Endothelial Cell Migration and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Expression Are the Result of Loss of Breast Tissue Polarity

Department of Surgery, University of California at San Francisco, 94143, USA.
Cancer Research (Impact Factor: 9.28). 09/2009; 69(16):6721-9. DOI: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-08-4069
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Recruiting a new blood supply is a rate-limiting step in tumor progression. In a three-dimensional model of breast carcinogenesis, disorganized, proliferative transformed breast epithelial cells express significantly higher expression of angiogenic genes compared with their polarized, growth-arrested nonmalignant counterparts. Elevated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion by malignant cells enhanced recruitment of endothelial cells (EC) in heterotypic cocultures. Significantly, phenotypic reversion of malignant cells via reexpression of HoxD10, which is lost in malignant progression, significantly attenuated VEGF expression in a hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha-independent fashion and reduced EC migration. This was due primarily to restoring polarity: forced proliferation of polarized, nonmalignant cells did not induce VEGF expression and EC recruitment, whereas disrupting the architecture of growth-arrested, reverted cells did. These data show that disrupting cytostructure activates the angiogenic switch even in the absence of proliferation and/or hypoxia and restoring organization of malignant clusters reduces VEGF expression and EC activation to levels found in quiescent nonmalignant epithelium. These data confirm the importance of tissue architecture and polarity in malignant progression.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The thyroid is a highly vascularized endocrine gland, displaying a characteristic epithelial organization in closed spheres, called follicles. Here we investigate how endothelial cells are recruited into the developing thyroid and if they control glandular organization as well as thyrocytes and C-cells differentiation. We show that endothelial cells closely surround, and then invade the expanding thyroid epithelial cell mass to become closely associated with nascent polarized follicles. This close and sustained endothelial:epithelial interaction depends on epithelial production of the angiogenic factor, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A), as its thyroid-specific genetic inactivation reduced the endothelial cell pool of the thyroid by >90%. Vegfa KO also displayed decreased C-cells differentiation and impaired organization of the epithelial cell mass into follicles. We developed an ex vivo model of thyroid explants that faithfully mimicks bilobation of the thyroid anlagen, endothelial and C-cells invasion, folliculogenesis and differentiation. Treatment of thyroid explants at e12.5 with a VEGFR2 inhibitor ablated the endothelial pool and reproduced ex vivo folliculogenesis defects observed in conditional Vegfa KO. In the absence of any blood supply, rescue by embryonic endothelial progenitor cells restored folliculogenesis, accelerated lumen expansion and stimulated calcitonin expression by C-cells. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that, in developing mouse thyroid, epithelial production of VEGF-A is necessary for endothelial cells recruitment and expansion. In turn, endothelial cells control epithelial reorganization in follicles and C-cells differentiation.
    Developmental Biology 05/2013; DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.04.022 · 3.64 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Homeobox genes are essential for both the development of the blood and lymphatic vascular systems, as well as for their maintenance in the adult. Homeobox genes comprise an important family of transcription factors, which are characterized by a well conserved DNA binding motif; the homeodomain. The specificity of the homeodomain allows the transcription factor to bind to the promoter regions of batteries of target genes and thereby regulates their expression. Target genes identified for homeodomain proteins have been shown to control fundamental cell processes such as proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis. We and others have reported that homeobox genes are expressed in the placental vasculature, but our knowledge of their downstream target genes is limited. This review highlights the importance of studying the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which homeobox genes and their downstream targets may regulate important vascular cellular processes such as proliferation, migration, and endothelial tube formation, which are essential for placental vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. A better understanding of the molecular targets of homeobox genes may lead to new therapies for aberrant angiogenesis associated with clinically important pregnancy pathologies, including fetal growth restriction and preeclampsia.
    Frontiers in Pharmacology 06/2014; 5:133. DOI:10.3389/fphar.2014.00133
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The microenvironment of cells controls their phenotype, and thereby the architecture of the emerging multicellular structure or tissue. We have reported more than a dozen microenvironmental factors whose signaling must be integrated in order to effect an organized, functional tissue morphology. However, the factors that prevent integration of signaling pathways that merge form and function are still largely unknown. We have identified nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB) as a transcriptional regulator that disrupts important microenvironmental cues necessary for tissue organization. We compared the gene expression of organized and disorganized epithelial cells of the HMT-3522 breast cancer progression series: the non-malignant S1 cells that form polarized spheres ('acini'), the malignant T4-2 cells that form large tumor-like clusters, and the 'phenotypically reverted' T4-2 cells that polarize as a result of correction of the microenvironmental signaling. We identified 180 genes that display an increased expression in disorganized compared to polarized structures. Network, GSEA and transcription factor binding site analyses suggested that NFkB is a common activator for the 180 genes. NFkB was found to be activated in disorganized breast cancer cells, and inhibition of microenvironmental signaling via EGFR, beta1 integrin, MMPs, or their downstream signals suppressed its activation. The postulated role of NFkB was experimentally verified: Blocking the NFkB pathway with a specific chemical inhibitor or shRNA induced polarization and inhibited invasion of breast cancer cells in 3D cultures. These results may explain why NFkB holds promise as a target for therapeutic intervention: Its inhibition can reverse the oncogenic signaling involved in breast cancer progression and integrate the essential microenvironmental control of tissue architecture.
    Oncotarget 10/2013; · 6.63 Impact Factor


Available from
May 17, 2014