Angiopoietins (Ang) are involved in the remodeling, maturation, and stabilization of the vascular network. Ang-4 was discovered more recently; thus, its effect on angiogenesis and its interplay with other angiogenic factors have not been equivocally established. The role of Ang-4 in angiogenesis was tested in Matrigel chambers implanted into the subcutaneous space of nude mice. Ang-4 inhibited the angiogenic response of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and GLC19 tumor cells. In Matrigel chambers with Ang-4-transfected cells, the mean response was significantly lower than that of mock cells. Subcutaneous tumor interstitial fluid pressure (IFP) was significantly lower in Ang-4-transfected GLC19 tumors than in mock-transfected tumors. IFP reduction in Ang-4-transfected tumors was comparable to the reduction seen after bevacizumab treatment. In vitro, we examined the effect of recombinant Ang-4 on endothelial cell migration in Boyden chambers. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) migration induced by bFGF and VEGF was inhibited by Ang-4 to control levels. In conclusion, we show that rhAng-4, as well as transfection with Ang-4, inhibits angiogenesis induced by GLC19 tumor cells and that Ang-4 expression reduces elevated tumor IFP. In addition, we demonstrate that rhAng-4 inhibits HUVEC migration and growth factor-induced angiogenesis.
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.
Direct Cell Adhesion to the Angiopoietins Mediated by Integrins
Genetic ablation of angiopoietin-1 (Ang-1) or of its cognate receptor, Tie2, disrupts angiogenesis in mouse embryos. The endothelial cells in growing blood vessels of Ang-1 knockout mice have a rounded appearance and are poorly associated with one another and their underlying basement membranes (Dumont, D. J., Gradwohl, G., Fong, G. H., Puri, M. C., Gertsenstein, M., Auerbach, A., and Breitman, M. L. (1994) Genes Dev. 8, 1897–1909; Sato, T. N., Tozawa, Y., Deutsch, U., Wolburg-Buchholz, K., Fujiwara, Y., Gendron-Maguire, M., Gridley, T., Wolburg, H., Risau, W., and Qin, Y. (1995) Nature 376, 70–74; Suri, C., Jones, P. F., Patan, S., Bartunkova, S., Maisonpierre, P. C., Davis, S., Sato, T. N., and Yancopoulos, G. D. (1996) Cell 87, 1171–1180). It is therefore possible that Ang-1 regulates endothelial cell adhesion. In this study we asked whether Ang-1 might act as a direct substrate for cell adhesion. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) plated for a brief period on different substrates were found to adhere and spread well on Ang-1. Similar results were seen on angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2)-coated surfaces, although cells did not spread well on Ang-2. Ang-1, but not Ang-2, supported HUVEC migration, and this was independent of growth factor activity. When the same experiments were done with fibroblasts that either lacked, or stably expressed, Tie2, results similar to those with HUVECs were seen, suggesting that adhesion to the angiopoietins was independent of Tie2 and not limited to endothelial cells. Interestingly, when integrin-blocking agents were included in these assays, adhesion to either angiopoietin was significantly reduced. Moreover, Chinese hamster ovary-B2 cells lacking the α5 integrin subunit did not adhere to Ang-1, but they did adhere to Ang-2. Stable expression of the human α5 integrin subunit in these cells rescued adhesion to Ang-1 and promoted an increase in adhesion to Ang-2. We also found that Ang-1 and Ang-2 bind rather selectively to vitronectin. These results suggest that, beyond their role in modulating Tie2 signaling, Ang-1 and Ang-2 can directly support cell adhesion mediated by integrins.
In vitro anti-angiogenic properties of LGD1069
LGD1069 (Targretin®) is a selective retinoid X receptor (RXR) ligand, which is used in patients for cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Our published study reported that LGD1069 inhibited tumor-induced angiogenesis in non-small cell lung cancer. In present study, we found that LGD1069 suppressed the proliferation, adhesion, invasion and migration of endothelial cells directly, and affected the expression of vegf and some matrix genes.