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Canstatin, a Novel Matrix-derived Inhibitor of Angiogenesis and Tumor Growth

We isolated and identified an endogenous 24-kDa human basement membrane-derived inhibitor of angiogenesis and tumor growth, termed canstatin. Canstatin, a fragment of the α2 chain of type IV collagen, was produced as a recombinant molecule inEscherichia coli and 293 embryonic kidneys cells. Canstatin significantly inhibited human endothelial cell migration and murine endothelial cell tube formation. Additionally, canstatin potently inhibited 10% fetal bovine serum-stimulated endothelial cell proliferation and induced apoptosis, with no inhibition of proliferation or apoptosis observed on non-endothelial cells. Inhibition of endothelial proliferation was not concomitant with a change in extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation. We demonstrate that apoptosis induced by canstatin was associated with a down-regulation of the anti-apoptotic protein, FLIP. Canstatin also suppressed in vivo growth of large and small size tumors in two human xenograft mouse models with histology revealing decreased CD31-positive vasculature. Collectively, these results suggest that canstatin is a powerful therapeutic molecule for suppressing angiogenesis.