The antifungal drug itraconazole inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2) glycosylation, trafficking, and signaling in endothelial cells.
ABSTRACT Itraconazole is a safe and widely used antifungal drug that was recently found to possess potent antiangiogenic activity. Currently, there are four active clinical trials evaluating itraconazole as a cancer therapeutic. Tumor growth is dependent on angiogenesis, which is driven by the secretion of growth factors from the tumor itself. We report here that itraconazole significantly inhibited the binding of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and that both VEGFR2 and an immediate downstream substrate, phospholipase C γ1, failed to become activated after VEGF stimulation. These effects were due to a defect in VEGFR2 trafficking, leading to a decrease in cell surface expression, and were associated with the accumulation of immature N-glycans on VEGFR2. Small molecule inducers of lysosomal cholesterol accumulation and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibition, two previously reported itraconazole activities, failed to recapitulate itraconazole's effects on VEGFR2 glycosylation and signaling. Likewise, glycosylation inhibitors did not alter cholesterol trafficking or inhibit mTOR. Repletion of cellular cholesterol levels, which was known to rescue the effects of itraconazole on mTOR and cholesterol trafficking, was also able to restore VEGFR2 glycosylation and signaling. This suggests that the new effects of itraconazole occur in parallel to those previously reported but are downstream of a common target. We also demonstrated that itraconazole globally reduced poly-N-acetyllactosamine and tetra-antennary complex N-glycans in endothelial cells and induced hypoglycosylation of the epidermal growth factor receptor in a renal cell carcinoma line, suggesting that itraconazole's effects extend beyond VEGFR2.
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ABSTRACT: Itraconazole (ITZ) is a well-known antifungal agent that also has anticancer activity. In this study, we identify ITZ as a broad-spectrum inhibitor of enteroviruses (e.g., poliovirus, coxsackievirus, enterovirus-71, rhinovirus). We demonstrate that ITZ inhibits viral RNA replication by targeting oxysterol-binding protein (OSBP) and OSBP-related protein 4 (ORP4). Consistently, OSW-1, a specific OSBP/ORP4 antagonist, also inhibits enterovirus replication. Knockdown of OSBP inhibits virus replication, whereas overexpression of OSBP or ORP4 counteracts the antiviral effects of ITZ and OSW-1. ITZ binds OSBP and inhibits its function, i.e., shuttling of cholesterol and phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate between membranes, thereby likely perturbing the virus-induced membrane alterations essential for viral replication organelle formation. ITZ also inhibits hepatitis C virus replication, which also relies on OSBP. Together, these data implicate OSBP/ORP4 as molecular targets of ITZ and point to an essential role of OSBP/ORP4-mediated lipid exchange in virus replication that can be targeted by antiviral drugs. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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ABSTRACT: Aberrant cholesterol homeostasis and biosynthesis has been observed in different tumour types. This paper investigates the role of the post-squalenic enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis, oxidosqualene cyclase (OSC), in regulating tumour angiogenesis and metastasis dissemination in mouse models of cancer. We showed that Ro 48-8071, a selective inhibitor of OSC, reduced vascular density and increased pericyte coverage, with a consequent inhibition of tumour growth in a spontaneous mouse model of pancreatic tumour (RIP-Tag2) and two metastatic mouse models of human colon carcinoma (HCT116) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma (HPAF-II). Remarkably, the inhibition of OSC hampered metastasis formation in HCT116 and HPAF-II models. Ro 48-8071 induced tumour vessel normalization and enhanced the anti-tumoral and anti-metastatic effects of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) in HCT116 mice. Ro 48-8071 exerted a strong anti-angiogenic activity by impairing endothelial cell adhesion and migration, and by blocking vessel formation in angiogenesis assays. OSC inhibition specifically interfered with the PI3K pathway. According to in vitro results, Ro 48-8071 specifically inhibited Akt phosphorylation in both cancer cells and tumour vasculature in all treated models. Thus, our results unveil a crucial role of OSC in the regulation of cancer progression and tumour angiogenesis, and indicate Ro 48-8071 as a potential novel anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic drug.Scientific Reports 03/2015; 5(9054):1-12. DOI:10.1038/srep09054 · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERM) including tamoxifen are known to inhibit angiogenesis. However, the underlying mechanism, which is independent of their action on the estrogen receptor (ER), has remained largely unknown. In the present study, we found that tamoxifen and other SERM inhibited cholesterol trafficking in endothelial cells, causing a hyper-accumulation of cholesterol in late endosomes/lysosomes. Inhibition of cholesterol trafficking by tamoxifen was accompanied by abnormal subcellular distribution of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR2) and inhibition of the terminal glycosylation of the receptor. Tamoxifen also caused perinuclear positioning of lysosomes, which in turn trapped the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in perinuclear region in endothelial cells. Abnormal distribution of VEGFR2 and mTOR and inhibition of VEGFR2 and mTOR activities by tamoxifen were significantly reversed by addition of cholesterol-cyclodextrin complex to the culture media of endothelial cells. Moreover, high concentrations of tamoxifen inhibited endothelial and breast cancer cell proliferation in a cholesterol-dependent, but ER-independent, manner. Together, these results unraveled a previously unrecognized mechanism of angiogenesis inhibition by tamoxifen and other SERM, implicating cholesterol trafficking as an attractive therapeutic target for cancer treatment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Cancer letters 03/2015; 362(1). DOI:10.1016/j.canlet.2015.03.022 · 5.02 Impact Factor