 cells dramatically reduced VETC formation in xenografts, and consequently inhibited in vivo metastasis, suggesting that miR-125b and miR-100 may attenuate metastasis by repressing VETC formation. Further investigation revealed that miR-125b directly suppressed the expression of Angpt2 by binding to its 3'-untranslated region, whereas miR-100 reduced the protein level of Angpt2 by targeting mechanistic target of rapamycin (MTOR) and blocking the MTOR-p70S6K signalling pathway. Moreover, the suppressive effect of miR-125b and miR-100 on VETC formation was abrogated by injecting Angpt2-expressing viruses into xenografts. Taken together, our findings imply that miR-125b and miR-100 negatively regulate Angpt2 expression through different mechanisms, in turn inhibit VETC formation, and consequently abrogate the VETC-dependent metastasis of hepatoma cells. This study uncovers new regulatory mechanisms of VETC formation, identifies novel functions of miR-125b and miR-100, and provides new targets for antimetastasis therapy of HCC. Copyright © 2016 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Conroy S, Wagemakers M, Walenkamp AM, et al.
Novel insights into vascularization patterns and angiogenic factors in glioblastoma subclasses.
J Neurooncol. 2017; 131(1):11-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly vascularized and aggressive type of primary brain tumor in adults with dismal survival. Molecular subtypes of GBM have been identified that are related to clinical outcome and response to therapy. Although the mesenchymal type has been ascribed higher angiogenic activity, extensive characterization of the vascular component in GBM subtypes has not been performed. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the differential vascular status and angiogenic signaling levels in molecular subtypes. GBM tissue samples representing proneural IDH1 mutant, classical-like and mesenchymal-like subtypes were analyzed by morphometry for the number of vessels, vessel size and vessel maturity. Also the expression levels of factors from multiple angiogenic signaling pathways were determined. We found that necrotic and hypoxic areas were relatively larger in mesenchymal-like tumors and these tumors also had larger vessels. However, the number of vessels, basement membrane deposition and pericyte coverage did not vary between the subtypes. Regarding signaling patterns the majority of factors were expressed at similar levels in the subtypes, and only ANGPT2, MMP2, TIMP1, VEGFA and MMP9/TIMP2 were higher expressed in GBMs of the classical-like subtype. In conclusion, although morphological differences were observed between the subtypes, the angiogenic signaling status of GBM subtypes seemed to be rather similar. These results challenge the concept of mesenchymal GBMs being more angiogenic than other subclasses.

Jenny Zhou H, Qin L, Zhang H, et al.
Endothelial exocytosis of angiopoietin-2 resulting from CCM3 deficiency contributes to cerebral cavernous malformation.
Nat Med. 2016; 22(9):1033-1042 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs) are vascular malformations that affect the central nervous system and result in cerebral hemorrhage, seizure and stroke. CCMs arise from loss-of-function mutations in one of three genes: KRIT1 (also known as CCM1), CCM2 or PDCD10 (also known as CCM3). PDCD10 mutations in humans often result in a more severe form of the disease relative to mutations in the other two CCM genes, and PDCD10-knockout mice show severe defects, the mechanistic basis for which is unclear. We have recently reported that CCM3 regulates exocytosis mediated by the UNC13 family of exocytic regulatory proteins. Here, in investigating the role of endothelial cell exocytosis in CCM disease progression, we found that CCM3 suppresses UNC13B- and vesicle-associated membrane protein 3 (VAMP3)-dependent exocytosis of angiopoietin 2 (ANGPT2) in brain endothelial cells. CCM3 deficiency in endothelial cells augments the exocytosis and secretion of ANGPT2, which is associated with destabilized endothelial cell junctions, enlarged lumen formation and endothelial cell-pericyte dissociation. UNC13B deficiency, which blunts ANGPT2 secretion from endothelial cells, or treatment with an ANGPT2-neutralizing antibody normalizes the defects in the brain and retina caused by endothelial-cell-specific CCM3 deficiency, including the disruption of endothelial cell junctions, vessel dilation and pericyte dissociation. Thus, enhanced secretion of ANGPT2 in endothelial cells contributes to the progression of CCM disease, providing a new therapeutic approach for treating this devastating pathology.

Li C, Li Q, Cai Y, et al.
Overexpression of angiopoietin 2 promotes the formation of oral squamous cell carcinoma by increasing epithelial-mesenchymal transition-induced angiogenesis.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016; 23(9):295-302 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common cancer of the head and neck and is associated with a high rate of lymph node metastasis. The initial step in the metastasis and transition of tumors is epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-induced angiogenesis, which can be mediated by angiopoietin 2 (ANG2), a key regulatory factor in angiogenesis. In the present study, immunohistochemistry and real-time quantitative reverse transcriptase (qRT-PCR) were used to measure the expression of ANG2 in OSCC tissues. Plasmids encoding ANG2 mRNA were used for increased ANG2 expression in the OSCC cell line TCA8113. The short interfering RNA (siRNA)-targeting ANG2 mRNA sequences were used to inhibit ANG2 expression in TCA8113 cells. Subsequently, transwell assays were performed to examine the effects of ANG2 on TCA8113 cell migration and invasion. Furthermore, in vivo assays were performed to assess the effect of ANG2 on tumor growth. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assays and immunohistochemistry were used to examine cell apoptosis and angiogenesis in tumor tissues, respectively. Finally, western blot analysis was performed to evaluate tumor formation-related proteins in OSCC tissues. We found that protein expression of ANG2 was remarkably upregulated in OSCC tissues. Overexpression of ANG2 increased the migration and invasion of TCA8113 cells by regulating EMT. Further investigations showed that overexpression of ANG2 increased tumor growth in nude mice, and angiogenesis of OSCC tissues increased in the presence of ANG2 overexpression. Overexpression of ANG2 also reduced cell apoptosis in tumor tissue cells. Finally, we found that overexpression of ANG2 resulted in changes in the expression of tumor formation-related proteins including vimentin, E-cadherin, Bim, PUMA, Bcl-2, Bax, Cyclin D1, PCNA and CD31. Our findings show that ANG2 has an important role in the migration and invasion of OSCC. More importantly, further investigations suggested that overexpression of ANG2 might increase OSCC metastasis by promoting angiogenesis in nude mice. This stimulatory effect could be achieved by inducing abnormal EMT and by reducing apoptosis and increasing proliferation of cells.

Hassan BB, Elshafae SM, Supsavhad W, et al.
Feline Mammary Cancer.
Vet Pathol. 2017; 54(1):32-43 [PubMed] Related Publications
Feline mammary carcinoma (FMC) is similar to human breast cancer in the late age of onset, incidence, histopathologic features, biological behavior, and pattern of metastasis. Therefore, FMC has been proposed as a relevant model for aggressive human breast cancer. The goals of this study were to develop a nude mouse model of FMC tumor growth and metastasis and to measure the expression of genes responsible for lymphangiogenesis, angiogenesis, tumor progression, and lymph node metastasis in FMC tissues and cell lines. Two primary FMC tissues were injected subcutaneously, and 6 FMC cell lines were injected into 3 sites (subcutaneous, intratibial, and intracardiac) in nude mice. Tumors and metastases were monitored using bioluminescent imaging and characterized by gross necropsy, radiology, and histopathology. Molecular characterization of invasion and metastasis genes in FMC was conducted using quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in 6 primary FMC tissues, 2 subcutaneous FMC xenografts, and 6 FMC cell lines. The histologic appearance of the subcutaneous xenografts resembled the primary tumors. No metastasis was evident following subcutaneous injection of tumor tissues and cell lines, whereas lung, brain, liver, kidney, eye, and bone metastases were confirmed following intratibial and intracardiac injection of FMC cell lines. Finally, 15 genes were differentially expressed in the FMC tissues and cell lines. The highly expressed genes in all samples were PDGFA, PDGFB, PDGFC, FGF2, EGFR, ERBB2, ERBB3, VEGFD, VEGFR3, and MYOF. Three genes ( PDGFD, ANGPT2, and VEGFC) were confirmed to be of stromal origin. This investigation demonstrated the usefulness of nude mouse models of experimental FMC and identified molecular targets of FMC progression and metastasis.

Huang SX, Zhao ZY, Weng GH, et al.
The correlation of microRNA-181a and target genes with poor prognosis of glioblastoma patients.
Int J Oncol. 2016; 49(1):217-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
To investigate the expression and clinical significance of miR-181a and its target genes in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the expression levels of miR-181a and three target genes in human normal brain tissues and GBM were analyzed in silico using gene microarray, gene ontology, KEGG pathway and hierarchical clustering analysis followed by validation with quantitative RT-PCR. Our results show that miR-181a is down-regulated in GBM patients. The three target genes, ANGPT2, ARHGAP18 and LAMC1, are negatively correlated with the expression of miR-181a. Moreover, high expression of ANGPT2 or LAMC1 together with large size of GBM is correlated with a shorter median overall survival. In conclusion, our results showed that miR-181a and it targets ANGPT2 and LAMC1 might be predictors of prognosis in GBM patients.

Karakurt N, Aksu T, Koksal Y, et al.
Angiopoietins in the bone marrow microenvironment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Hematology. 2016; 21(6):325-31 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Angiogenesis have implications in leukemia biology. Angiopoietin 1 (Ang 1) is an angiogenic cytokine which is essential in survival and proliferation of endothelial cells. Angiopoietin 2 (Ang 2) promotes dissociation of pericytes and increases vascular permeability and stromal derived factor 1 alpha (SDF 1α) which is a key player in stem cell traffic in the bone marrow (BM), has stimulating effects on angiogenesis as well. Here, we investigated the role of the leukemic BM microenvironment and specifically, the role of SDF 1α-CXCR4 and Ang 1/Ang 2-Tie 2 axes.
METHODS: Here, Ang 1, Ang 2, and SDF 1α levels were measured in the BM plasma and in supernatants of mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) of patients with ALL and compared with those of healthy controls.
RESULTS: The results showed that at diagnosis, BM plasma levels of Ang 1 and SDF 1α were significantly low and Ang 2 was high when compared to control values. Remission induction was associated with an increase in Ang 1/Ang 2 ratio and SDF levels in BM plasma.
DISCUSSION: The results suggest that BM microenvironment and leukemic cell-stroma interaction influences the secretion of Ang 1, 2 and SDF 1α, thus, may affect both angiogenesis, homing and mobilization of leukemic blasts.

Seifert M, Garbe M, Friedrich B, et al.
Comparative transcriptomics reveals similarities and differences between astrocytoma grades.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:952 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Astrocytomas are the most common primary brain tumors distinguished into four histological grades. Molecular analyses of individual astrocytoma grades have revealed detailed insights into genetic, transcriptomic and epigenetic alterations. This provides an excellent basis to identify similarities and differences between astrocytoma grades.
METHODS: We utilized public omics data of all four astrocytoma grades focusing on pilocytic astrocytomas (PA I), diffuse astrocytomas (AS II), anaplastic astrocytomas (AS III) and glioblastomas (GBM IV) to identify similarities and differences using well-established bioinformatics and systems biology approaches. We further validated the expression and localization of Ang2 involved in angiogenesis using immunohistochemistry.
RESULTS: Our analyses show similarities and differences between astrocytoma grades at the level of individual genes, signaling pathways and regulatory networks. We identified many differentially expressed genes that were either exclusively observed in a specific astrocytoma grade or commonly affected in specific subsets of astrocytoma grades in comparison to normal brain. Further, the number of differentially expressed genes generally increased with the astrocytoma grade with one major exception. The cytokine receptor pathway showed nearly the same number of differentially expressed genes in PA I and GBM IV and was further characterized by a significant overlap of commonly altered genes and an exclusive enrichment of overexpressed cancer genes in GBM IV. Additional analyses revealed a strong exclusive overexpression of CX3CL1 (fractalkine) and its receptor CX3CR1 in PA I possibly contributing to the absence of invasive growth. We further found that PA I was significantly associated with the mesenchymal subtype typically observed for very aggressive GBM IV. Expression of endothelial and mesenchymal markers (ANGPT2, CHI3L1) indicated a stronger contribution of the micro-environment to the manifestation of the mesenchymal subtype than the tumor biology itself. We further inferred a transcriptional regulatory network associated with specific expression differences distinguishing PA I from AS II, AS III and GBM IV. Major central transcriptional regulators were involved in brain development, cell cycle control, proliferation, apoptosis, chromatin remodeling or DNA methylation. Many of these regulators showed directly underlying DNA methylation changes in PA I or gene copy number mutations in AS II, AS III and GBM IV.
CONCLUSIONS: This computational study characterizes similarities and differences between all four astrocytoma grades confirming known and revealing novel insights into astrocytoma biology. Our findings represent a valuable resource for future computational and experimental studies.

Gatalica Z, Vranic S, Ghazalpour A, et al.
Multiplatform molecular profiling identifies potentially targetable biomarkers in malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(2):1707-16 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Malignant phyllodes tumor is a rare breast malignancy with sarcomatous overgrowth and with limited effective treatment options for recurrent and metastatic cases. Recent clinical trials indicated a potential for anti-angiogenic, anti-EGFR and immunotherapeutic approaches for patients with sarcomas, which led us to investigate these and other targetable pathways in malignant phyllodes tumor of the breast. Thirty-six malignant phyllodes tumors (including 8 metastatic tumors with two cases having matched primary and metastatic tumors) were profiled using gene sequencing, gene copy number analysis, whole genome expression, and protein expression. Whole genome expression analysis demonstrated consistent over-expression of genes involved in angiogenesis including VEGFA, Angiopoietin-2, VCAM1, PDGFRA, and PTTG1. EGFR protein overexpression was observed in 26/27 (96%) of cases with amplification of the EGFR gene in 8/24 (33%) cases. Two EGFR mutations were identified including EGFRvIII and a presumed pathogenic V774M mutation, respectively. The most common pathogenic mutations included TP53 (50%) and PIK3CA (15%). Cases with matched primary and metastatic tumors harbored identical mutations in both sites (PIK3CA/KRAS and RB1 gene mutations, respectively). Tumor expression of PD-L1 immunoregulatory protein was observed in 3/22 (14%) of cases. Overexpression of molecular biomarkers of increased angiogenesis, EGFR and immune checkpoints provides novel targeted therapy options in malignant phyllodes tumors of the breast.

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.

Nie DM, Wu QL, Zhu XX, et al.
Angiogenic factors are associated with development of acute graft-versus-host disease after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2015; 35(5):694-699 [PubMed] Related Publications
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a serious complication after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT). However, the mechanisms of aGVHD are not well understood. We aim to investigate the roles of the three angiogenic factors: angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1), Ang-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the development of aGVHD. Twenty-one patients who underwent allo-HSCT were included in our study. The dynamic changes of Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF were monitored in patients before and after allo-HSCT. In vitro, endothelial cells (ECs) were treated with TNF-β in the presence or absence of Ang-1, and then the Ang-2 level in the cell culture medium and the tubule formation by ECs were evaluated. After allo-HSCT, Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF all exhibited significant variation, suggesting these factors might be involved in the endothelial damage in transplantation. Patients with aGVHD had lower Ang-1 level at day 7 but higher Ang-2 level at day 21 than those without aGVHD, implying that Ang-1 may play a protective role in early phase yet Ang-2 is a promotion factor to aGVHD. In vitro, TNF-β promoted the release of Ang-2 by ECs and impaired tubule formation of ECs, which were both weakened by Ang-1, suggesting that Ang-1 may play a protective role in aGVHD by influencing the secretion of Ang-2, consistent with our in vivo tests. It is concluded that monitoring changes of these factors following allo-HSCT might help to identify patients at a high risk for aGVHD.

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