Gene Summary

Gene:FLT1; fms-related tyrosine kinase 1
Aliases: FLT, FLT-1, VEGFR1, VEGFR-1
Summary:This gene encodes a member of the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) family. VEGFR family members are receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) which contain an extracellular ligand-binding region with seven immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains, a transmembrane segment, and a tyrosine kinase (TK) domain within the cytoplasmic domain. This protein binds to VEGFR-A, VEGFR-B and placental growth factor and plays an important role in angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Expression of this receptor is found in vascular endothelial cells, placental trophoblast cells and peripheral blood monocytes. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. Isoforms include a full-length transmembrane receptor isoform and shortened, soluble isoforms. The soluble isoforms are associated with the onset of pre-eclampsia.[provided by RefSeq, May 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 March, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (46)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (4)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 March 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Breast Cancer
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-3
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Phosphorylation
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Cell Movement
  • Oncogene Fusion Proteins
  • Messenger RNA
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-1
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Staging
  • Up-Regulation
  • bcl-X Protein
  • Single Nucleotide Polymorphism
  • Extracellular Matrix Proteins
  • Translocation
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Chromosome 13
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Tumor Markers
  • ras Proteins
  • Gene Expression
  • MicroRNAs
  • Mutation
  • rho Guanine Nucleotide Dissociation Inhibitor alpha
  • Signal Transduction
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Cell Line
  • Transfection
  • Angiogenesis
  • Western Blotting
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Immunohistochemistry
Tag cloud generated 17 March, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: FLT1 (cancer-related)

Bessho H, Wong B, Huang D, et al.
Inhibition of placental growth factor in renal cell carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(1):531-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Placental growth factor (PlGF) is up-regulated in major malignant diseases or following antiangiogenic therapy, although it is present in low levels under normal physiological conditions. TB403, a monoclonal antibody against PlGF, was investigated in clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) xenografts since it has been proposed as a potential target in oncology.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human ccRCCs were implanted in athymic nude mice to evaluate the efficacy of TB403 and to excise xenograft tumors for molecular experiments.
RESULTS: TB403 did not significantly inhibit tumor growth in treatment-naïve or sunitinib-resistant ccRCC xenografts. Gene expression profiling resulted in over-expression of the C1orf38 gene, which induced immunoreactivity in macrophages. Angiogenesis PCR arrays showed that VEGFR-1 was not expressed in ccRCC xenografts.
CONCLUSION: PlGF blockade did not have a broad antiangiogenic efficacy; however, it might be effective on-target in VEGFR1-expressing tumors. The inhibition of VEGF pathway may induce the activity of tumor-associated-macrophages for angiogenesis escape.

Lohri C, Schaltegger CS, VAN DEN Broek M, et al.
Neutrophil expression of ICAM1, CXCR1, and VEGFR1 in patients with breast cancer before and after adjuvant chemotherapy.
Anticancer Res. 2014; 34(9):4693-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Distinct populations of neutrophils have been identified based on the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1, CD54) and chemokine receptor 1 (CXCR1, interleukin 8 receptor α).
AIM: We analyzed the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 (VEGFR1), a physiological negative regulator of angiogenesis, on distinct populations of neutrophils from the blood of patients before and after adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Neutrophil populations were distinguished as reverse transmigrated (ICAM1(high)/CXCR1(low)), naïve (ICAM1(low)/CXCR1(high)), or tissue-resident neutrophils (ICAM1(low)/CXCR1(low)), and their VEGFR1 expression quantified.
RESULTS: Reverse transmigrated ICAM1(high)/CXCR1(low) neutrophilic granulocytes decreased significantly after chemotherapy and these were also the cells with highest mean fluorescence intensity for VEGFR1.
CONCLUSION: Chemotherapy mainly reduces the number of reverse transmigrated long-lived ICAM1(high)/CXCR1(low) VEGFR1-expressing neutrophils. The decrease of antiangiogenic VEGFR1 may have a potential impact on tumour angiogenesis in patients undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy.

Sohn BS, Park SJ, Kim JE, et al.
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the vascular endothelial growth factor pathway and outcomes of patients treated with first-line cytotoxic chemotherapy combined with bevacizumab for advanced colorectal cancer.
Oncology. 2014; 87(5):280-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between the efficacy of first-line cytotoxic chemotherapy plus bevacizumab and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of angiogenic genes in patients with advanced colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS: DNA was extracted from blood samples of 125 patients, and 12 SNPs were evaluated for association with the objective response rate (ORR), progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS).
RESULTS: The vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) rs833061 T/T was associated with superior ORR compared to its alternative genotypes (75.9 vs. 50.8%; p = 0.008), and the interleukin 8 rs4073 A/A genotype tended to be associated with poor ORR (45.0 vs. 66.0%; p = 0.067). The median PFS and OS were superior in patients with the fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (FLT1) rs9513070 A/A genotype (8.7 vs. 6.6 months; p = 0.001 and 26.4 vs. 16.1 months; p = 0.038, respectively). The kinase insert domain receptor rs1531289 G/G genotype tended to be associated with improved PFS (8.0 vs. 7.1 months; p = 0.069). In haplotype analysis, the FLT1 rs9513070/rs9554320/rs9582036 GCA haplotype was associated with inferior PFS and OS (p = 0.004 and p = 0.041, respectively).
CONCLUSION: The VEGFA rs833061 SNP is associated with the ORR, and the FLT1 rs9513070 SNP and FLT1 GCA haplotypes are associated with PFS and OS in advanced CRC patients treated with cytotoxic chemotherapy plus bevacizumab.

Rizwani W, Schaal C, Kunigal S, et al.
Mammalian lysine histone demethylase KDM2A regulates E2F1-mediated gene transcription in breast cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(7):e100888 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
It is established that histone modifications like acetylation, methylation, phosphorylation and ubiquitination affect chromatin structure and modulate gene expression. Lysine methylation/demethylation on Histone H3 and H4 is known to affect transcription and is mediated by histone methyl transferases and histone demethylases. KDM2A/JHDM1A/FBXL11 is a JmjC-containing histone demethylase that targets mono- and dimethylated Lys36 residues of Histone H3; its function in breast cancer is not fully understood. Here we show that KDM2A is strongly expressed in myoepithelial cells (MEPC) in breast cancer tissues by immunohistochemistry. Ductal cells from ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) show positive staining for KDM2A, the expression decreases with disease progression to metastasis. Since breast MEPCs have tumor-suppressive and anti-angiogenic properties, we hypothesized that KDM2A could be contributing to some of these functions. Silencing KDM2A with small interfering RNAs demonstrated increased invasion and migration of breast cancer cells by suppressing a subset of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-2, -9, -14 and -15), as seen by real-time PCR. HUVEC cells showed increased angiogenic tubule formation ability in the absence of KDM2A, with a concomitant increase in the expression of VEGF receptors, FLT-1 and KDR. KDM2A physically bound to both Rb and E2F1 in a cell cycle dependent manner and repressed E2F1 transcriptional activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays revealed that KDM2A associates with E2F1-regulated proliferative promoters CDC25A and TS in early G-phase and dissociates in S-phase. Further, KDM2A could also be detected on MMP9, 14 and 15 promoters, as well as promoters of FLT1 and KDR. KDM2A could suppress E2F1-mediated induction of these promoters in transient transfection experiments. These results suggest a regulatory role for KDM2A in breast cancer cell invasion and migration, through the regulation of E2F1 function.

Al-Maghrabi J, Gomaa W, Buhmeida A, et al.
Prognostic significance of VEGFR1/Flt-1 immunoexpression in colorectal carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(9):9045-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Colorectal carcinoma (CRC) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Vascular endothelial growth factor 1/Fms-like tyrosine kinase 1 (VEGFR1/Flt-1) regulates monocyte migration, recruits endothelial cell progenitors, increases the adhesive properties of natural killer cells and induces of growth factors. Flt-1 is expressed on tumour cells and has been implicated in tumour growth and progression. The objective of this study is to address the relation of Flt-1 expression to tumour prognostication. Paraffin blocks from 143 primary CRC and 48 regional nodal metastases were retrieved from the archives of the Department of Pathology at King Abdulaziz University. Tissue microarrays were designed and constructed. Immunohistochemistry for Flt-1 was performed. Staining intensity and extent of staining were assessed and combined. Results were dichotomised as low expression and high expression. Flt-1 was overexpressed in primary tumours and nodal metastasis (p < 0.001 and 0.001) with no difference between primary and nodal metastasis (p = 0.690). Flt-1 immunoexpression was not associated with the clinicopathological parameters. Flt-1 overexpression was an independent predictor of positive margin status, positive lymphovascular invasion and local disease recurrence (p < 0.001, p < 0.001 and p = 0.003, respectively). Flt-1 was not associated with survival (log-rank = 0.003, p = 0.959). Flt-1 was overexpressed in primary CRC and their nodal metastases. Flt-1 expression was an independent predictor of margin status, lymphovascular invasion and local disease recurrence. Therefore, expression profiling of Flt-1 seems to have a prognostic potential in CRC. However, to elucidate the association of overexpression of Flt-1 with tumour characteristics and prognostication, more in vivo and in vitro molecular investigations are recommended.

Martínez-Bosch N, Iglesias M, Munné-Collado J, et al.
Parp-1 genetic ablation in Ela-myc mice unveils novel roles for Parp-1 in pancreatic cancer.
J Pathol. 2014; 234(2):214-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer has a dismal prognosis and is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death in developed countries. The inhibition of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (Parp-1), the major protein responsible for poly(ADP-ribosy)lation in response to DNA damage, has emerged as a promising treatment for several tumour types. Here we aimed to elucidate the involvement of Parp-1 in pancreatic tumour progression. We assessed Parp-1 protein expression in normal, preneoplastic and pancreatic tumour samples from humans and from K-Ras- and c-myc-driven mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Parp-1 was highly expressed in acinar cells in normal and cancer tissues. In contrast, ductal cells expressed very low or undetectable levels of this protein, both in a normal and in a tumour context. The Parp-1 expression pattern was similar in human and mouse samples, thereby validating the use of animal models for further studies. To determine the in vivo effects of Parp-1 depletion on pancreatic cancer progression, Ela-myc-driven pancreatic tumour development was analysed in a Parp-1 knock-out background. Loss of Parp-1 resulted in increased tumour necrosis and decreased proliferation, apoptosis and angiogenesis. Interestingly, Ela-myc:Parp-1(-/-) mice displayed fewer ductal tumours than their Ela-myc:Parp-1(+/+) counterparts, suggesting that Parp-1 participates in promoting acinar-to-ductal metaplasia, a key event in pancreatic cancer initiation. Moreover, impaired macrophage recruitment can be responsible for the ADM blockade found in the Ela-myc:Parp-1(-/-) mice. Finally, molecular analysis revealed that Parp-1 modulates ADM downstream of the Stat3-MMP7 axis and is also involved in transcriptional up-regulation of the MDM2, VEGFR1 and MMP28 cancer-related genes. In conclusion, the expression pattern of Parp-1 in normal and cancer tissue and the in vivo functional effects of Parp-1 depletion point to a novel role for this protein in pancreatic carcinogenesis and shed light into the clinical use of Parp-1 inhibitors.

Sureban SM, May R, Weygant N, et al.
XMD8-92 inhibits pancreatic tumor xenograft growth via a DCLK1-dependent mechanism.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 351(1):151-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
XMD8-92 is a kinase inhibitor with anti-cancer activity against lung and cervical cancers, but its effect on pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remains unknown. Doublecortin-like kinase1 (DCLK1) is upregulated in various cancers including PDAC. In this study, we showed that XMD8-92 inhibits AsPC-1 cancer cell proliferation and tumor xenograft growth. XMD8-92 treated tumors demonstrated significant downregulation of DCLK1 and several of its downstream targets (including c-MYC, KRAS, NOTCH1, ZEB1, ZEB2, SNAIL, SLUG, OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4, LIN28, VEGFR1, and VEGFR2) via upregulation of tumor suppressor miRNAs let-7a, miR-144, miR-200a-c, and miR-143/145; it did not however affect BMK1 downstream genes p21 and p53. These data taken together suggest that XMD8-92 treatment results in inhibition of DCLK1 and downstream oncogenic pathways (EMT, pluripotency, angiogenesis and anti-apoptotic), and is a promising chemotherapeutic agent against PDAC.

Wang J, Taylor A, Showeil R, et al.
Expression profiling and significance of VEGF-A, VEGFR2, VEGFR3 and related proteins in endometrial carcinoma.
Cytokine. 2014; 68(2):94-100 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Angiogenesis plays a key role in the progression of various tumors, including endometrial carcinomas. Several cytokines and their associated receptors are shown to be involved, particularly VEGF-A with VEGFR1, -2 and -3.
METHODS: The expressions of VEGF-A, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 were studied in by immunohistochemistry in 76 endometrial carcinoma specimens. VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 receptor expression were also studied by qRT-PCR in 17 tumors in comparison to normal endometrium. The expression profiles were correlated with tumor type, grade, stage, lymphovascular invasion, disease free survival, and the expressions of other cytokine receptors (EGFR, CXCR1 and CXCR2).
RESULTS: Immunohistochemically, 63% of endometrial cancers expressed VEGF-A, 55% VEGFR2 and 26% VEGFR3. VEGFR3 was significantly correlated with tumor stage (p=0.02), with a trend towards poorer disease free survival (p=0.09). VEGF-A was significantly correlated with microvessel density (p<0.01). Using qRT-PCR, increased expression of VEGFR2 (17.2-fold) and VEGFR3 (21.9-fold) was seen in endometrial carcinomas compared with normal endometrium, with significant correlations among the expression levels of VEGFR2, VEGFR3, EGFR, CXCR1 and CXCR2.
CONCLUSION: Our study suggests that evaluation of VEGFR3 expression in tumors may provide prognostic data, and help identify patients who would best benefit from anti-angiogenic therapeutic agents. This is the first report showing correlations between the expressions levels of the different receptors.

Vijay Avin BR, Prabhu T, Ramesh CK, et al.
New role of lupeol in reticence of angiogenesis, the cellular parameter of neoplastic progression in tumorigenesis models through altered gene expression.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2014; 448(2):139-44 [PubMed] Related Publications
There is a major unmet medical need for effective and well tolerated treatment options for cancer. The search now seeks to identify active biomolecules with multiple targets. Lupeol, an important dietary triterpenoid known as anticarcinogen by inducing apoptosis. But it is still more to reveal the potency of lupeol in the inhibition of neovascularization in cancer context. The study aimed to explore the efficacy of the lupeol in targeting angiogenesis. In this study, the inhibition of neovessel formation was assessed by preliminary antiangiogenesis assays like chorio allontoic membrane (CAM) and rat corneal micro pocket models. Further, validated for the micro vessel density (MVD) in histological sections of peritoneum, solid tumor and xenograft tumor by immunostaining with anti CD31 antibody. Antitumor potency was verified in ascites carcinoma, solid lymphoma and human nueroblastoma xenograft in CAM. Altered angiogenic gene expression by RT-PCR, ELISA and gelatin zymography. Lupeol significantly inhibits the neovessel formation in CAM and in the rat cornea. The similar effect was ascertained in mice and human xenograft tumor models with the regressed growth. Eventually reflecting on the differential transcription of angiogenic genes like MMP-2 & 9, HIF-1α, VEGFa and Flt-1 was noteworthy. It is now evident from our studies that, a new avenue of dietary triterpenoid lupeol by targeting angiogenesis, potentially inferring the multimode action in cancer prevention.

Zeng W, van den Berg A, Huitema S, et al.
Correlation of microRNA-16, microRNA-21 and microRNA-101 expression with cyclooxygenase-2 expression and angiogenic factors in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic human hepatocellular carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(4):e95826 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a classical example of inflammation-linked cancer and is characterized by hypervascularity suggesting rich angiogenesis. Cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2) is a potent mediator of inflammation and is considered to upregulate angiogenesis. The aims of the study are (1) to analyze expression of Cox-2 mRNA, Cox-2 protein, miR-16, miR-21 and miR-101 in HCC and adjacent liver parenchyma in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic liver, (2) to investigate the relation between COX-2 expression, miR-21 expression and angiogenic factors in these tissues and (3) to investigate the association between miR-16 and miR-101 and COX-2 expression.
METHODS: Tissue samples of HCC and adjacent liver parenchyma of 21 noncirrhotic livers and 20 cirrhotic livers were analyzed for COX-2 expression at the mRNA level (qRT-PCR) and at the protein level by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Gene expression of VEGFA, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, Ang-1, Ang-2 and Tie-2 were correlated with COX-2 levels. miR-16, miR-21 and miR-101 gene expression levels were quantified in HCC tumor tissue.
RESULTS: COX-2 mRNA and protein levels were lower in HCC as compared to adjacent liver parenchyma both in cirrhotic and noncirrhotic liver. COX-2 protein localized mainly in vascular and sinusoidal endothelial cells and in Kupffer cells. At the mRNA level but not at the protein level, COX-2 correlated with mRNA levels of angiogenic factors VEGFR1, Ang-1, and Tie2. miR-21 expression was higher in cirrhotic tissues versus noncirrhotic tissues. MiR-101 expression was lower in cirrhotic versus noncirrhotic adjacent liver parenchyma. None of the miRNAs correlelated with COX-2 expression. miR-21 correlated negatively with Tie-2 receptor in adjacent liver parenchyma.
CONCLUSIONS: In human HCC, COX-2 mRNA but not COX-2 protein levels are associated with expression levels of angiogenic factors. MiR-21 levels are not associated with angiogenic molecules. MiR-16 and miR-101 levels do not correlate with COX-2 mRNA and protein levels.

Bieche I, Vacher S, Vallerand D, et al.
Vasculature analysis of patient derived tumor xenografts using species-specific PCR assays: evidence of tumor endothelial cells and atypical VEGFA-VEGFR1/2 signalings.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:178 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor endothelial transdifferentiation and VEGFR1/2 expression by cancer cells have been reported in glioblastoma but remain poorly documented for many other cancer types.
METHODS: To characterize vasculature of patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDXs), largely used in preclinical anti-angiogenic assays, we designed here species-specific real-time quantitative RT-PCR assays. Human and mouse PECAM1/CD31, ENG/CD105, FLT1/VEGFR1, KDR/VEGFR2 and VEGFA transcripts were analyzed in a large series of 150 PDXs established from 8 different tumor types (53 colorectal, 14 ovarian, 39 breast and 15 renal cell cancers, 6 small cell and 5 non small cell lung carcinomas, 13 cutaneous melanomas and 5 glioblastomas) and in two bevacizumab-treated non small cell lung carcinomas xenografts.
RESULTS: As expected, mouse cell proportion in PDXs -evaluated by quantifying expression of the housekeeping gene TBP- correlated with all mouse endothelial markers and human VEGFA RNA levels. More interestingly, we observed human PECAM1/CD31 and ENG/CD105 expression in all tumor types, with higher rate in glioblastoma and renal cancer xenografts. Human VEGFR expression profile varied widely depending on tumor types with particularly high levels of human FLT1/VEGFR1 transcripts in colon cancers and non small cell lung carcinomas, and upper levels of human KDR/VEGFR2 transcripts in non small cell lung carcinomas. Bevacizumab treatment induced significant low expression of mouse Pecam1/Cd31, Eng/Cd105, Flt1/Vegfr1 and Kdr/Vefr2 while the human PECAM1/CD31 and VEGFA were upregulated.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, our results strongly suggest existence of human tumor endothelial cells in all tumor types tested and of both stromal and tumoral autocrine VEGFA-VEGFR1/2 signalings. These findings should be considered when evaluating molecular mechanisms of preclinical response and resistance to tumor anti-angiogenic strategies.

Castle JC, Loewer M, Boegel S, et al.
Immunomic, genomic and transcriptomic characterization of CT26 colorectal carcinoma.
BMC Genomics. 2014; 15:190 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Tumor models are critical for our understanding of cancer and the development of cancer therapeutics. Here, we present an integrated map of the genome, transcriptome and immunome of an epithelial mouse tumor, the CT26 colon carcinoma cell line.
RESULTS: We found that Kras is homozygously mutated at p.G12D, Apc and Tp53 are not mutated, and Cdkn2a is homozygously deleted. Proliferation and stem-cell markers, including Top2a, Birc5 (Survivin), Cldn6 and Mki67, are highly expressed while differentiation and top-crypt markers Muc2, Ms4a8a (MS4A8B) and Epcam are not. Myc, Trp53 (tp53), Mdm2, Hif1a, and Nras are highly expressed while Egfr and Flt1 are not. MHC class I but not MHC class II is expressed. Several known cancer-testis antigens are expressed, including Atad2, Cep55, and Pbk. The highest expressed gene is a mutated form of the mouse tumor antigen gp70. Of the 1,688 non-synonymous point variations, 154 are both in expressed genes and in peptides predicted to bind MHC and thus potential targets for immunotherapy development. Based on its molecular signature, we predicted that CT26 is refractory to anti-EGFR mAbs and sensitive to MEK and MET inhibitors, as have been previously reported.
CONCLUSIONS: CT26 cells share molecular features with aggressive, undifferentiated, refractory human colorectal carcinoma cells. As CT26 is one of the most extensively used syngeneic mouse tumor models, our data provide a map for the rationale design of mode-of-action studies for pre-clinical evaluation of targeted- and immunotherapies.

Scartozzi M, Faloppi L, Svegliati Baroni G, et al.
VEGF and VEGFR genotyping in the prediction of clinical outcome for HCC patients receiving sorafenib: the ALICE-1 study.
Int J Cancer. 2014; 135(5):1247-56 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although new treatment modalities changed the global approach to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), this disease still represents a medical challenge. Currently, the therapeutic stronghold is sorafenib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) directed against the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family. Previous observations suggested that polymorphisms of VEGF and its receptor (VEGFR) genes may regulate angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis and thus tumour growth control. The aim of our study was to evaluate the role of VEGF and VEGFR polymorphisms in determining the clinical outcome of HCC patients receiving sorafenib. From a multicentre experience 148 samples (tumour or blood samples) of HCC patients receiving sorafenib were tested for VEGF-A, VEGF-C and VEGFR-1,2,3 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). Patients' progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) were analysed. At univariate analysis VEGF-A alleles C of rs25648, T of rs833061, C of rs699947, C of rs2010963, VEGF-C alleles T of rs4604006, G of rs664393, VEGFR-2 alleles C of rs2071559, C of rs2305948 were significant predictors of PFS and OS. At multivariate analysis rs2010963, rs4604006 and BCLC (Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer) stage resulted to be independent factors influencing PFS and OS. Once prospectively validated, the analysis of VEGF and VEGFR SNPs may represent a clinical tool to better identify HCC patients more likely to benefit from sorafenib. On the other hand, the availability of more accurate predictive factors could help avoiding unnecessary toxicities to potentially resistant patients who may be optimal candidates for different treatments interfering with other tumour molecular pathways.

Cheng Z, Xue F, Wang S, et al.
[Honokiol inhibits the invasion and angiogenesis of U937 leukemia cells].
Xi Bao Yu Fen Zi Mian Yi Xue Za Zhi. 2014; 30(2):143-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the inhibiting effect of Honokiol (HNK) on the invasion and angiogenesis in U937 leukemia cells and the molecular mechanism.
METHODS: After treated with different concentrations of HNK, the growth inhibition rate of U937 cells was determined by MTT assay, and for the adhesion and invasion abilities were assessed using cell matrix adhesion technique and Transwell(TM); assay, respectively. VEGF, VEGFR1 and MMP-9 mRNA expression levels were detected by real-time quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). VEGF protein levels were determined by ELISA.
RESULTS: HNK could significantly inhibit the proliferation of U937 cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner. The adhesion and invasion abilities of U937 cells were suppressed after treated with a low concentration of HNK. The expressions of VEGF, VEGFR1 and MMP-9 were down-regulated by HNK in a dose-dependent manner.
CONCLUSION: HNK can inhibit the invasion and angiogenesis of U937 cells via down-regulating VEGF, VEGFR1 and MMP-9 expressions.

Knösel T, Werner M, Jung A, et al.
Dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma mimicking a giant cell tumor. Is this low grade dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma?
Pathol Res Pract. 2014; 210(3):194-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
We report a very rare case of a dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma mimicking a benign giant cell tumor. A 22-year-old male was admitted to our hospital with a history of mild left wrist pain after a skiing trauma. Radiology revealed an extensive meta-epiphyseal osteolytic lesion in the distal ulna, which appeared to be a giant cell tumor. Histological examination showed a biphasic tumor comprising chondroid and non-chondroid areas with a giant cell-rich lesion resembling a conventional giant cell tumor of the bone. Immunohistochemistry showed no expression of p16(INK4a), VEGFR1, KDR (VEGFR2), VEGFR3, cKIT, MDM2 or CDK4. However, high expression of the tyrosine kinases PDGFRA and PDGFRB was observed. Molecular analysis showed no amplification of the cMYC gene and no activating mutations in the cKIT (exons 9 and 11) or PDGFRA (exon 18) genes. He has been on follow-up for ten months, with no evidence of local recurrence or metastatic disease. In summary, this report highlights a very rare case of a dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma in which the dedifferentiated component of the tumor bears histologic resemblance to a conventional giant cell tumor of bone. We suggest that this tumor might be categorized in the group of low-grade dedifferentiated chondrosarcomas.

Ferrero E, Mauricio MD, Granado M, et al.
Tyrosine phosphorylation modulates the vascular responses of mesenteric arteries from human colorectal tumors.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:545983 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to analyze whether tyrosine phosphorylation in tumoral arteries may modulate their vascular response. To do this, mesenteric arteries supplying blood flow to colorectal tumors or to normal intestine were obtained during surgery and prepared for isometric tension recording in an organ bath. Increasing tyrosine phosphorylation with the phosphatase inhibitor, sodium orthovanadate produced arterial contraction which was lower in tumoral than in control arteries, whereas it reduced the contraction to noradrenaline in tumoral but not in control arteries and reduced the relaxation to bradykinin in control but not in tumoral arteries. Protein expression of VEGF-A and of the VEGF receptor FLT1 was similar in control and tumoral arteries, but expression of the VEGF receptor KDR was increased in tumoral compared with control arteries. This suggests that tyrosine phosphorylation may produce inhibition of the contraction in tumoral mesenteric arteries, which may increase blood flow to the tumor when tyrosine phosphorylation is increased by stimulation of VEGF receptors.

Wang L, Zhang WJ, Xiu B, et al.
Nanocomposite-siRNA approach for down-regulation of VEGF and its receptor in myeloid leukemia cells.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2014; 63:49-55 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Efficient modulation of aberrant vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor-1 (Flt-1) expressions have become a potential therapeutic strategy for hematologic malignancies including myeloid leukemia. In this study, we explored the safety and efficacy of chitosan nanoparticle siRNA-VEGF and Flt-1 in leukemic U973 cells.
METHODS: Cell transfection efficiencies were analyzed by fluorescence microscope, quantitative Real Time PCR; cell growth inhibitory rates were analyzed by CCK-8 assays and flow cytometry.
RESULTS: siRNA-coated chitosan nanosphere transfection led to 65%, Lipofectamine 2000 to 50% and adenovirus to 90% transfection efficiencies. Three days after transfection of U973 cells, the siRNA induced gene silencing rates of VEGF and Flt-1 were 68% and 65% in the adenovirus, 45% and 43% in the chitosan nanoparticle group. The cell growth inhibitory rates were 34.73% for VEGF and 27.61% for Flt-1 silencing in the adenovirus and 27.04% for VEGF and 21.49% for Flt-1 silencing in the chitosan nanoparticle group.
CONCLUSION: Chitosan nanoparticle siRNA technology can effectively inhibit the expression of VEGF and its receptor in leukemic cells, which led to suppression of their proliferation. Though less efficient than adenoviruses, their non-viral properties suggest that chitosan nanoparticle siRNA complex gene silencing is suitable for further trials.

Huang SM, Chen TS, Chiu CM, et al.
GDNF increases cell motility in human colon cancer through VEGF-VEGFR1 interaction.
Endocr Relat Cancer. 2014; 21(1):73-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), a potent neurotrophic factor, has been shown to affect cancer cell metastasis and invasion. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying GDNF-induced colon cancer cell migration remain unclear. GDNF is found to be positively correlated with malignancy in human colon cancer patients. The migratory activities of two human colon cancer cell lines, HCT116 and SW480, were found to be enhanced in the presence of human GDNF. The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was also increased in response to GDNF stimulation, along with VEGF mRNA expression and transcriptional activity. The enhancement of GDNF-induced cancer cell migration was antagonized by a VEGF-neutralizing antibody. Our results also showed that the expression of VEGF receptor 1 (VEGFR1) was increased in response to GDNF stimulation, whereas GDNF-induced cancer cell migration was reduced by a VEGFR inhibitor. The GDNF-induced VEGF expression was regulated by the p38 and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. Treatment with GDNF increased nuclear hypoxia-inducible factor 1 α (HIF1α) accumulation and its transcriptional activity in a time-dependent manner. Moreover, GDNF increased hypoxia responsive element (HRE)-containing VEGF promoter transcriptional activity but not that of the HRE-deletion VEGF promoter construct. Inhibition of HIF1α by a pharmacological inhibitor or dominant-negative mutant reduced the GDNF-induced migratory activity in human colon cancer cells. These results indicate that GDNF enhances the migration of colon cancer cells by increasing VEGF-VEGFR interaction, which is mainly regulated by the p38, PI3K/Akt, and HIF1α signaling pathways.

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

Golenkov AK, Buravtsova IV, Dudina GA, et al.
[Gene expression of vascular endothelial growth factors and their receptors in different variants of the course of multiple myeloma].
Ter Arkh. 2013; 85(7):98-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To determine the significance of the angiogenic activity estimated from the gene expression of the vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) VEGF-A, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D and their receptors VEGFR1, VEGFRls, VEGFR2, and VEGFR3 in the mononuclear cell fraction of bone marrow (BM) aspirates with tumor plasma cells predominating in different variants of the course of multiple myeloma (MM).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The gene expression of VEGF-A, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D and their receptors VEGFRI, VEGFRls, VEGFR2, and VEGFR3 was determined by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR).
RESULTS: VEGF-A, VEGF-C, VEGF-D, as well as VEGFR1, VEGFRls, VEGFR2, and VEGFR3 were expressed showing different intensities in the mononuclear cell fraction of BM aspirates with a predominance of tumor plasma cells in the patients with MM, which allowed patient groups to be identified. In the group of high gene expression of VEGFs and their receptors, the number of clusters of plasma cells and vascular endothelium in the BM aspirates and the degree of osteolysis in the skeletal bones of patients with MM were significantly higher than those in the group of low or absent gene expression. The survival in the latter group was significantly higher.
CONCLUSION: The investigation could provide an estimate of angiogenic processes in MM and establish their association with clinical manifestations and cytological characteristics.

Dornbusch J, Zacharis A, Meinhardt M, et al.
Analyses of potential predictive markers and survival data for a response to sunitinib in patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e76386 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Patients with metastatic clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) are frequently treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) such as sunitinib. It inhibits angiogenic pathways by mainly targeting the receptors of VEGF and PDGF. In ccRCC, angiogenesis is characterized by the inactivation of the von Hippel-Lindau gene (VHL) which in turn leads to the induction of HIF1α target genes such as CA9 and VEGF. Furthermore, the angiogenic phenotype of ccRCC is also reflected by endothelial markers (CD31, CD34) or other tumor-promoting factors like Ki67 or survivin.
METHODS: Tissue microarrays from primary tumor specimens of 42 patients with metastatic ccRCC under sunitinib therapy were immunohistochemically stained for selected markers related to angiogenesis. The prognostic and predictive potential of theses markers was assessed on the basis of the objective response rate which was evaluated according to the RECIST criteria after 3, 6, 9 months and after last report (12-54 months) of sunitinib treatment. Additionally, VHL copy number and mutation analyses were performed on DNA from cryo-preserved tumor tissues of 20 ccRCC patients.
RESULTS: Immunostaining of HIF-1α, CA9, Ki67, CD31, pVEGFR1, VEGFR1 and -2, pPDGFRα and -β was significantly associated with the sunitinib response after 6 and 9 months as well as last report under therapy. Furthermore, HIF-1α, CA9, CD34, VEGFR1 and -3 and PDGRFα showed significant associations with progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS). In multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression analyses high CA9 membrane staining and a response after 9 months were independent prognostic factors for longer OS. Frequently observed copy number loss and mutation of VHL gene lead to altered expression of VHL, HIF-1α, CA9, and VEGF.
CONCLUSIONS: Immunoexpression of HIF-1α, CA9, Ki67, CD31, pVEGFR1, VEGFR1 and -2, pPDGFRα and -β in the primary tumors of metastatic ccRCC patients might support the prediction of a good response to sunitinib treatment.

Bousquet G, Varna M, Ferreira I, et al.
Differential regulation of sunitinib targets predicts its tumor-type-specific effect on endothelial and/or tumor cell apoptosis.
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2013; 72(6):1183-93 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Sunitinib is an inhibitor of tyrosine-kinase receptors, and no biomarker predictive of sunitinib response is available. The purpose of this preclinical study was to show whether sunitinib molecular targets could be used as biomarkers to assess tumor response to sunitinib in human cancer cell line xenografts of three different tumor types.
METHODS: Using mice xenografted with liver, breast and renal carcinoma cell lines, we sequentially analyzed the effect of 7-day sunitinib treatment on tumor and vascular compartments.
RESULTS: In all xenografts, microvessel damage occurred from Day 1. Tumor damage also occurred in liver, breast, but not in renal xenografts. Using specific human and mouse probes for genes encoding sunitinib targets, we showed a significant relation between apoptotic tumor cell numbers and human PDGFRΒ and RET mRNA expression in liver cancer and to human VEGFR2 expression in breast cancer xenografts. In contrast, in renal cancer xenografts, vascular effect evaluated by measuring endothelial cell apoptosis was related to mouse Vegfr1, Vegfr2 and Vegfa-164 expression.
CONCLUSION: This study identifies sunitinib vascular and tumor effects according to different tumor types and shows that sunitinib molecular targets used as biomarkers enable assessment of therapeutic response.

Sureban SM, May R, Qu D, et al.
DCLK1 regulates pluripotency and angiogenic factors via microRNA-dependent mechanisms in pancreatic cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(9):e73940 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Stem cell pluripotency, angiogenesis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) have been shown to be significantly upregulated in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and many other aggressive cancers. The dysregulation of these processes is believed to play key roles in tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis, and is contributory to PDAC being the fourth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US. The tumor suppressor miRNA miR-145 downregulates critical pluripotency factors and oncogenes and results in repressed metastatic potential in PDAC. Additionally, the miR-200 family regulates several angiogenic factors which have been linked to metastasis in many solid tumors. We have previously demonstrated that downregulation of DCLK1 can upregulate critical miRNAs in both in vitro and in vivo cancer models and results in downregulation of c-MYC, KRAS, NOTCH1 and EMT-related transcription factors. A recent report has also shown that Dclk1 can distinguish between normal and tumor stem cells in Apc (min/+) mice and that ablation of Dclk1(+) cells resulted in regression of intestinal polyps without affecting homeostasis. Here we demonstrate that the knockdown of DCLK1 using poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-encapsulated-DCLK1-siRNA results in AsPC1 tumor growth arrest. Examination of xenograft tumors revealed, (a) increased miR-145 which results in decreased pluripotency maintenance factors OCT4, SOX2, NANOG, KLF4 as well as KRAS and RREB1; (b) increased let-7a which results in decreased pluripotency factor LIN28B; and (c) increased miR-200 which results in decreased VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and EMT-related transcription factors ZEB1, ZEB2, SNAIL and SLUG. Specificity of DCLK1 post-transcriptional regulation of the downstream targets of miR-145, miR-200 and let-7a was accomplished utilizing a luciferase-based reporter assay. We conclude that DCLK1 plays a significant master regulatory role in pancreatic tumorigenesis through the regulation of multiple tumor suppressor miRNAs and their downstream pro-tumorigenic pathways. This novel concept of targeting DCLK1 alone has several advantages over targeting single pathway or miRNA-based therapies for PDAC.

Sreevalsan S, Safe S
The cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 decreases specificity protein transcription factors and the oncogenic cap protein eIF4E in colon cancer cells.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2013; 12(11):2483-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
2,3-Dihydro-5-methyl-3-([morpholinyl]methyl)pyrollo(1,2,3-de)-1,4-benzoxazinyl]-[1-naphthaleny]methanone [WIN 55,212-2, (WIN)] is a synthetic cannabinoid that inhibits RKO, HT-29, and SW480 cell growth, induced apoptosis, and downregulated expression of survivin, cyclin D1, EGF receptor (EGFR), VEGF, and its receptor (VEGFR1). WIN also decreased expression of specificity protein (Sp) transcription factors Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4, and this is consistent with the observed downregulation of the aforementioned Sp-regulated genes. In addition, we also observed by RNA interference (RNAi) that the oncogenic cap protein eIF4E was an Sp-regulated gene also downregulated by WIN in colon cancer cells. WIN-mediated repression of Sp proteins was not affected by cannabinoid receptor antagonists or by knockdown of the receptor but was attenuated by the phosphatase inhibitor sodium orthovanadate or by knockdown of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A). WIN-mediated repression of Sp1, Sp3, and Sp4 was due to PP2A-dependent downregulation of microRNA-27a (miR-27a) and induction of miR-27a-regulated ZBTB10, which has previously been characterized as an "Sp repressor." The results show that the anticancer activity of WIN is due, in part, to PP2A-dependent disruption of miR-27a:ZBTB10 and ZBTB10-mediated repression of Sp transcription factors and Sp-regulated genes, including eIF4E.

Syed Khaja AS, Dizeyi N, Kopparapu PK, et al.
Cyclin A1 modulates the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor and promotes hormone-dependent growth and angiogenesis of breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(8):e72210 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Alterations in cellular pathways related to both endocrine and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF) may contribute to breast cancer progression. Inhibition of the elevated levels of these pathways is associated with clinical benefits. However, molecular mechanisms by which endocrine-related pathways and VEGF signalling cooperatively promote breast cancer progression remain poorly understood. In the present study, we show that the A-type cyclin, cyclin A1, known for its important role in the initiation of leukemia and prostate cancer metastasis, is highly expressed in primary breast cancer specimens and metastatic lesions, in contrasting to its barely detectable expression in normal human breast tissues. There is a statistically significant correlation between cyclin A1 and VEGF expression in breast cancer specimens from two patient cohorts (p<0.01). Induction of cyclin A1 overexpression in breast cancer cell line MCF-7 results in an enhanced invasiveness and a concomitant increase in VEGF expression. In addition, there is a formation of protein-protein complexes between cyclin A1 and estrogen receptor ER-α cyclin A1 overexpression increases ER-α expression in MCF-7 and T47D cells. In mouse tumor xenograft models in which mice were implanted with MCF-7 cells that overexpressed cyclin A1 or control vector, cyclin A1 overexpression results in an increase in tumor growth and angiogenesis, which is coincident with an enhanced expression of VEGF, VEGFR1 and ER-α Our findings unravel a novel role for cyclin A1 in growth and progression of breast cancer, and suggest that multiple cellular pathways, including cell cycle regulators, angiogenesis and estrogen receptor signalling, may cooperatively contribute to breast cancer progression.

Moslehi R, Mills JL, Signore C, et al.
Integrative transcriptome analysis reveals dysregulation of canonical cancer molecular pathways in placenta leading to preeclampsia.
Sci Rep. 2013; 3:2407 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We previously suggested links between specific XPD mutations in the fetal genome and the risk of placental maldevelopment and preeclampsia, possibly due to impairment of Transcription Factor (TF)IIH-mediated functions in placenta. To identify the underlying mechanisms, we conducted the current integrative analysis of several relevant transcriptome data sources. Our meta-analysis revealed downregulation of TFIIH subunits in preeclamptic placentas. Our overall integrative analysis suggested that, in the presence of hypoxia and oxidative stress, EGFR signaling deficiency, which can be caused by TFIIH impairment as well as by other mechanisms, results in ATF3 upregulation, inducing mediators of clinical symptoms of preeclampsia such as FLT1 and ENG. EGFR- and ATF3-dependent pathways play prominent roles in cancer development. We propose that dysregulation of these canonical cancer molecular pathways occurs in preeclampsia and delineate the relevance of TFIIH, providing etiologic clues which could eventually translate into a therapeutic approach.

Che CL, Zhang YM, Zhang HH, et al.
DNA microarray reveals different pathways responding to paclitaxel and docetaxel in non-small cell lung cancer cell line.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol. 2013; 6(8):1538-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The wide use of paclitaxel and docetaxel in NSCLC clinical treatment makes it necessary to find biomarkers for identifying patients who can benefit from paclitaxel or docetaxel. In present study, NCI-H460, a NSCLC cell line with different sensitivity to paclitaxel and docetaxel, was applied to DNA microarray expression profiling analysis at different time points of lower dose treatment with paclitaxel or docetaxel. And the complex signaling pathways regulating the drug response were identified, and several novel sensitivity-realted markers were biocomputated.The dynamic changes of responding genes showed that paclitaxel effect is acute but that of docetaxel is durable at least for 48 hours in NCI-H460 cells. Functional annotation of the genes with altered expression showed that genes/pathways responding to these two drugs were dramatically different. Gene expression changes induced by paclitaxel treatment were mainly enriched in actin cytoskeleton (ACTC1, MYL2 and MYH2), tyrosine-protein kinases (ERRB4, KIT and TIE1) and focal adhesion pathway (MYL2, IGF1 and FLT1), while the expression alterations responding to docetaxel were highly co-related to cell surface receptor linked signal transduction (SHH, DRD5 and ADM2), cytokine-cytokine receptor interaction (IL1A and IL6) and cell cycle regulation (CCNB1, CCNE2 and PCNA). Moreover, we also confirmed some different expression patterns with real time PCR. Our study will provide the potential biomarkers for paclitaxel and docetaxel-selection therapy in clinical application.

Mezquita B, Mezquita J, Barrot C, et al.
A truncated-Flt1 isoform of breast cancer cells is upregulated by Notch and downregulated by retinoic acid.
J Cell Biochem. 2014; 115(1):52-61 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously reported that the major isoform of Flt1/VEGFR-1 expressed in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells was a truncated intracellular isoform transcribed from intron 21 (i21 Flt1). This isoform upregulated the active form of Src and increased breast cancer cell invasiveness. Since expression of the transmembrane and soluble Flt1 isoforms of HUVEC is activated by Notch signaling, we wondered whether the expression of the intracellular isoform i21 Flt1 was also dependent on Notch activation. We report here that the expression of i21 Flt1 in HUVEC and MDA-MB-231 cells is downregulated by the γ-secretase inhibitor DAPT. In addition, treatment of MDA-MB-231 cells with siRNA specific for Notch-1 and Notch-3 downregulates the expression of i21 Flt1. In agreement with these findings, HUVEC and MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, cultured on dishes coated with recombinant human Dll4 extracellular domain, express higher levels of i21 Flt1. In cancer cells, Flt1 is a target of the micro RNA family miR-200. In MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells, the truncated intracellular isoform i21 Flt1 is also negatively regulated by miR-200c. Retinoic acid interferes i21 Flt1 expression by downregulating Notch-3 and upregulating miR-200 expression. Treatment of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with both a γ-secretase inhibitor and retinoic acid suppresses the expression of i21 Flt1, providing a new mechanism to explain the effectiveness of this therapeutic approach.

Zhang HF, Xu LY, Li EM
A family of pleiotropically acting microRNAs in cancer progression, miR-200: potential cancer therapeutic targets.
Curr Pharm Des. 2014; 20(11):1896-903 [PubMed] Related Publications
Recently, a group of microRNAs (miRNAs), the miR-200 family (miR-200s) has been found to be deregulated in multiple types of cancers, in which this family of miRNAs was demonstrated to play a pivotal role in tumor initiation, maintenance, malignant metastasis and chemotherapy resistance. By targeting several central inducers of the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT), e.g. ZEB1, ZEB2 and SLUG, miR-200s are currently recognized as master regulators of EMT, thereby suppressing cancer invasion and metastasis. The involvement of miR-200s in angiogenesis has also been reported, and they were found to directly target VEGF-A, FLT1/VEGFR1 and KDR/VEGFR2, three key components of the VEGF signaling pathway. Importantly, miR-200s also modulate the self-renewal ability of cancer stem cells by targeting BMI1 and SUZ12. Aberrant expression of miR-200s has been shown to confer chemoresistant properties to various kinds of cancers. Thus, miR-200s, by playing critical and pleiotropic roles in malignancies, are promising targets for cancer therapy. Notably, it has been shown that several types of natural agents and herbal extracts could be employed to manipulate the expression of miR-200s, making the targeting of miR-200s in cancer therapy more clinically attractive. Nevertheless, a very recent study reported a metastasis-promoting role of miR-200s in breast cancer; thus, careful assessment should be conducted before applying therapeutic interventions using miR-200s as treatment targets. In this review, we will focus on our emerging understanding of the roles of miR- 200s in cancer, specifically their therapeutic potential in treating cancer.

Loupakis F, Cremolini C, Yang D, et al.
Prospective validation of candidate SNPs of VEGF/VEGFR pathway in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with first-line FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(7):e66774 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: The potential impact of different SNPs of VEGF/VEGFR pathway on the clinical outcome of mCRC patients receiving bev-containing regimens has been investigated in retrospective experiences with contrasting results. We previously reported the association of VEGFA rs833061 C/T variants with PFS in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with first-line FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab. The primary objective of this work was to prospectively validate that retrospective finding. A confirmatory analysis of other SNPs of VEGF/VEGFR pathway genes was included.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: To detect a HR for PFS of 1.7 for VEGFA rs833061 T/T compared to C- variants in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with first-line FOLFIRI plus bevacizumab, setting two-sided α = 0.05 and β = 0.20, 199 events were required. VEGFA rs699946 A/G, rs699947 A/C, VEGFR1 rs9582036 A/C and rs7993418 A/G, VEGFR2 rs11133360 C/T, rs12505758 C/T and rs2305948 C/T and EPAS1 rs4145836 A/G were also tested. Germ-line DNA was extracted from peripheral blood. SNPs were analyzed by PCR and sequencing.
RESULTS: Four-hundred-twenty-four pts were included. At the univariate analysis, no differences according to VEGFA rs833061 C/T variants were observed in PFS (p = 0.38) or OS (p = 0.95). Among analyzed SNPs, only VEGFR2 rs12505758 C- variants, compared to T/T, were associated to shorter PFS (HR: 1.36 [1.05-1.75], p = 0.015, dominant genetic model) and OS, with a trend toward significance (HR: 1.34 [0.95-1.88], p = 0.088). In the multivariate model, this association retained significance (HR: 1.405 [1.082-1.825], p = 0.012) in PFS, that was lost by applying multiple testing correction (p = 0.14).
CONCLUSION: This prospective experience failed to validate the hypothesized predictive impact of VEGFA rs833061 variants. Retrospective findings on different candidate SNPs were not confirmed. Only VEGFR2 rs12505758 variants, whose prognostic and not predictive impact was previously reported, correlated with PFS. Given the complexity of angiogenesis, it is rather unlike that a single germ-line SNP might be a good predictor of benefit from bevacizumab.

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