Ponatinib exerts anti-angiogenic effects in the zebrafish and human umbilical vein endothelial cells via blocking VEGFR signaling pathway.
ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is a hallmark for cancer development because it is essential for cancer growth and provides the route for cancer cell migration (metastasis). Understanding the mechanism of angiogenesis and developing drugs that target the process has therefore been a major focus for research on cancer therapy. In this study, we screened 114 FDA-approved anti-cancer drugs for their effects on angiogenesis in the zebrafish. Among those with positive effects, we chose to focus on Ponatinib (AP24534; Iclusig®) for further investigation. Ponatinib is an inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase BCR-ABL in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), and its clinical trial has been approved by FDA for the treatment of the disease. In recent clinical trials, however, some side effects have been reported for Ponatinib, mostly on blood vessel disorders, raising the possibility that this drug may influence angiogenesis. In this study, we demonstrated that Ponatinib was able to suppress the formation of intersegmental vessels (ISV) and subintestinal vessels (SIV) in the zebrafish larvae. The anti-angiogenic effect of Ponatinib was further validated by other bioassays in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), including cell proliferation and migration, tube formation, and wound healing. Further experiments showed that Ponatinib inhibited VEGF-induced VEGFR2 phosphorylation and its downstream signaling pathways including Akt/eNOS/NO pathway and MAPK pathways (ERK and p38MAPK). Taken together, these results suggest that inhibition of VEGF signaling at its receptor level and downstream pathways may likely be responsible for the antiangiogenic activity of Ponatinib.
Project description:Timosaponin AIII (Timo AIII) is a natural steroidal saponin isolated from the traditional Chinese herb Anemarrhena asphodeloides Bge with proved effectiveness in the treatment of numerous cancers. However, whether Timo AIII suppresses tumor angiogenesis remains unclear. In the present study, we investigated the antiangiogenesis effects of Timo AIII and the underlying mechanisms in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in vitro and zebrafish embryos in vivo. We showed that treatment with Timo AIII (0.5-2?µM) partially disrupted the intersegmental vessels (ISVs) and subintestinal vessels (SIVs) growth in transgenic zebrafish Tg(fli-1a: EGFP)y1. Timo AIII (0.5-4?µM) dose-dependently inhibited VEGF-induced proliferation, migration, invasion, and tube formation of HUVECs, but these inhibitory effects were not due to its cytotoxicity. We further demonstrated that Timo AIII treatment significantly suppressed the expression of VEGF receptor (VEGFR) and the phosphorylation of Akt, MEK1/2, and ERK1/2 in HUVECs. Timo AIII treatment also significantly inhibited VEGF-triggered phosphorylation of VEGFR2, Akt, and ERK1/2 in HUVECs. Moreover, we conducted RNA-Seq and analyzed the transcriptome changes in both HUVECs and zebrafish embryos following Timo AIII treatment. The coexpression network analysis results showed that various biological processes and signaling pathways were enriched including angiogenesis, cell motility, cell adhesion, protein serine/threonine kinase activity, transmembrane signaling receptor activity, growth factor activity, etc., which was consistent with the antiangiogenesis effects of Timo AIII in HUVECs and zebrafish embryos. We conclude that the antiangiogenesis effect of Timo AIII is mediated through VEGF/PI3K/Akt/MAPK signaling cascade; Timo AIII potentially exerts antiangiogenesis effect in cancer treatment.
Project description:Human malignancies are often the result of overexpressed and constitutively active receptor and non-receptor tyrosine kinases, which ultimately lead to the mediation of key tumor-driven pathways. Several tyrosine kinases (ie, EGFR, FGFR, PDGFR, VEGFR), are aberrantly activated in most common tumors, including leukemia, glioblastoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumors, non-small-cell lung cancer, and head and neck cancers. Iclusig™ (ponatinib, previously known as AP24534) is an orally active multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor and is currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia and Philadelphia chromosome-positive acute lymphoblastic leukemia, specifically targeting the BCR-ABL gene mutation, T315I. Due to ponatinib's unique multi-targeted characteristics, further studies have demonstrated its ability to target other important tyrosine kinases (FGFR, PDGFR, SRC, RET, KIT, and FLT1) in other human malignancies. This review focuses on the available data of ponatinib and its molecular targets for treatment in various cancers, with a discussion on the broader potential of this agent in other cancer indications.
Project description:The zebrafish/tumor xenograft angiogenesis assay is used to approach tumor angiogenesis, a pivotal step in cancer progression and target for anti-tumor therapies. Here, we evaluated whether the assay could allow the identification of microRNAs having an anti-angiogenic potential. For that, we transfected DU-145 prostate cancer cells with four microRNAs (miR-125a, miR-320, miR-487b, miR-492) responsive to both anti- and pro-angiogenic stimuli applied to human umbilical vein endothelial cells. After transfection, DU-145 cells were injected close to the developing subintestinal vessels of transgenic Tg(Kdrl:eGFP)s843 zebrafish embryos that express green fluorescent protein under the control of Kdrl promoter. At 72 h post-fertilization, we observed that green fluorescent protein-positive neo-vessels infiltrated the graft of DU-145 transfected with miR-125a, miR-320, and miR-487b. Vice versa, neo-vessel formation and tumor cell infiltration were inhibited when DU-145 cells transfected with miR-492 were used. These results indicated that the zebrafish/tumor xenograft assay was adequate to identify microRNAs able to suppress the release of angiogenic growth factors by angiogenic tumor cells.
Project description:Thalidomide is used in clinical practice to treat gastrointestinal vascular malformation (GIVM), but the pathogenesis of GIVM is not clear. Hypoxia inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1α) and 2 alpha (HIF-2α/EPAS1) are in the same family and act as master regulators of the adaptive response to hypoxia. HIF-1α and HIF-2α are up-regulated in vascular malformations in intestinal tissues from GIVM patients, but not in adjacent normal vessels. Therefore, we investigated the role of HIF-1α and HIF-2α during angiogenesis and the mechanism of thalidomide action. In vitro experiments confirmed that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was a direct target of HIF-2α and that HIF-1α and HIF-2α regulated NOTCH1, Ang2, and DLL4, which enhanced vessel-forming of endothelial cells. Thalidomide down-regulated the expression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α and inhibited angiogenesis. In vivo zebrafish experiments suggested that HIF-2α overexpression was associated with abnormal subintestinal vascular (SIV) sprouting, which was reversed by thalidomide. This result indicated that thalidomide regulated angiogenesis via the inhibition of HIF-1α and HIF-2α expression, which further regulated downstream factors, including VEGF, NOTCH1, DLL4, and Ang2. The abnormally high expression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α may contribute to GIVM.
Project description:Piceatannol is also named as trans-3,4,3',5'-tetrahydroxy-stilbene, which is a natural analog of resveratrol and a polyphenol existing in red wine, grape and sugar cane. Piceatannol has been proved to possess activities of immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferative and anticancer. However, the effect of piceatannol on VEGF-mediated angiogenesis is not known. Here, the inhibitory effects of piceatannol on VEGF-induced angiogenesis were tested both in vitro and in vivo models of angiogenesis. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), piceatannol markedly reduced the VEGF-induced cell proliferation, migration, invasion, as well as tube formation without affecting cell viability. Furthermore, piceatannol significantly inhibited the formation of subintestinal vessel in zebrafish embryos in vivo. In addition, we identified the underlying mechanism of piceatannol in triggering the anti-angiogenic functions. Piceatannol was proposed to bind with VEGF, thus attenuating VEGF in activating VEGF receptor and blocking VEGF-mediated downstream signaling, including expressions of phosphorylated eNOS, Erk and Akt. Furthermore, piceatannol visibly suppressed ROS formation, as triggered by VEGF. Moreover, we further determined the outcome of piceatannol binding to VEGF in cancer cells: piceatannol significantly suppressed VEGF-induced colon cancer proliferation and migration. Thus, these lines of evidence supported the conclusion that piceatannol could down regulate the VEGF-mediated angiogenic functions with no cytotoxicity via decreasing the amount of VEGF binding to its receptors, thus affecting the related downstream signaling. Piceatannol may be developed into therapeutic agents or health products to reduce the high incidence of angiogenesis-related diseases.
Project description:Despite the remarkable success of imatinib against Bcr-Abl, development of secondary resistance, most often due to point mutations in the Bcr-Abl tyrosine kinase (TK) domain, is quite common. Of these, the T315I "gatekeeper" mutation is resistant to all currently registered Bcr-Abl TK inhibitors (TKIs) with the notable exception of ponatinib (Iclusig™), which was very recently approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Besides ponatinib, numerous strategies have been developed to circumvent this problem. These include the protein synthesis inhibitor omacetaxine (Synribo®), and "switch-control" inhibitors. Dual Bcr-Abl and aurora kinase inhibitors represent another promising strategy. Finally, several promising synergistic combinations, such as TKIs with histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs), warrant attention.
Project description:Aberrant mutational activation of FGFR2 is associated with endometrial cancers (ECs). AP24534 (ponatinib) currently undergoing clinical trials has been known to be an orally available multi-targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Our biochemical kinase assay showed that AP24534 is potent against wild-type FGFR1-4 and 5 mutant FGFRs (V561M-FGFR1, N549H-FGFR2, K650E-FGFR3, G697C-FGFR3, N535K-FGFR4) and possesses the strongest kinase-inhibitory activity on N549H-FGFR2 (IC50 of 0.5 nM) among all FGFRs tested. We therefore investigated the effects of AP24534 on endometrial cancer cells harboring activating FGFR2 mutations and explored the underlying molecular mechanisms. AP24534 significantly inhibited the proliferation of endometrial cancer cells bearing activating FGFR2 mutations (N549K, K310R/N549K, S252W) and mainly induced G1/S cell cycle arrest leading to apoptosis. AP24534 also diminished the kinase activity of immunoprecipitated FGFR2 derived from MFE-296 and MFE-280 cells and reduced the phosphorylation of FGFR2 and FRS2 on MFE-296 and AN3CA cells. AP24534 caused substantial reductions in ERK phosphorylation, PLC? signaling and STAT5 signal transduction on ECs bearing FGFR2 activating mutations. Akt signaling pathway was also deactivated by AP24534. AP24534 causes the chemotherapeutic effect through mainly the blockade of ERK, PLC? and STAT5 signal transduction on ECs. Moreover, AP24534 inhibited migration and invasion of endometrial cancer cells with FGFR2 mutations. In addition, AP24534 significantly blocked anchorage-independent growth of endometrial cancer cells. We, for the first time, report the molecular mechanisms by which AP24534 exerts antitumor effects on ECs with FGFR2 activating mutations, which would provide mechanistic insight into ongoing clinical investigations of AP24534 for ECs.
Project description:Eriocalyxin B (EriB), a natural ent-kaurane diterpenoid isolated from the plant Isodon eriocalyx var. laxiflora, has emerged as a promising anticancer agent. The effects of EriB on angiogenesis were explored in the present study. Here we demonstrated that the subintestinal vein formation was significantly inhibited by EriB treatment (10, 15 μM) in zebrafish embryos, which was resulted from the alteration of various angiogenic genes as shown in transcriptome profiling. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells, EriB treatment (50, 100 nM) could significantly block vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF)-induced cell proliferation, tube formation, cell migration and cell invasion. Furthermore, EriB also caused G1 phase cell cycle arrest which was correlated with the down-regulation of the cyclin D1 and CDK4 leading to the inhibition of phosphorylated retinoblastoma protein expression. Investigation of the signal transduction revealed that EriB inhibited VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor-2 via the interaction with the ATP-binding sites according to the molecular docking simulations. The suppression of VEGFR-2 downstream signal transduction cascades was also observed. EriB was showed to inhibit new blood vessel formation in Matrigel plug model and mouse 4T1 breast tumor model. EriB (5 mg/kg/day) treatment was able to decrease tumor vascularization and suppress tumor growth and angiogenesis. Taken together, our findings suggested that EriB is a novel inhibitor of angiogenesis through modulating VEGFR-2 signaling pathway, which could be developed as a promising anti-angiogenic agent for treatment of angiogenesis-related human diseases, such as cancer.
Project description:AIM: To determine if growth arrest-specific 6 (Gas6) plays an important role in the regulation of angiogenesis in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs) and in vessel development of zebrafish. METHODS: Proliferation, wound-healing cell migration, and tube formation were measured in HRMECs treated with recombinant human Gas6 (rhGas6). Sprague-Dawley rat aortas in Matrigels were treated with rhGas6, and microvessel sprouting emanating from arterial rings was analyzed. Transgenic zebrafish embryos (flk:GFP) were microinjected with rhGas6 at 50 hours post-fertilization (hpf), and ectopic sprouting of subintestinal vessels (SIVs) was observed under a confocal microscope. Morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) were microinjected to knockdown gas6 in zebrafish embryos, and intersegmental vessel impairment was observed. The effect of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) inhibitor on the migration of HRMECs and on vessel development in zebrafish embryos was tested. RESULTS: rhGas6 stimulated proliferation, migration, and tube formation in HRMECs in a dose-dependent manner. In rat aortas, rhGas6 induced vessel outgrowth, and the sprouting length was longer than that of controls. The rhGas6-microinjected zebrafish embryos had significantly increased vessel outgrowth in the SIVs. Recombinant human vascular endothelial growth factor (rhVEGF) served as a positive control. Knockdown of gas6 inhibited angiogenesis in the developing vessels of zebrafish. The ERK1/2 inhibitor inhibited HRMEC migration and intersegmental vessel formation in zebrafish embryos. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATIONS: These data suggest that Gas6 plays a pivotal role in proliferation, migration, and sprouting of angiogenic endothelial cells in the retina and in zebrafish embryos. Furthermore, Gas6 induced angiogenic processes are induced via phosphorylation of ERK1/2.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Survivin is the smallest member of the inhibitor of apoptosis (IAP) gene family. Recently, the zebrafish survivin-1 gene has been cloned, showing remarkable sequence identity and similarity over the BIR domain compared with human and mouse survivin gene. Here we investigated the role of survivin in angiogenesis during zebrafish development. Morpholinos (MOs) targeting the 5' untranslated region (UTR) (SurUTR) and sequences flanking the initiation codon (SurATG) of zebrafish survivin-1 gene were injected into embryos at 1-4 cell stage. Vasculature was examined by microangiography and GFP expression in Tg(fli1:EGFP)y1 embryos.<h4>Results</h4>In embryos co-injected with SurUTR and SurATG-MOs, vasculogenesis was intact but angiogenesis was markedly perturbed, especially in the inter-segmental vessels (ISV) and dorsal longitudinal anastomotic vessels (DLAV) of the trunk, the inner optic circle and optic veins of developing eyes and the sub-intestinal vessels. Apoptosis was increased, as shown by TUNEL staining and increase in caspase-3 activity. Efficacy of SurUTR and SurATG-MOs was demonstrated by translation inhibition of co-injected 5'UTR survivin:GFP plasmids. The phenotypes could be recapitulated by splice-site MO targeting the exon2-intron junction of survivin gene and rescued by survivin mRNA. Injection of human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein induced ectopic angiogenesis and increased survivin expression, whereas treatment with a VEGF receptor inhibitor markedly reduced angiogenesis and suppressed survivin expression.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Survivin is involved in angiogenesis during zebrafish development and may be under VEGF regulation.