Gene Summary

Gene:VEGFC; vascular endothelial growth factor C
Aliases: VRP, Flt4-L, LMPH1D, LMPHM4
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of the platelet-derived growth factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (PDGF/VEGF) family. The encoded protein promotes angiogenesis and endothelial cell growth, and can also affect the permeability of blood vessels. The proprotein is further cleaved into a fully processed form that can bind and activate VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 receptors. [provided by RefSeq, Apr 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:vascular endothelial growth factor C
Source:NCBIAccessed: 01 September, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 01 September 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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

Tag cloud generated 01 September, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (6)

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: VEGFC (cancer-related)

Rusak A, Jablonska K, Piotrowska A, et al.
Correlation of Expression of CHI3L1 and Nogo-A and their Role in Angiogenesis in Invasive Ductal Breast Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2019; 39(5):2341-2350 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: Chitinase 3 like 1 (CHI3L1) is a secretion glycoprotein. Elevated levels of this protein are observed in cancer diseases. The biological role of CHI3L1 is not yet fully known, but the connection between CHI3L1 and angiogenesis has been shown. Recent reports also describe the association of Nogo isoforms and Nogo-B receptor (NgBR) with a proliferative potential, cancer cell invasiveness, and angiogenesis. The aim of this study was to evaluate the levels of CHI3L1, Nogo-A, Nogo-A/B, and NgBR and correlate them with clinical-pathological data, to study their role in angiogenesis in invasive ductal breast carcinoma (IDC).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 77 IDC cases were used in the study. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine the level of expression of CHI3L1, Nogo-A, Nogo-A/B, NgBR and vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFA, VEGFC and VEGFD). The obtained results were subjected to statistical analysis including clinicalpathological data.
RESULTS: A statistically significant positive correlation of CHI3L1 and Nogo-A expression (r=0.474, p>0.0001) and a positive correlation of Nogo-A and VEGFC expression (r=0.280, p=0.013) were found.
CONCLUSION: CHI3L1 and Nogo-A are important in angiogenesis in IDC.

Sammarco G, Varricchi G, Ferraro V, et al.
Mast Cells, Angiogenesis and Lymphangiogenesis in Human Gastric Cancer.
Int J Mol Sci. 2019; 20(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is diagnosed in nearly one million new patients each year and it remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Although gastric cancer represents a heterogeneous group of diseases, chronic inflammation has been shown to play a role in tumorigenesis. Cancer development is a multistep process characterized by genetic and epigenetic alterations during tumour initiation and progression. The stromal microenvironment is important in maintaining normal tissue homeostasis or promoting tumour development. A plethora of immune cells (i.e., lymphocytes, macrophages, mast cells, monocytes, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, Treg cells, dendritic cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, natural killer (NK) and natural killer T (NKT) cells) are components of gastric cancer microenvironment. Mast cell density is increased in gastric cancer and there is a correlation with angiogenesis, the number of metastatic lymph nodes and the survival of these patients. Mast cells exert a protumorigenic role in gastric cancer through the release of angiogenic (VEGF-A, CXCL8, MMP-9) and lymphangiogenic factors (VEGF-C and VEGF-F). Gastric mast cells express the programmed death ligands (PD-L1 and PD-L2) which are relevant as immune checkpoints in cancer. Several clinical undergoing trials targeting immune checkpoints could be an innovative therapeutic strategy in gastric cancer. Elucidation of the role of subsets of mast cells in different human gastric cancers will demand studies of increasing complexity beyond those assessing merely mast cell density and microlocalization.

Thammineni KL, Thakur GK, Kaur N, Banerjee BD
Significance of MMP-9 and VEGF-C expression in North Indian women with breast cancer diagnosis.
Mol Cell Biochem. 2019; 457(1-2):93-103 [PubMed] Related Publications
Metastasis accounts for the majority of cancer-associated mortality and renders the targeted therapy fruitless in the patients of breast cancer. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) are thought to be involved in tumor progression and metastasis. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression of MMP-9 and VEGF-C at both mRNA and protein levels in breast cancer and to correlate with lymph node metastasis and other clinicopathological characteristics. Biopsy specimens (N = 100) of breast cancer & benign breast disease (N = 100) were investigated for the mRNA expression of MMP-9 and VEGF-C by Real-time PCR and Protein expression by Western blot. Elevated levels of MMP-9 (p < 0.001) and VEGF-C (p < 0.001) expression were detected in breast cancer with corresponding to benign breast disease. Additionally, we found significantly increased levels of MMP-9 and VEGF-C in node-positive group with respect to node-negative group. Moreover, the levels of MMP-9 were significantly increased in larger tumor size (T3/T4) (p < 0.05) as compared to smaller size (T1/T2), which suggests that MMP-9 plays an important role in the progression of breast cancer. VEGF-C expression was associated with the TNM stage of tumor (p < 0.05). Further, a significant positive correlation was established between the mRNA levels of these two genes (p < 0.001). However, we could not obtain any significant correlation between expression of these genes with other clinicopathological parameters like tumor grade, age, menopausal status, and receptor status like ER, PR, and Her2. This study suggests that the high expression of MMP-9 and VEGF-C could act as markers for the tumor presence in breast cancer. In addition, this study recommends that expression of MMP-9 and VEGF-C was significantly associated with lymph node status and may provide valuable diagnosis of lymph node metastasis in breast cancer patients. Further, MMP-9 expression was associated with the tumor size and VEGF-C expression was correlated with the staging of the tumor, although no association was observed with other clinicopathological variables.

Huang YW, Tsai HC, Wang SW, et al.
Amphiregulin Promotes Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-C Expression and Lymphangiogenesis through STAT3 Activation in Human Chondrosarcoma Cells.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2019; 52(1):1-15 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Chondrosarcoma is the second most common primary malignancy of bone, characterized by a high metastatic potential. Increasing clinical data highlight the important role played by lymphangiogenesis in cancer metastasis. Amphiregulin (AR) has been implicated in tumor metastasis and lymphangiogenesis, but its association with vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) expression and lymphangiogenesis in chondrosarcoma is unclear.
METHODS: We used qPCR, ELISA and Western blotting to detect AR-induced VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcoma cells. Lymphangiogenesis was investigated by lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) migration and tube formation. An in vivo experiment examined AR expression in tumor-associated lymphangiogenesis.
RESULTS: In this study, we found that both AR and VEGF-C expression correlated with tumor stage and were significantly higher than levels found in normal cartilage. Exogenous AR promoted VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcoma cells in a time- and dose-dependent manner and subsequently increased migration and tube formation of LECs. AR also increased VEGF-C expression and lymphangiogenesis through the Src/MEK/ERK/STAT3 signaling pathway. However, it is unclear as to how an EGFR ligand (AR) induces activation of the Src kinase. Knockdown of AR decreased VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcoma cells. Similarly, lymphangiogenesis was abolished in AR knockdown cells in an in vivo model of chondrosarcoma.
CONCLUSION: These results indicate that AR occurs through the Src/MEK/ERK/STAT-3 pathway, activating VEGF-C expression and contributing to lymphangiogenesis in human chondrosarcoma. Thus, AR could be a therapeutic target in metastasis and lymphangiogenesis of chondrosarcoma.

Zhang L, Luo B, Dang YW, et al.
The clinical significance of endothelin receptor type B in hepatocellular carcinoma and its potential molecular mechanism.
Exp Mol Pathol. 2019; 107:141-157 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To explore the clinical significance and potential molecular mechanism of endothelin receptor type B (EDNRB) in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to detect EDNRB protein expression level in 67 HCC paraffin embedded tissues and adjacent tissues. Correlations between EDNRB expression level and clinicopathologic parameters were analyzed in our study. The expression level and clinical significance of EDNRB in HCC were also evaluated from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. The cBioPortal for Cancer Genomics was employed to analyze the EDNRB related genes, and Gene Ontology (GO) annotation, Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway enrichment analysis and Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) network were conducted for those EDNRB related genes.
RESULTS: Lower expression level of EDNRB in HCC was verified by immunohistochemistry than adjacent tissues (P < 0.0001). The expression level of EDNRB in HCC tissues was lower than normal control liver tissues based on TCGA and GEO data (standard mean difference [SMD] = -1.48, 95% [confidence interval] CI: -1.63-(-1.33), P
CONCLUSION: Our study provides novel findings and insights on the molecular pathogenesis of HCC from EDNRB view.

Chen Y, Wang D, Peng H, et al.
Epigenetically upregulated oncoprotein PLCE1 drives esophageal carcinoma angiogenesis and proliferation via activating the PI-PLCε-NF-κB signaling pathway and VEGF-C/ Bcl-2 expression.
Mol Cancer. 2019; 18(1):1 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is one of the most lethal malignancies. Neovascularization during tumorigenesis supplies oxygen and nutrients to proliferative tumor cells, and serves as a conduit for migration. Targeting oncogenes involved in angiogenesis is needed to treat organ-confined and locally advanced ESCC. Although the phospholipase C epsilon-1 (PLCE1) gene was originally identified as a susceptibility gene for ESCC, how PLCE1 is involved in ESCC is unclear.
METHODS: Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry were used to measure the methylation status of the PLCE1 promoter region. To validate the underlying mechanism for PLCE1 in constitutive activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway, we performed studies using in vitro and in vivo assays and samples from 368 formalin-fixed esophageal cancer tissues and 215 normal tissues with IHC using tissue microarrays and the Cancer Genome Atlas dataset.
RESULTS: We report that hypomethylation-associated up-regulation of PLCE1 expression was correlated with tumor angiogenesis and poor prognosis in ESCC cohorts. PLCE1 can activate NF-κB through phosphoinositide-phospholipase C-ε (PI-PLCε) signaling pathway. Furthermore, PLCE1 can bind p65 and IκBα proteins, promoting IκBα-S32 and p65-S536 phosphorylation. Consequently, phosphorylated IκBα promotes nuclear translocation of p50/p65 and p65, as a transcription factor, can bind vascular endothelial growth factor-C and bcl-2 promoters, enhancing angiogenesis and inhibiting apoptosis in vitro. Moreover, xenograft tumors in nude mice proved that PLCE1 can induce angiogenesis, inhibit apoptosis, and increase tumor aggressiveness via the NF-κB signaling pathway in vivo.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings not only provide evidence that hypomethylation-induced PLCE1 confers angiogenesis and proliferation in ESCC by activating PI-PLCε-NF-κB signaling pathway and VEGF-C/Bcl-2 expression, but also suggest that modulation of PLCE1 by epigenetic modification or a selective inhibitor may be a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of ESCC.

Liu X, Xu X, Deng W, et al.
CCL18 enhances migration, invasion and EMT by binding CCR8 in bladder cancer cells.
Mol Med Rep. 2019; 19(3):1678-1686 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Increased expression of CCL18 has been observed in various malignancies and in the urine samples of patients with bladder cancer (BC). However, the roles of CCL18 in the development, progression and metastasis of BC remain unclear. The present study demonstrated that CCL18 expression was significantly associated with advanced clinical stages of BC. Furthermore, exogenous CCL18 promoted cell invasion and migration, and induced cell epithelial‑mesenchymal transition (EMT) in BC cells. Western blotting demonstrated that E‑cadherin, an epithelial marker, was decreased, whereas matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)‑2 and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)‑C were increased in CCL18‑treated cells. Blocking CCR8 via a small molecule inhibitor or short hairpin (sh)RNA mitigated the decrease in E‑cadherin, and increase in MMP‑2 and VEGF‑C, caused by human recombinant (r)CCL18. CCR8 knockdown by shRNA reversed rCCL18‑induced cancer cell invasion, migration and EMT. In conclusion, these data suggested that CCL18 may promote migration, invasion and EMT by binding CCR8 in BC cells. Inhibition of CCL18 activity by blocking CCR8 could be a potential therapeutic strategy for preventing the progression of BC.

Tan ZB, Fan HJ, Wu YT, et al.
Rheum palmatum extract exerts anti-hepatocellular carcinoma effects by inhibiting signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 signaling.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2019; 232:62-72 [PubMed] Related Publications
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is among the most common malignancies. Signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3), with abnormal expression and constitutive activation, has been reported to promote proliferation, metastasis, survival and angiogenesis of HCC cells. Rheum palmatum (RP), a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, exhibited tumor-suppressing effects in multiple human cancers, but its potential functions in HCC remain unexplored.
AIM OF THE STUDY: This study aimed to examine the involvement of STAT3 signaling in the anti-HCC effects of RP extract.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: SMMC-7721 and HepG2 HCC cell lines were treated with RP extract for 24 h, and then viability, migration, and invasion of HCC cells and angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were analyzed using MTS, wound-healing, Transwell invasion and tube formation assays, respectively. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry (IHC) were used to examine the activation of key molecules in STAT3 signaling, including STAT3, JAK2, and Src. Additionally, we explored the in vivo antitumor effects of RP extract in a xenograft tumor nude mouse model of HCC.
RESULTS: The result showed that RP extract reduced viability, migration, and invasion of SMMC-7721 and HepG2 cells and angiogenesis of HUVECs. It suppressed the phosphorylation of STAT3 and its upstream kinases including JAK2 and Src. In addition, RP extract treatment downregulated STAT3 target genes, including survivin, Bcl-xL, Mcl-1, Bcl-2, MMP-2, MMP-9, Cyclin D1, CDK4, c-Myc, and VEGF-C. Furthermore, RP extract suppressed the xenograft tumor growth and activation of STAT3 in xenograft tumor mice.
CONCLUSION: Collectively, the results showed that RP extract prevented HCC progression by inhibiting STAT3, and might be useful for the treatment of HCC.

Fiscon G, Conte F, Paci P
SWIM tool application to expression data of glioblastoma stem-like cell lines, corresponding primary tumors and conventional glioma cell lines.
BMC Bioinformatics. 2018; 19(Suppl 15):436 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: It is well-known that glioblastoma contains self-renewing, stem-like subpopulation with the ability to sustain tumor growth. These cells - called cancer stem-like cells - share certain phenotypic characteristics with untransformed stem cells and are resistant to many conventional cancer therapies, which might explain the limitations in curing human malignancies. Thus, the identification of genes controlling the differentiation of these stem-like cells is becoming a successful therapeutic strategy, owing to the promise of novel targets for treating malignancies.
METHODS: Recently, we developed SWIM, a software able to unveil a small pool of genes - called switch genes - critically associated with drastic changes in cell phenotype. Here, we applied SWIM to the expression profiling of glioblastoma stem-like cells and conventional glioma cell lines, in order to identify switch genes related to stem-like phenotype.
RESULTS: SWIM identifies 171 switch genes that are all down-regulated in glioblastoma stem-like cells. This list encompasses genes like CAV1, COL5A1, COL6A3, FLNB, HMMR, ITGA3, ITGA5, MET, SDC1, THBS1, and VEGFC, involved in "ECM-receptor interaction" and "focal adhesion" pathways. The inhibition of switch genes highly correlates with the activation of genes related to neural development and differentiation, such as the 4-core OLIG2, POU3F2, SALL2, SOX2, whose induction has been shown to be sufficient to reprogram differentiated glioblastoma into stem-like cells. Among switch genes, the transcription factor FOSL1 appears as the brightest star since: it is down-regulated in stem-like cells; it highly negatively correlates with the 4-core genes that are all up-regulated in stem-like cells; the promoter regions of the 4-core genes harbor a consensus binding motif for FOSL1.
CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that the inhibition of switch genes in stem-like cells could induce the deregulation of cell communication pathways, contributing to neoplastic progression and tumor invasiveness. Conversely, their activation could restore the physiological equilibrium between cell adhesion and migration, hampering the progression of cancer. Moreover, we posit FOSL1 as promising candidate to orchestrate the differentiation of cancer stem-like cells by repressing the 4-core genes' expression, which severely halts cancer growth and might affect the therapeutic outcome. We suggest FOSL1 as novel putative therapeutic and prognostic biomarker, worthy of further investigation.

Ma C, Xie J, Luo C, et al.
OxLDL promotes lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis in gastric cancer by upregulating VEGF‑C expression and secretion.
Int J Oncol. 2019; 54(2):572-584 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Gastric cancer is one of the most malignant tumor types, and its metastasis is a notable cause of mortality. Among the methods of tumor metastasis, lymphatic metastasis is the predominant one in gastric cancer. A previous study reported that the plasma oxidized low‑density lipoprotein (oxLDL) is the risk factor associated with the development of tumors in patients with abnormal lipid metabolism, but the influence of plasma oxLDL in the lymphatic metastasis of gastric cancer remains unclear. In the present study, the concentration of plasma oxLDL from patients with gastric cancer was detected with an ELISA kit, and the lymphatic vessel density in gastric cancer tissues was determined by D2‑40 staining. The correlation analysis of oxLDL concentration and lymphatic vessel density demonstrated that plasma oxLDL was positively correlated with lymphatic metastasis in patients with gastric cancer. Subsequently, the popliteal lymph node metastasis animal experiment with nude mice confirmed that oxLDL could promote the lymphatic metastasis of gastric cancer. Following this, the western blotting and ELISA data demonstrated that oxLDL promoted the expression and secretion of vascular endothelia growth factor (VEGF)‑C in gastric cancer cell lines. Finally, blocking the lectin‑like oxLDL‑1 (LOX‑1) receptor, a specific receptor for oxLDL, and the nuclear factor (NF)‑κB signaling pathway following oxLDL (50 µg/ml) treatment in HGC‑27 cells revealed that oxLDL could activate the NF‑κB signaling pathway mediated by LOX‑1, with subsequent upregulation of VEGF‑C expression, and secretion in and from gastric cancer cells, and finally that it could promote the lymphatic metastasis of gastric cancer. These data indicate the association between the plasma oxLDL and the lymphatic metastasis of gastric cancer, and indicate that oxLDL elimination may be a potential therapeutic target for the prevention and intervention of early lymph node metastasis in gastric cancer.

Martini T, Heinkele J, Mayr R, et al.
Predictive value of lymphangiogenesis and proliferation markers on mRNA level in urothelial carcinoma of the bladder after radical cystectomy.
Urol Oncol. 2018; 36(12):530.e19-530.e27 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the mRNA expression of lymphangiogenesis and proliferation markers and to examine its association with histopathological characteristics and clinical outcome in patients with urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (UCB) after radical cystectomy (RC).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Gene expression analysis of the vascular endothelial growth -C and -D (VEGF-C/-D), its receptor VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), MKI67, and RACGAP1 was performed in 108 patients after radical cystectomy and their correlation with clinical-pathological parameters was investigated. Uni- and multivariate regression analyses were used to identify predictors for cancer-specific survival (CSS), recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) after RC.
RESULTS: The expression of RACGAP1 and VEGFR-3 showed an association with a higher pT stage (P = 0.049; P = 0.009). MKI67 showed an association with a high-grade urothelial carcinoma of the bladder (P = 0.021). VEGFR-3 expression was significantly associated with the presence of lymphovascular invasion (LVI) (P = 0.016) and lymph node metastases (pN+) (P = 0.028). With the univariate analysis, overexpression of VEGFR-3 (P = 0.029) and the clinical-pathological parameters pT stage (P < 0.0001), pN+ (P = 0.0004), LVI (P < 0.0001) and female gender (P = 0.021) were significantly associated with a reduced CSS. Multivariate analysis identified a higher pT stage (P = 0.017) and LVI (P = 0.008) as independent predictors for reduced CSS. Independent predictors for reduced OS were a higher pT stage (P = 0.0007) and LVI (P = 0.0021), while overexpression of VEGF-D was associated with better OS (P < 0.0001).
CONCLUSIONS: The mRNA expression of the investigated markers showed associations with common histopathological parameters. Increased expression of VEGF-D is independently associated with better overall survival.

Hattori Y, Sentani K, Shinmei S, et al.
Clinicopathological significance of RCAN2 production in gastric carcinoma.
Histopathology. 2019; 74(3):430-442 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIMS: Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide. Genes expressed only in cancer tissue may be useful biomarkers for cancer diagnosis and therapeutics. The aims of the present study were to analyse regulator of calcineurin 2 (RCAN2) in a large number of GCs, and to investigate how these expression patterns correlate with clinicopathological parameters and various markers.
METHODS AND RESULTS: An immunohistochemical analysis of RCAN2 in 207 GC tissue samples showed that 110 (53%) GCs were positive for RCAN2. RCAN2-positive GCs were more advanced in terms of TNM classification and tumour stage than RCAN2-negative GCs. Furthermore, RCAN2 was an independent prognostic classifier for GC patients. The cell growth and invasiveness of RCAN2 small interfering RNA (siRNA)-transfected GC cell lines were less than those of the negative control siRNA-transfected cell lines, whereas those of RCAN2-transfected cells were significantly increased as compared with those of empty vector-transfected cells. RCAN2 siRNA inhibits the phosphorylation of AKT and p44/p42 (ERK1/2). RCAN2 was colocalised with EGFR, nuclear β-catenin, MMP7, laminin-γ2, VEGF-A, and VEGF-C.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that RCAN2 is involved in tumour progression and is an independent prognostic classifier in patients with GC.

Samadi P, Saki S, Dermani FK, et al.
Emerging ways to treat breast cancer: will promises be met?
Cell Oncol (Dordr). 2018; 41(6):605-621 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common cancer among women and it is responsible for more than 40,000 deaths in the United States and more than 500,000 deaths worldwide each year. In previous decades, the development of improved screening, diagnosis and treatment methods has led to decreases in BC mortality rates. More recently, novel targeted therapeutic options, such as the use of monoclonal antibodies and small molecule inhibitors that target specific cancer cell-related components, have been developed. These components include ErbB family members (HER1, HER2, HER3 and HER4), Ras/MAPK pathway components (Ras, Raf, MEK and ERK), VEGF family members (VEGFA, VEGFB, VEGFC, VEGF and PGF), apoptosis and cell cycle regulators (BAK, BAX, BCL-2, BCL-X, MCL-1 and BCL-W, p53 and PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway components) and DNA repair pathway components such as BRCA1. In addition, long noncoding RNA inhibitor-, microRNA inhibitor/mimic- and immunotherapy-based approaches are being developed for the treatment of BC. Finally, a novel powerful technique called CRISPR-Cas9-based gene editing is emerging as a precise tool for the targeted treatment of cancer, including BC.
CONCLUSIONS: Potential new strategies that are designed to specifically target BC are presented. Several clinical trials using these strategies are already in progress and have shown promising results, but inherent limitations such as off-target effects and low delivery efficiencies still have to be resolved. By improving the clinical efficacy of current therapies and exploring new ones, it is anticipated that novel ways to overcome BC may become attainable.

Zhou CF, Ma J, Huang L, et al.
Cervical squamous cell carcinoma-secreted exosomal miR-221-3p promotes lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis by targeting VASH1.
Oncogene. 2019; 38(8):1256-1268 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Cancer-secreted exosomal miRNAs are emerging mediators of cancer-stromal cross-talk in the tumor environment. Our previous miRNAs array of cervical squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC) clinical specimens identified upregulation of miR-221-3p. Here, we show that miR-221-3p is closely correlated with peritumoral lymphangiogenesis and lymph node (LN) metastasis in CSCC. More importantly, miR-221-3p is characteristically enriched in and transferred by CSCC-secreted exosomes into human lymphatic endothelial cells (HLECs) to promote HLECs migration and tube formation in vitro, and facilitate lymphangiogenesis and LN metastasis in vivo according to both gain-of-function and loss-of-function experiments. Furthermore, we identify vasohibin-1 (VASH1) as a novel direct target of miR-221-3p through bioinformatic target prediction and luciferase reporter assay. Re-expression and knockdown of VASH1 could respectively rescue and simulate the effects induced by exosomal miR-221-3p. Importantly, the miR-221-3p-VASH1 axis activates the ERK/AKT pathway in HLECs independent of VEGF-C. Finally, circulating exosomal miR-221-3p levels also have biological function in promoting HLECs sprouting in vitro and are closely associated with tumor miR-221-3p expression, lymphatic VASH1 expression, lymphangiogenesis, and LN metastasis in CSCC patients. In conclusion, CSCC-secreted exosomal miR-221-3p transfers into HLECs to promote lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis via downregulation of VASH1 and may represent a novel diagnostic biomarker and therapeutic target for metastatic CSCC patients in early stages.

Lin T, Zhang B, He H
Identification of genes correlated with oral squamous cell carcinoma.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2018; 14(Supplement):S675-S679 [PubMed] Related Publications
Objectives: The objective was to study the mechanisms of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC).
Materials and Methods: We analyzed microarrays of GSE23558 and GSE25103. GSE23558 and GSE25103 were downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus. GSE23558 included 27 OSCC samples, 4 independent and 1 pooled normal samples. GSE25103 included 112 OSCC samples and ten normal samples. The differentially expressed genes (DEGs) and the risk single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) separately were obtained by limma package and plink software. Then, candidate disease genes were screened from the common genes of the genes carrying SNPs and the DEGs using Fisher's combination method. Using TargetMine online tool, potential functions of the candidate disease genes were analyzed by functional and pathway enrichment analyses. Besides, protein-protein interaction (PPI) network of these genes was constructed by STRING and Cytoscape software. Furthermore, modules of PPI network were screened by the ClusterONE.
Results: We screened 2353 DEGs and 35635 risk SNPs in OSCC samples compared with normal samples. Moreover, CA9 was the most significant upregulated genes. There were 754 candidate disease genes, including 299 upregulated (e.g., VEGFC and FAT1) and 455 downregulated genes. For the candidate disease genes, the enriched functions were mainly in biological process categories. Importantly, FN1 (degree = 42) and CCNA2 (degree = 38) had high degrees in the PPI network. Furthermore, FN1 and CCNA2 were separately involved in module 1 and module 2 of the PPI network. FN1, CCNA2, CA9, VEGFC, and FAT1 might affect OSCC.
Conclusion: In general, our study obtained important genes implicated in OSCC.

Chen C, He W, Huang J, et al.
LNMAT1 promotes lymphatic metastasis of bladder cancer via CCL2 dependent macrophage recruitment.
Nat Commun. 2018; 9(1):3826 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) are the most abundant inflammatory infiltrates in the tumor microenvironment and contribute to lymph node (LN) metastasis. However, the precise mechanisms of TAMs-induced LN metastasis remain largely unknown. Herein, we identify a long noncoding RNA, termed Lymph Node Metastasis Associated Transcript 1 (LNMAT1), which is upregulated in LN-positive bladder cancer and associated with LN metastasis and prognosis. Through gain and loss of function approaches, we find that LNMAT1 promotes bladder cancer-associated lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis. Mechanistically, LNMAT1 epigenetically activates CCL2 expression by recruiting hnRNPL to CCL2 promoter, which leads to increased H3K4 tri-methylation that ensures hnRNPL binding and enhances transcription. Furthermore, LNMAT1-induced upregulation of CCL2 recruits macrophages into the tumor, which promotes lymphatic metastasis via VEGF-C excretion. These findings provide a plausible mechanism for LNMAT1-modulated tumor microenvironment in lymphatic metastasis and suggest that LNMAT1 may represent a potential therapeutic target for clinical intervention in LN-metastatic bladder cancer.

Wang L, Zhao H, Xu Y, et al.
Systematic identification of lincRNA-based prognostic biomarkers by integrating lincRNA expression and copy number variation in lung adenocarcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2019; 144(7):1723-1734 [PubMed] Related Publications
Copy number alterations (CNAs) of lincRNAs act as one of important mechanisms in disrupting lincRNA expression which may play critical roles during tumorigenesis in lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD). The copy number alterations of lincRNAs can mark the spectrum of cancer progression and may serve as biomarkers for prognosis in LUAD, however it is rarely studied. We analyzed RNASeq data for 488 LUAD patients from TCGA portal and 58 healthy subjects to identify prognostic lincRNAs predictive of patient survival. Computational analysis entailing integration of expression and copy number alteration data revealed five prognostic lincRNAs: RBPMS-AS1, TDRKH-AS1, LINC00578, RP11-470 M17.2 and LINC00941. The copy number alterations in the LINC00578 and RP11-470 M17.2 genes were positively associated with the longer overall survival of LUAD patients. The CNA in LINC00941 was negatively associated with the longer overall survival. Copy number amplification significantly correlated with increased expression of TDRKH-AS1, which regulates telomere organization and EZH2-mediated epigenetic silencing of CDKN1A, CDKN1B and IL24. Decreased survival of LUAD patients was associated with high LINC00941 expression. The LINC00941 regulates the PI3K-AKT signaling pathway, focal adhesion by influencing potential targets, such as KRAS proto-oncogene GTPase and VEGFC. These lincRNA-based prognostic biomarkers may destroy important cancer-related biological processes contributing to LUAD prognosis. In summary, we demonstrate the prognostic potential of four differentially expressed lincRNAs with copy number alterations (RBPMS-AS1, TDRKH-AS1, LINC00578 and RP11-470 M17.2) that are positively associated with longer overall survival of LUAD patients. One differentially expressed lincRNA LINC00941 with copy number alterations was negatively associated with longer overall survival of LUAD patients.

Zhang W, Hong R, Li L, et al.
The chromosome 11q13.3 amplification associated lymph node metastasis is driven by miR-548k through modulating tumor microenvironment.
Mol Cancer. 2018; 17(1):125 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: The prognosis for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) patients with lymph node metastasis (LNM) is still dismal. Elucidation of the LNM associated genomic alteration and underlying molecular mechanisms may provide clinical therapeutic strategies for ESCC treatment.
METHODS: Joint analysis of ESCC sequencing data were conducted to comprehensively survey SCNAs and identify driver genes which significantly associated with LNM. The roles of miR-548k in lymphangiogensis and lymphatic metastasis were validated both in vitro and in vivo. ESCC tissue and blood samples were analyzed for association between miR-548k expression and patient clinicopathological features and prognosis and diagnosis.
RESULTS: In the pooled cohort of 314 ESCC patients, we found 76 significant focused regions including 43 amplifications and 33 deletions. Clinical implication analysis revealed a panel of genes associated with LNM with the most frequently amplified gene being MIR548K harbored in the 11q13.3 amplicon. Overexpression of miR-548k remarkably promotes lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that miR-548k modulating the tumor microenvironment by promoting VEGFC secretion and stimulating lymphangiogenesis through ADAMTS1/VEGFC/VEGFR3 pathways, while promoting metastasis by regulating KLF10/EGFR axis. Importantly, we found that serum miR-548k and VEGFC of early stage ESCC patients were significantly higher than that in healthy donators, suggesting a promising application of miR-548k and VEGFC as biomarkers in early diagnosis of ESCC.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study comprehensively characterized SCNAs in ESCC and highlighted the crucial role of miR-548k in promoting lymphatic metastasis, which might be employed as a new diagnostic and prognostic marker for ESCC.

Linkov F, Goughnour SL, Adambekov S, et al.
Inflammatory biomarker in adipose stem cells of women with endometrial cancer.
Biomark Med. 2018; 12(9):945-952 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
AIM: To explore inflammatory biomarkers secreted by adipose stem cells (ASCs) in omental, retroperitoneal and subcutaneous adipose tissues of women with endometrial cancer.
PATIENTS & METHODS: ASCs were collected from 22 women, aged 35-83 years, undergoing hysterectomy for endometrial cancer. Angiopoietin-2, EGF, IL-8, leptin, VEGFA, VEGFC and VEFGD levels in the ASC-conditioned media were analyzed by Luminex.
RESULTS: We found a significant difference between the three depots for IL-8 (p < 0.0001), with the highest levels of IL-8 in the omental depot. VEGFA levels were highest in the retroperitoneal depot.
CONCLUSION: This is one of the first studies to explore biomarker expression in ASC-conditioned media in adipose tissue. ASC characteristics may be important to evaluate in relation to cancer risk.

Han S, Huang T, Li W, et al.
Association Between Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-2α (HIF-2α) Expression and Colorectal Cancer and Its Prognostic Role: a Systematic Analysis.
Cell Physiol Biochem. 2018; 48(2):516-527 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Although some studies showed that HIF-2α expression was correlated with an unfavorable prognosis in colorectal cancer (CRC), the prognostic results remain conflicting in CRC. The present study was performed to evaluate the association between HIF-2α expression and the clinicopathological features of this disease and to examine the potential prognostic role of HIF-2α expression in CRC.
METHODS: Pooled odds ratios (ORs) or hazard ratios (HRs) were calculated from available publications, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) datasets. Trial sequential analysis (TSA) was used to estimate the required sample information.
RESULTS: HIF-2α protein expression was more frequent in CRC than in normal colonic tissues (OR = 150.49, P < 0.001), higher in male than female CRC patients (OR = 1.47, P = 0.008), and lower in high-grade than low-grade CRC (OR = 0.49, P = 0.029). TSA verified the reliability of the above results. HIF-2α expression was not linked to the prognosis of CRC in overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), metastasis-free survival, and relapse-free survival, and no significant correlation was found between HIF-2α alteration and OS or disease-free survival (DFS) of CRC. Expression of both HIF-2α and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA, VEGFB, or VEGFC) was associated with a poor metastasis-free survival of CRC (HR = 6.95, HR = 113.51, and HR = 8.11, respectively). No association was observed between HIF-2α expression and DFS in other cancers, but HIF-2α expression was correlated with a worse DFS of CRC (HR = 1.23, P = 0.037). Moreover, HIF-2α expression was linked to a good survival benefit in some cancers (B-cell lymphoma and lung adenocarcinoma: OS, multiple myeloma: DSS, breast cancer: distant metastasis-free survival, liposarcoma: distant recurrence-free survival) (all HRs < 1, Ps < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: HIF-2α expression may be associated with the carcinogenesis of CRC, which is higher in males than in females, negatively linked to tumor differentiation, and correlated with a worse DFS of CRC. Additional prospective studies are needed.

Li M, Lu Y, Xu Y, et al.
Horizontal transfer of exosomal CXCR4 promotes murine hepatocarcinoma cell migration, invasion and lymphangiogenesis.
Gene. 2018; 676:101-109 [PubMed] Related Publications
Exosomes have been demonstrated as an important factor to influence cancer invasion and metastasis. Previous studies have shown that CXC chemokine recepter-4 (CXCR4) and stromal cell-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) mediates matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) secretions to facilitate lymph node metastasis of hepatocarcinoma cells. In this study, we demonstrated that exosomes containing elevated CXCR4 from high lymph node metastatic mouse hepatocarcinoma Hca-F cells were able to promote the migration and invasion of a paired syngeneic Hca-P cells that have low metastatic potential. Such impact on enhanced migratory and invasive capacities of Hca-P cells was triggered by the internalization of exosomes isolated from Hca-F cells. This was possibly due to the horizontal transferring of CXCR4 via exosomes. The lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) increased the migration and invasion of Hca-F cells probably by expressing SDF-1α which bound with CXCR4 in the Hca-F cells and subsequently enhanced the secretions of MMP-9, MMP-2 and vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C). Exosomal CXCR4 from Hca-F cells promoted LECs proliferative rate and lymphatic tube formation ability. Our findings suggest that horizontal transfer of exosomal CXCR4 can promote murine hepatocarcinoma cell migration, invasion and lymphangiogenesis, and exosomal CXCR4 might be a novel therapeutic target against tumor lymphatic metastasis.

Duan L, Ye L, Zhuang L, et al.
VEGFC/VEGFR3 axis mediates TGFβ1-induced epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer cells.
PLoS One. 2018; 13(7):e0200452 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In the tumor progression, transforming growth factor β1 (TGFβ1) plays a critical role in tumorigenesis as well as metastasis. It is known that high plasma level of TGFβ1 in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is correlated with poor prognostics. In addition, the generation of cancer stem-like cells is associated with metastasis, drug resistance, and tumor recurrence, which also lead to poor outcomes in NSCLC patients. However, it remains unclear how TGFβ1 promotes NSCLC cells to acquire stem-like properties and accelerate tumor metastasis. In our study, we found that short term TGFβ1 treatment resulted in a significant epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) morphological change in TGFβ1-sensitive NSCLC cells but not in insensitive cells. Western blotting confirmed increased Vimentin and reduced E-Cadherin protein expression after TGFβ1 treatment in A549, NCI-H1993, and NCI-H358 cells. TGFβ1 incubation dramatically decreased in vitro cell proliferation and increased cell invasion in TGFβ1-sensitive NSCLC cells but not in NCI-H1975, NCI-H1650, and HCC827 cells. Moreover, TGFβ1 was able to enhance the mRNA expression of Oct4, Nanog and Sox2 and drastically increased anchorage-independent colony formation in TGFβ1-sensitive NSCLC cells, suggesting the acquisition of cancer stem-like properties. Interestingly, we found that vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR3) mRNA expression was significantly elevated in TGFβ1-sensitive NSCLC cells compared to insensitive cells. And TGFβ1 was capable of inducing VEGF-C gene expression. Pharmacological blocking TGFβ type I receptor kinase (ALK5) significantly inhibited TGFβ1-induced VEGF-C expression. Silencing of ALK5 by siRNA also dramatically reduced TGFβ1-induced VEGF-C expression in TGFβ1-sensitive NSCLC cells. Therefore, TGFβ1 contributes for NSCLC metastasis through promoting EMT, generation of high invasive cancer cells with stem-like properties, and increasing VEGF-C expression. Blocking TGFβ pathway is a potential therapeutic target in human non-small cell lung cancer.

Xiong Y, Liu Z, Zhao X, et al.
CPT1A regulates breast cancer-associated lymphangiogenesis via VEGF signaling.
Biomed Pharmacother. 2018; 106:1-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lymphangiogenesis is critical for metastasis of a variety of cancers, including breast cancer. CPT1A (carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a) has been reported to play a critical role in breast cancer progress. However, the molecular mechanism remains elusive.
METHODS: In order to investigate the role of CPT1A in HDLEC cells, short hairpin RNA approach was utilized to knock down the CPT1A gene expression. We employed transwell and lymphatic vessel formation assay to examine invasion and lymphangiogenesis of HDLEC (Human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells). RT-qPCR and westernblot analyses were used to determine genes expression in HDLEC and breast cancer cells. Finally, we determined the relative rate of acetyl-CoA/CoA in shNC and shCPT1A HDLEC cells by LC-MS approach.
RESULTS: Knockdown of CPT1A in breast cancer cells (MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231) abolished invasion and lymphangiogenesis of HDLEC cells. Mechanistically, CPT1A depletion suppressed the expression of VEGF-C and VEGF-D in MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells. Interestingly, CPT1A knockdown in HDLEC cells exhibited attenuated expression of lymphangiogenic markers (podoplanin, VEGFR-3, VEGF-C, VEGF-D and PROX-1). Consistently, CPT1A -null HDLEC cells displayed compromised invasion and lymphangiogenesis compared with negative control. Further investigation revealed that CPT1A regulated VEGFR3 via acetyl-CoA mediated H3K9ac, which could be abrogated by supplement of acetate.
CONCLUSIONS: In present study, we revealed the mechanism by which CPT1A regulates breast cancer-associated invasion and lymphangiogenesis. Our findings provide insights into CPT1A -promoted breast tumor metastasis and provide rationale for understanding breast cancer metastasis.

Qin T, Huang D, Liu Z, et al.
Tumor necrosis factor superfamily 15 promotes lymphatic metastasis via upregulation of vascular endothelial growth factor-C in a mouse model of lung cancer.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(8):2469-2478 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Lymphatic metastasis is facilitated by lymphangiogenic growth factor vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGFC) that is secreted by some primary tumors. We previously identified tumor necrosis factor superfamily 15 (TNFSF15), a blood vascular endothelium-derived cytokine, in lymphatic endothelial cells, as a key molecular modulator during lymphangiogenesis. However, the effect of TNFSF15 on tumor lymphatic metastasis and the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. We report here that TNFSF15, which is known to inhibit primary tumor growth by suppressing angiogenesis, can promote lymphatic metastasis through facilitating lymphangiogenesis in tumors. Mice bearing tumors induced by A549 cells stably overexpressing TNFSF15 exhibited a significant increase in densities of lymphatic vessels and a marked enhancement of A549 tumor cells in newly formed lymphatic vessels in the primary tumors as well as in lymph nodes. Treatment of A549 cells with TNFSF15 results in upregulation of VEGFC expression, which can be inhibited by siRNA gene silencing of death domain-containing receptor-3 (DR3), a cell surface receptor for TNFSF15. In addition, TNFSF15/DR3 signaling pathways in A549 cells include activation of NF-κB during tumor lymphangiogenesis. Our data indicate that TNFSF15, a cytokine mainly produced by blood endothelial cells, facilitates tumor lymphangiogenesis by upregulating VEGFC expression in A549 cells, contributing to lymphatic metastasis in tumor-bearing mice. This finding also suggests that TNFSF15 may have potential as an indicator for prognosis evaluation.

Rusak A, Jablonska K, Piotrowska A, et al.
The Role of CHI3L1 Expression in Angiogenesis in Invasive Ductal Breast Carcinoma.
Anticancer Res. 2018; 38(6):3357-3366 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND/AIM: An increased level of chitinase 3 like 1 protein (CHI3L1) expression is observed in patients with cancer and may have potential prognostic value. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of CHI3L1 in angiogenesis in invasive ductal breast carcinoma (IDC) (n=110).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Immunohistochemistry was used to assess the expression of CHI3L1, CD31, CD34, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGFA, VEGFC and VEGFD). Real-time polymerase chain reaction and western blot were used to determine the level of CHI3L1 mRNA and protein.
RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry demonstrated positive correlation between CHI3L1 expression and angiogenesis markers: CD31 (r=0.34, p=0.0003), CD34 (r=0.24, p=0.012), VEGFD (r=0.24, p=0.013). Higher CHI3L1 expression in estrogen receptor-negative (p=0.041) and progesterone receptor-negative (p=0.014) cancer was observed. Higher CHI3L1 expression was reported in cancer tissues in comparison to non-malignant breast lesions.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest a potential role of CHI3L1 in angiogenesis in IDC and may suggest its involvement in cancer progression.

Agnihotri NS, Astekar M
The role of novel prognostic markers PROX1 and FOXC2 in carcinogenesis of oral squamous cell carcinoma.
J Exp Ther Oncol. 2018; 12(3):171-184 [PubMed] Related Publications
objective: Oral squamous cell carcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of the head and neck regions and accounts for more than 90% of cancers in the oral cavity. The angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and epithelial mesenchymal transition are known to be pivotal for tumor progression and metastasis. In the last decade, much data has been generated concerning the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and its significance in pathological conditions. The main angiogenic and lymphangiogenic factors have been identified as vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), forkhead box (FOX) C2 while vascular endothelial growth factor C/D (VEGF-C/D), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3), Prospero homeobox 1 (PROX1), LYVE-1, podoplanin, Tie/Angioprotein (Ang) 2 and EphrinB2 respectively. PROX1 is a mammalian homologue of Drosophilia homeobox protein, prospero and important for the embryonic development of many mammalian tissues. It has been suggested that it plays various tissue dependent functional roles, which reflects both oncogenic potential and a tumor suppressive role. The exact role in OSCC remains controversial. FOXC2 is a transcription factor belongs to large family of protein, forkhead box. It has been shown to be involved in cancer angiogenesis, proliferation and metastasis through its induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition while its significance in OSCC remains unknown. Based on these data, this article reviews the role of novel prognostic factors PROX1 and FOXC2 in carcinogenesis of OSCC so that they might be considered as an attractive therapeutic target for both tumor associated blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and tumor cells.

Wang J, Huang Y, Zhang J, et al.
High co-expression of the SDF1/CXCR4 axis in hepatocarcinoma cells is regulated by AnnexinA7 in vitro and in vivo.
Cell Commun Signal. 2018; 16(1):22 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: SDF1/CXCR4 and AnnexinA7 play important roles in many physiological and pathological conditions, but the molecular association between them in cancer cells has not been studied thus far.
METHODS: The expression changes of SDF1/CXCR4 were detected by gene transcriptome sequencing, qRT-PCR, Western blotting, cytoimmunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry in mouse hepatocarcinoma F/P cells, AnnexinA7 downregulated expression F (F
RESULTS: SDF1 and CXCR4 were co-expressed in hepatocarcinoma cells. SDF1 was localized mainly in the cytoplasm of cells, while CXCR4 was mainly localized in the cell membrane. Both in vitro and in vivo, expression levels of SDF1/CXCR4 in F and P cells were higher than in normal liver cells, and expression levels of SDF1/CXCR4 in F cells with high lymphatic metastatic potential were higher than those in P cells with low lymphatic metastatic potential. Expression of SDF1 was higher than that of CXCR4 in P cells and normal liver cells, while expression of CXCR4 was higher than that of SDF1 in F cells. Expression levels of SDF1/CXCR4 were completely consistent with AnnexinA7 regulation. After the AnnexinA7 gene was downregulated or upregulated, expression levels of SDF1/CXCR4 in F
CONCLUSIONS: High co-expression of SDF1/CXCR4 is a molecular characteristic of hepatocarcinoma cells, especially those with high lymphatic metastatic potential. AnnexinA7 positively regulates expression levels of SDF1/CXCR4, in particular CXCR4, and AnnexinA7 is a functional regulator of SDF1/CXCR4.

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.

Gao B, Guo L, Luo D, et al.
Steroid receptor coactivator-1 interacts with NF-κB to increase VEGFC levels in human thyroid cancer.
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer, and has a high incidence of lymphatic metastasis. Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) is essential for development of lymphatic vessels and lymphatic metastases during carcinogenesis. Steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) interacts with nuclear receptors and transcription factors to promote tumor proliferation and metastasis. However, the correlation between SRC-1 and VEGFC levels in the lymphatic metastases of thyroid cancer remains unclear. We analyzed 20-paired specimens of thyroid cancer tissue and normal thyroid tissue and found increased levels of SRC-1 and VEGFC proteins in 13/20 and 15/20 thyroid cancer specimens, respectively, when compared with those levels in specimens of normal thyroid tissue. A high level of SRC-1 expression was positively correlated with VEGFC and lymphatic endothelial cell marker LYVE-1 expression. Papillary thyroid carcinoma cell line TPC-1 displayed high levels of SRC-1 and VEGFC expression and was selected for stable knockdown of

Shergalis A, Bankhead A, Luesakul U, et al.
Current Challenges and Opportunities in Treating Glioblastoma.
Pharmacol Rev. 2018; 70(3):412-445 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive primary brain tumor, has a high mortality rate despite extensive efforts to develop new treatments. GBM exhibits both intra- and intertumor heterogeneity, lending to resistance and eventual tumor recurrence. Large-scale genomic and proteomic analysis of GBM tumors has uncovered potential drug targets. Effective and "druggable" targets must be validated to embark on a robust medicinal chemistry campaign culminating in the discovery of clinical candidates. Here, we review recent developments in GBM drug discovery and delivery. To identify GBM drug targets, we performed extensive bioinformatics analysis using data from The Cancer Genome Atlas project. We discovered 20 genes,

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