Erythropoietin receptor contributes to melanoma cell survival in vivo

Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA.
Oncogene (Impact Factor: 8.56). 08/2011; 31(13):1649-60. DOI: 10.1038/onc.2011.366
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Erythropoietin (Epo) is widely used clinically to treat anemia associated with various clinical conditions including cancer. Data from several clinical trials suggest significant adverse effect of Epo treatment on cancer patient survival. However, controversy exists whether Epo receptor (EpoR) is functional in cancer cells. In this study, we demonstrated that EpoR mRNA expression was detectable in 90.1% of 65 melanoma cell lines, and increased copy number of the Epo and EpoR loci occurred in 30 and 24.6% of 130 primary melanomas, respectively. EpoR knockdown in melanoma cells resulted in diminished ERK phosphorylation in response to Epo stimulation, decreased cell proliferation and increased response to the inhibitory effect of hypoxia and cisplatin in vitro. EpoR knockdown significantly decreased melanoma xenograft size and tumor invasion in vivo. On the contrary, constitutive activation of EpoR activated cell proliferation pathways in melanoma cells and resulted in increased cell proliferation and resistance to hypoxia and cisplatin treatment in vitro. EpoR activation resulted in significantly larger xenografts with increased tumor invasion of surrounding tissue in vivo. Daily administration of recombinant Epo fails to stimulate melanoma growth in vivo, but the treatment increased vascular size in the xenografts. Increased local recurrence after excision of the primary tumors was observed after Epo treatment. Epo induced angiogenesis in Matrigel plug assays, and neutralization of Epo secreted by melanoma cells results in decreased angiogenesis. These data support that EpoR is functional in melanoma and EpoR activation may promote melanoma progression, and suggest that Epo may stimulate angiogenesis and increase survival of melanoma cells under hypoxic condition in vivo.

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    ABSTRACT: Recombinant human erythropoietin (EPO), a glycohormone, is one of the leading biopharmaceutical products, while carbamylated erythropoietin (CEPO), an EPO derivative, is attracting widespread interest due to its neuroprotective effects without erythropoiesis in several cells and animal models. However, exogenous EPO promotes an angiogenic response from tumor cells and is associated with tumor growth, but knowledge of CEPO on tumor growth is lacking. Here we show that CEPO, but not EPO, inhibited Neuro-2a growth and viability. As expected, CEPO-unlike EPO-did not activate JAK-2 either in primary neurons or in Neuro-2a cells. Interestingly, CEPO did not induce GDNF expression and subsequent AKT activation in Neuro-2a cells. Before CEPO/EPO treatment, glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) neutralization and GFR receptor blocking decreased the viability of EPO-treated Neuro-2a cells but did not influence CEPO-treated Neuro-2a cells. As compared to primary neurons, the expression of CD131, as a receptor complex binding to CEPO, is almost lacking in Neuro-2a cells. In BABL/C-nu mice, CEPO did not promote the growth of Neuro-2a cells nor extended the survival time compared to mice treated with EPO. The results indicate that CEPO did not promote tumor growth because of lower expression of CD131 and subsequent dysfunction of CD131/GDNF/AKT pathway in Neuro-2a cells, revealing its therapeutic potential in future clinical application.
    Cell Biology and Toxicology 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10565-015-9292-y · 1.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background:Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) reduce the need for red blood cell transfusions; however, they increase the risk of thromboembolic events and mortality. The impact of ESAs on quality of life (QoL) is controversial and led to different recommendations of medical societies and authorities in the USA and Europe. We aimed to critically evaluate and quantify the effects of ESAs on QoL in cancer patients.Methods:We included data from randomised controlled trials (RCTs) on the effects of ESAs on QoL in cancer patients. Randomised controlled trials were identified by searching electronic data bases and other sources up to January 2011. To reduce publication and outcome reporting biases, we included unreported results from clinical study reports. We conducted meta-analyses on fatigue- and anaemia-related symptoms measured with the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Fatigue (FACT-F) and FACT-Anaemia (FACT-An) subscales (primary outcomes) or other validated instruments.Results:We identified 58 eligible RCTs. Clinical study reports were available for 27% (4 out of 15) of the investigator-initiated trials and 95% (41 out of 43) of the industry-initiated trials. We excluded 21 RTCs as we could not use their QoL data for meta-analyses, either because of incomplete reporting (17 RCTs) or because of premature closure of the trial (4 RCTs). We included 37 RCTs with 10 581 patients; 21 RCTs were placebo controlled. Chemotherapy was given in 27 of the 37 RCTs. The median baseline haemoglobin (Hb) level was 10.1 g dl(-1); in 8 studies ESAs were stopped at Hb levels below 13 g dl(-1) and in 27 above 13 g dl(-1). For FACT-F, the mean difference (MD) was 2.41 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.39-3.43; P<0.0001; 23 studies, n=6108) in all cancer patients and 2.81 (95% CI 1.73-3.90; P<0.0001; 19 RCTs, n=4697) in patients receiving chemotherapy, which was below the threshold (⩾3) for a clinically important difference (CID). Erythropoiesis-stimulating agents had a positive effect on anaemia-related symptoms (MD 4.09; 95% CI 2.37-5.80; P=0.001; 14 studies, n=2765) in all cancer patients and 4.50 (95% CI 2.55-6.45; P<0.0001; 11 RCTs, n=2436) in patients receiving chemotherapy, which was above the threshold (⩾4) for a CID. Of note, this effect persisted when we restricted the analysis to placebo-controlled RCTs in patients receiving chemotherapy. There was some evidence that the MDs for FACT-F were above the threshold for a CID in RCTs including cancer patients receiving chemotherapy with Hb levels below 12 g dl(-1) at baseline and in RCTs stopping ESAs at Hb levels above 13 g dl(-1). However, these findings for FACT-F were not confirmed when we restricted the analysis to placebo-controlled RCTs in patients receiving chemotherapy.Conclusions:In cancer patients, particularly those receiving chemotherapy, we found that ESAs provide a small but clinically important improvement in anaemia-related symptoms (FACT-An). For fatigue-related symptoms (FACT-F), the overall effect did not reach the threshold for a CID.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 17 April 2014; doi:10.1038/bjc.2014.171
    British Journal of Cancer 04/2014; DOI:10.1038/bjc.2014.171 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Until 1990, erythropoietin (EPO) was considered to have a single biological purpose and action, the stimulation of red blood cell growth and differentiation. Slowly, scientific and medical opinion evolved, beginning with the discovery of an effect on endothelial cell growth in vitro and the identification of EPO receptors (EPORs) on neuronal cells. We now know that EPO is a pleiotropic growth factor that exhibits an anti-apoptotic action on numerous cells and tissues, including malignant ones. In this article, we present a short discussion of EPO, receptors involved in EPO signal transduction, and their action on non-hematopoietic cells. This is followed by a more detailed presentation of both pre-clinical and clinical data that demonstrate EPO's action on cancer cells, as well as tumor angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. Clinical trials with reported adverse effects of chronic erythropoiesis-stimulating agents (ESAs) treatment as well as clinical studies exploring the prognostic significance of EPO and EPOR expression in cancer patients are reviewed. Finally, we address the use of EPO and other ESAs in cancer patients.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2014; 5:563. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00563


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