Preparing the "soil": The primary tumor induces vasculature reorganization in the sentinel lymph node before the arrival of metastatic cancer cells
ABSTRACT Sentinel lymph node (SLN) metastasis is the first step in the spreading of cancer in many malignancies. Tumor-reactive lymphadenopathy in SLNs has been observed for decades, but alterations of the lymphatic channels and vasculature in these nodes before the arrival of metastatic tumor cells remain unexplored. Using animal models, we show here that, before the establishment of metastasis in the SLN, there are reorganizations of the lymphatic channels and the vasculature. The node becomes a functional blood vessel-enriched and lymph vessel/sinus-enriched organ before metastasis. The enlargement of the lymph sinuses is correlated with the primary tumor weight. The newly emerged functional blood vessels develop from high endothelial venules (HEV), in which the proliferation rate of the endothelial cells is also significantly increased. Similar alterations of the HEVs are also characterized in the axillary lymph nodes from human breast cancer patients without the evidence of metastasis. These findings support the hypothesis that modification of the microenvironment for a secondary tumor (i.e., vasculature reorganization in the SLN) can be initiated by a primary tumor before and independent of the physical presence of metastatic cancer cells.
SourceAvailable from: Ahmad Salameh[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Metastasis is the most lethal step of cancer progression in patients with invasive melanoma. In most human cancers, including melanoma, tumor dissemination through the lymphatic vasculature provides a major route for tumor metastasis. Unfortunately, molecular mechanisms that facilitate interactions between melanoma cells and lymphatic vessels are unknown. Here, we developed an unbiased approach based on molecular mimicry to identify specific receptors that mediate lymphatic endothelial-melanoma cell interactions and metastasis. By screening combinatorial peptide libraries directly on afferent lymphatic vessels resected from melanoma patients during sentinel lymphatic mapping and lymph node biopsies, we identified a significant cohort of melanoma and lymphatic surface binding peptide sequences. The screening approach was designed so that lymphatic endothelium binding peptides mimic cell surface proteins on tumor cells. Therefore, relevant metastasis and lymphatic markers were biochemically identified, and a comprehensive molecular profile of the lymphatic endothelium during melanoma metastasis was generated. Our results identified expression of the phosphatase 2 regulatory subunit A, α-isoform (PPP2R1A) on the cell surfaces of both melanoma cells and lymphatic endothelial cells. Validation experiments showed that PPP2R1A is expressed on the cell surfaces of both melanoma and lymphatic endothelial cells in vitro as well as independent melanoma patient samples. More importantly, PPP2R1A-PPP2R1A homodimers occur at the cellular level to mediate cell-cell interactions at the lymphatic-tumor interface. Our results revealed that PPP2R1A is a new biomarker for melanoma metastasis and show, for the first time to our knowledge, an active interaction between the lymphatic vasculature and melanoma cells during tumor progression.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2015; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1424994112 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) infiltrate into sites of neovascularization in adult tissues and mature into functional blood endothelial cells (BECs) during a process called vasculogenesis. Human marrow-derived EPCs have recently been reported to display a mixed myeloid and lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) phenotype during inflammation-induced angiogenesis; however, their role in cancer remains poorly understood. We report the in vitro differentiation of human cord blood CD133(+)CD34(+) progenitors into podoplanin(+) cells expressing both myeloid markers (CD11b, CD14) and the canonical LEC markers vascular endothelium growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3), lymphatic vessel endothelial hyaluronan receptor 1 (LYVE-1), and prospero homeobox 1 (PROX-1). These podoplanin(+) cells displayed sprouting behavior comparable to that of LECs in vitro and a dual hemangiogenic and lymphangiogenic activity in vivo in an endothelial cell sprouting assay and corneal vascularization assay, respectively. Furthermore, these cells expressed vascular endothelium growth factor (VEGF) family members A, -C, and -D. Thus, bone-marrow derived EPCs stimulate hemangiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis through their ability to differentiate into LECs and to produce angiogenic factors. Importantly, plasma from patients with breast cancer induced differentiation of CD34(+) cord blood progenitors into hemangiogenic and lymphangiogenic CD11b(+) myeloid cells, whereas plasma from healthy women did not have this effect. Consistent with these findings, circulating CD11b(+) cells from breast cancer patients, but not from healthy women, displayed a similar dual angiogenic activity. Taken together, our results show that marrow-derived EPCs become hemangiogenic and lymphangiogenic upon exposure to cancer plasma. These newly identified functions of bone-marrow derived EPCs are expected to influence the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer.OncoImmunology 06/2014; 3:e29080. DOI:10.4161/onci.29080 · 6.28 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) is a serine hydrolase that hydrolyzes monoacylglycerides into free fatty acids and glycerol. It has recently been found to be involved in cancer progression through the free fatty acid or endocannabinoid network after studies on its function in the endocannabinoid system. Here, we determined a role for MAGL in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), which is known for its high metastatic potential. Among the different NPC cells we tested, MAGL was highly expressed in high metastatic NPC cells, whereas low metastatic potential NPC cells exhibited lower expression of MAGL. Overexpression of MAGL in low metastatic NPC cells enhanced their motile behavior and metastatic capacity in vivo. Conversely, knockdown of MAGL reduced the motility of highly metastatic cells, reducing their metastatic capacity in vivo. Growth rate was not influenced by MAGL in either high or low metastatic cells. MAGL expression was associated with the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) proteins, such as E-cadherin, vimentin and Snail. It was also related to the sidepopulation (SP) of NPC cells. Our findings establish that MAGL promotes metastases in NPC through EMT, and it may serve as a target for the prevention of NPC metastases.