VEGF-C contributes to head and neck squamous cell carcinoma growth and motility.
ABSTRACT Previous work from our laboratory has demonstrated overexpression of chemokines in head and neck cancer and the utility of targeting these proteins for tumor therapy in a preclinical model. However, the mechanisms involved are unexplored. Through gene expression analysis, we found that expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) was elevated in HN12 cells expressing high levels of CXCL5. In the present study, we have investigated the contribution of VEGF-C to tumor cell growth and motility. RNAi-mediated knockdown of VEGF-C expression in HN12 cells, which express high levels of CXCL5, resulted in a decrease in proliferation. Conversely, forced expression of VEGF-C in HN4 tumor cells with low endogenous CXCL5 levels increased cell growth. Suppression of VEGF-C inhibited migration of HN12 cells. Similarly, HN4 cells showed reduced migration towards conditioned media collected from HN12 cells with VEGF-C knockdown compared to controls, while HN4/VEGF-C conditioned media stimulated cell migration. Moreover, tumor growth in vivo was markedly reduced when VEGF-C expression was blocked by shRNA. Finally, determination of VEGF-C expression in squamous carcinoma cell lines revealed universal overexpression compared to normal keratinocytes. These findings support a role for VEGF-C in head and neck squamous cell carcinogenesis.
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ABSTRACT: The expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A isoforms (121, 165, 189, 206), VEGF-B, VEGF-C and VEGF-D in both experimental and clinical models of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) was determined and correlated with conventional clinicopathologic parameters, with particular reference to cervical nodal metastasis. The mRNA expression of VEGFs in 14 HNSCC cell lines was compared with 4 normal keratinocyte cultures and 10 fibroblast cultures using a semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. Protein levels were determined by Western blotting and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The authors then examined the expression of VEGFs in tissues from 54 patients including histologically normal epithelium (n = 32), early invasive squamous cell carcinomas (SCCs) (n = 23), advanced primary SCCs (n = 31), and lymph node metastases (n = 27). Increased levels of VEGF-A (all four isoforms) and VEGF-C were found in tumor cell lines compared with normal cells, whereas no differences in VEGF-B levels were found. VEGF-D expression, however, was lower in HNSCC cells. Studies in clinical samples showed highly significant increases in mRNA expression of all four isoforms of VEGF-A and VEGF-C in tumors versus normal epithelium. In contrast, the levels of VEGF-D were significantly decreased in tumors, and VEGF-B expression appeared similar in both normal and malignant tissues. Multivariate analysis demonstrated that an infiltrative mode of invasion and enhanced expression of VEGF-A (isoforms 121 and 165) and VEGF-C had predictive value for the presence of cervical nodal metastases. Up-regulation of VEGF-A (two isoforms) and VEGF-C and down-regulation of VEGF-D have been common features in HNSCC. Thus VEGF-A and VEGF-C appeared to play a vital role in the metastatic process of HNSCC.Cancer 09/2001; 92(3):556-68. · 5.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: CXCL16, a recently discovered transmembrane chemokine, is expressed in human aortic smooth muscle cell (ASMC). It facilitates uptake of low density lipoproteins by macrophages, resulting in foam cell formation. However, it is not known whether ASMC express CXCR6, the receptor for CXCL16, or whether CXCL16 affects ASMC biology. To dissect the biological and signal transduction pathways elicited by CXCL16, human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMC) were treated with pharmacological inhibitors or transiently transfected with pathway-specific dominant-negative or kinase-dead expression vectors prior to the addition of CXCL16. HASMC expressed CXCR6 at basal conditions. Exposure of HASMC to CXCL16 increased NF-kappa B DNA binding activity, induced kappa B-driven luciferase activity, and up-regulated tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression in an NF-kappa B-dependent manner. However, treatment with pertussis toxin (G(i) inhibitor), wortmannin or LY294002 (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K inhibitors)), or Akt inhibitor or overexpression of dominant-negative (dn) PI3K gamma, dnPDK-1, kinase-dead (kd) Akt, kdIKK-beta, dnIKK-gamma, dnI kappa B-alpha, or dnI kappa B-beta significantly attenuated CXCL16-induced NF-kappa B activation. Furthermore, CXCL16 increased cell-cell adhesion and induced cellular proliferation in an NF-kappa B-dependent manner. In conclusion, CXCL16 is a potent and direct activator of NF-kappaB and induces kappa B-dependent proinflammatory gene transcription. CXCL16-mediated NF-kappa B activation occurred via heterotrimeric G proteins, PI3K, PDK-1, Akt, and I kappa B kinase (IKK). CXCL16 induced I kappa B phosphorylation and degradation. Most importantly, CXCL16 increased cell-cell adhesion and induced kappa B-dependent ASMC proliferation, indicating that CXCL16 may play an important role in the development and progression of atherosclerotic vascular disease.Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2004; 279(5):3188-96. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Polypeptide growth factors play key roles in the processes of cell migration and invasion. In this study, we have used cDNA microarrays to identify target genes whose expression is differentially modulated by the growth factors TGFbeta and EGF. HN4 and HN12 cell lines, established from primary tumor and a lymph node metastasis arising in one patient with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, were treated with 2nM EGF or 50pM TGFbeta for 24h and extracted RNA was used to prepare labeled cDNAs which were hybridized to NCI UniGem 2.0 cDNA microarrays containing 9128 features. Results revealed constitutive overexpression of 41 genes and underexpression of 109 genes in metastatic HN12 compared to HN4 under conditions of serum withdrawal. Furthermore, TGFbeta treatment resulted in relative upregulation of 53 genes and downregulation of 91 genes in HN12 compared with HN4, whereas cells treated with EGF showed relative upregulation of 67 genes and downregulation of 113 genes. Partial overlap was found between TGFbeta and EGF-modulated gene sets. Results were verified for a subset of each category using quantitative PCR, western blotting and zymography. The data indicate that TGFbeta and EGF differentially affect gene expression in primary and metastatic HNSCC cells, and likely contribute to the invasive properties of metastatic cells through regulation of both common and specific mediators for each growth factor.Oral Oncology 04/2006; 42(3):240-56. · 2.70 Impact Factor