The angiogenic switch for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D in the adenoma-carcinoma sequence during colorectal cancer progression.
ABSTRACT Angiogenesis is essential for tumour growth and metastasis. It is controlled by angiogenic factors, one of the most important being vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A. Although its role has been demonstrated in many tumour types including colorectal carcinoma (CRC), the importance of the newer family members in adenoma, invasive tumour growth, and progression to a metastatic phenotype has been poorly characterized in CRC. The aim of this study was to determine the role and timing of the VEGF angiogenic switch during CRC progression. We measured the gene expression of VEGF ligands (VEGF-A, VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D) and their receptors (VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3), in normal colorectal tissues (n = 20), adenomas (n = 10), and in CRC (n = 71) representing different Duke's stages using ribonuclease protection assay, semi-quantitative relative reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, together with the pattern of their expression by immunohistochemistry. VEGF-A mRNA was the most abundant in colorectal tissue, followed by VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D. VEGF-A and VEGF-B mRNAs were significantly more abundant in adenomas (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.04 respectively) compared with normal tissues, while VEGF-A and VEGF-C were significantly increased in carcinomas compared with normal tissues (p = 0.0006 and p = 0.0009 respectively). A significantly greater amount of VEGF-C mRNA was present in carcinomas compared with adenomas (p = 0.03), whereas there was a significant reduction of VEGF-B in carcinomas compared with adenomas (p = 0.0002). VEGF-D mRNA was significantly more abundant in normal tissues than in adenomas (p = 0.0001) and carcinomas (p < 0.0001). In normal tissues distant from the primary tumour, there was a significantly greater amount of VEGF-A and VEGF-D mRNA in patients with Duke's B and Duke's C respectively, compared with Duke's A stage tumours (p = 0.04 and p = 0.01 respectively). Immunohistochemistry showed low basal levels of all ligands in histologically normal tissues and their expression in the epithelium of tumours reflected the levels of mRNA expression identified. VEGF-A and VEGF-C mRNA levels correlated significantly with tumour grade (p = 0.01 and p = 0.01 respectively) and tumour size (p = 0.001 and p = 0.01 respectively), but not with patient age, sex, presence of infiltrative margin, lymphocytic response, vascular invasion, Duke's stage, or lymph node involvement (p > 0.05). VEGF-B mRNA correlated with an infiltrative margin (p = 0.04) but no other clinicopathological variable, and expression of VEGF-D demonstrated no association with any parameter examined. VEGFR-1 was significantly correlated with tumour grade (p = 0.02), Duke's stage (p < 0.001), and lymph node involvement (p = 0.004), VEGFR-2 with lymph node involvement (p = 0.02), and VEGFR-3 did not correlate with any of the clinicopathological variables tested. These results suggest that VEGF-A and VEGF-B play a role early in tumour development at the stage of adenoma formation and that VEGF-C plays a role in advanced disease when there is more likelihood of metastatic spread. The finding of increased levels of VEGF-A and VEGF-D expression in normal tissues collected from a site distant from the primary tumour indicates changes in the surrounding tumour environment that may enhance the subsequent spread of tumour cells.
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ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a critical pro-angiogenic factor, found in a number of cancers, and a target of therapy. It is typically assessed by immunohistochemistry (IHC) in clinical research. However, IHC is not a quantitative assay and is rarely reproducible. We compared VEGF levels in colon cancer by IHC and a quantitative immunoassay on proteins isolated from formalin fixed, paraffin embedded tissues.Proteome Science 01/2014; 12:27. · 1.88 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-D, a member of the VEGF family, induces both angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis by activating VEGF receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) and VEGFR-3 on the surface of endothelial cells. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 has been shown to stimulate VEGF-A expression in human lung fibroblast via the Smad3 signaling pathway and to induce VEGF-C in human proximal tubular epithelial cells. However, the effects of TGF-β1 on VEGF-D regulation are unknown. To investigate the regulation of VEGF-D, human lung fibroblasts were studied under pro-fibrotic conditions in vitro and in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) lung tissue. We demonstrate that TGF-β1 downregulates VEGF-D expression in a dose- and time-dependent manner in human lung fibroblasts. This TGF-β1 effect can be abolished by inhibitors of TGF-β type I receptor kinase and JNK, but not by Smad3 knockdown. In addition, VEGF-D knockdown in human lung fibroblasts induces G1/S transition and promotes cell proliferation. Importantly, VEGF-D protein expression is decreased in lung homogenates from IPF patients compared to control lung. In IPF lung sections, fibroblastic foci show very weak VEGF-D immunoreactivity, whereas VEGF-D is abundantly expressed within alveolar interstitial cells in control lung. Taken together, our data identify a novel mechanism for downstream signal transduction induced by TGF-β1 in lung fibroblasts through which they may mediate tissue remodeling in IPF.Molecular Medicine 02/2014; · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background Unlike metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) there are to date few reports concerning the predictive value of molecular biomarkers on the clinical outcome in stage II/III CRC patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy. Aim of this study was to assess the predictive value of proteins related with the EGFR- and VEGFR- signalling cascades in these patients.Methods The patients' data examined in this study were from the collective of the 5-FU/FA versus 5-FU/FA/irinotecan phase III FOGT-4 trial. Tumor tissues were stained by immunohistochemistry for VEGF-C, VEGF-D, VEGFR-3, Hif-1 ¿, PTEN, AREG and EREG expression and evaluated by two independent, blinded investigators.Survival analyses were calculated for all patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy in relation to expression of all makers above.ResultsPatients with negative AREG and EREG expression on their tumor had a significant longer DFS in comparison to AREG/EREG positive ones (p< 0.05). The benefit on DFS in AREG-/EREG- patients was even stronger in the group that received 5-FU/FA/irinotecan as adjuvant treatment (p=0.002). Patients with strong expression of PTEN profited more in terms of OS under adjuvant treatment containing irinotecan (p< 0.05). Regarding markers of the VEGFR- pathway we found no correlation of VEGF-C- and VEGFR-3 expression with clinical outcome. Patients with negative VEGF-D expression had a trend to live longer when treated with 5-FU/FA (p=0.106). Patients who were negative for Hif-1 ¿, were disease-free in more than 50% at the end of the study and showed significant longer DFS-rates than those positive for Hif-1 ¿ (p=0.007). This benefit was even stronger at the group treated with 5-FU/FA/irinotecan (p=0.026). Finally, AREG-/EREG-/PTEN+ patients showed a trend to live longer under combined treatment combination.Conclusions The addition of irinotecan to adjuvant treatment with 5-FU/FA does not provide OS or DFS benefit in patients with stage II/III CRC. Nevertheless, AREG/EREG negative, PTEN positive and Hif-1 ¿ negative patients might profit significantly in terms of DFS from a treatment containing fluoropyrimidines and irinotecan. Our results suggest a predictive value of these biomarkers concerning adjuvant chemotherapy with 5-FU/FA +/¿ irinotecan in stage II/III colorectal cancer.Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 10/2014; 33(1):83. · 3.27 Impact Factor