[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is one of crucial processes associated with tumor growth and development, and consequently a prime target for cancer therapy. Although tumor endothelial cells (TECs) play a key role in pathological angiogenesis, investigating phenotypical changes in neovessels when a gene expression in TEC is suppressed is a difficult task. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) represents a potential agent due to its ability to silence a gene of interest. We previously developed a system for in vivo siRNA delivery to cancer cells that involves a liposomal-delivery system, a MEND that contains a unique pH-sensitive cationic lipid, YSK05 (YSK-MEND). In the present study, we report on the development of a system that permits the delivery of siRNA to TECs by combining the YSK-MEND and a ligand that is specific to TECs. Cyclo(Arg-Gly-Asp-D-Phe-Lys) (cRGD) is a well-known ligand to αVβ3 integrin, which is selectively expressed at high levels in TECs. We incorporated cRGD into the YSK-MEND (RGD-MEND) to achieve an efficient gene silencing in TECs. Quantitative RT-PCR and the 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends PCR indicated that the intravenous injection of RGD-MEND at a dose of 4.0mg/kg induced a significant RNAi-mediated gene reduction in TEC but not in endothelial cells of other organs. Finally, we evaluated the therapeutic potency of the RGD-MEND encapsulating siRNA against vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2. A substantial delay in tumor growth was observed after three sequential RGD-MEND injections on alternate days. In conclusion, the RGD-MEND represents a new approach for the characterization of TECs and for us in anti-angiogenic therapy.
Journal of Controlled Release 10/2013; · 7.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:Molecules that are highly expressed in tumour endothelial cells (TECs) may be candidates for specifically targeting TECs. Using DNA microarray analysis, we found that the lysyl oxidase (LOX) gene was upregulated in TECs compared with its expression in normal endothelial cells (NECs). LOX is an enzyme that enhances invasion and metastasis of tumour cells. However, there are no reports on the function of LOX in isolated TECs.Methods:TECs and NECs were isolated to investigate LOX function in TECs. LOX inhibition of in vivo tumour growth was also assessed using β-aminopropionitrile (BAPN).Results:LOX expression was higher in TECs than in NECs. LOX knockdown inhibited cell migration and tube formation by TECs, which was associated with decreased phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (Tyr 397). Immunostaining showed high LOX expression in human tumour vessels in vivo. Tumour angiogenesis and micrometastasis were inhibited by BAPN in an in vivo tumour model.Conclusion:LOX may be a TEC marker and a possible therapeutic target for novel antiangiogenic therapy.British Journal of Cancer advance online publication, 17 September 2013; doi:10.1038/bjc.2013.535 www.bjcancer.com.
British Journal of Cancer 09/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor blood vessels play important roles in tumor progression and metastasis. Thus, targeting tumor blood vessels is an important strategy for cancer therapy. Tumor endothelial cells (TECs) are the main targets of anti-angiogenic therapy. Although tumor blood vessels generally sprout from pre-existing vessels and have been thought to be genetically normal, they display a markedly abnormal phenotype, including morphological changes. The degree of angiogenesis is determined by the balance between the positive and negative regulating molecules that are released by tumor and host cells in the microenvironment. Reportedly, tumor blood vessels are heterogeneous with TECs differing from normal endothelial cells (in contrast to the conventional view). We recently compared characteristics of different TECs isolated from highly and low metastatic tumors. We found TECs from highly metastatic tumors had more proangiogenic phenotypes than those from low metastatic tumors. Elucidating the variety of TEC phenotypes and identifying TEC molecular signatures should lead to more complete understanding of the mechanisms of tumor progression, discovery of new therapeutic targets, and development of biomarkers. This review considers current studies on TEC heterogeneity and discusses the therapeutic implications of these findings. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver dysfunction is associated with a variety of liver diseases, including viral or alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and portal hypertension. A targeted drug delivery system would be very useful in the treatment of these diseases. We herein describe the development of a system comprised of a new peptide-lipid conjugate for the efficient delivery of molecules to LEC. The RLTRKRGLK sequence (3359-3367), which mediates the association of LDL with arterial CSPG and an LDL receptor, was utilized as a ligand for achieving this goal. The peptide modified PEG-LPs (RLTR-PEG-LPs) were efficiently taken up by primary liver endothelial cells (Liver ECs) and other types of cells. In vivo biodistribution and confocal microscopy analysis showed that RLTR-PEG-LPs became widely accumulated in LECs within a short time. Distribution of RLTR-PEG-LPs was greatly reduced with a pretreatment of unlabeled RLTR-PEG-LPs, not cationic LPs, indicating that the sequence is important for LECs. The findings indicate that a reverse sequence of RLTR (KLGR) modified PEG-LPs (KLGR-PEG-LP) did the same pattern compared with RLTR-PEG-LPs, suggesting that the RKR or RXXR sequence might be essential for LECs targeting. Collectively RLTR-PEG-LPs and KLGR-PEG-LPs have the potential for delivering drugs to LECs.
International journal of pharmaceutics 08/2013; · 2.96 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fluorescent and luminescent tools are commonly used to study the dynamics of cancer progression and metastases in real‑time. Fluorophores have become essential tools to study biological events. However, few can sustain fluorescence long enough during long-term studies. In the present study, we focused on a series of new amphiphilic fluorophores known as POLARIC™, which emit strong fluorescence in lipid bilayers and can be readily modified using the Suzuki-Miyaura cross‑coupling reaction. Appropriate chemical modifications of substituent groups can improve target-site specificity, reduce cytotoxicity and prolong emission. Therefore, in contrast to conventional fluorescent probes, these fluorophores show promise for long-term monitoring of biological processes. In the present study, we conducted long-term observations of tumor growth and metastasis using a POLARIC derivative as a novel fluorescent probe. For this purpose, we studied the metastatic melanoma cell line A375-SM, which proliferates at a high rate. We compared the characteristics of the POLARIC probe with the commercially available fluorescent dye PKH26 and fluorescent protein mRFP1. A375-SM cells were labeled with these fluorescent probes and orthotopically implanted into nude mice. The fluorescence emitted by POLARIC was detected more than five weeks after implantation without causing detectable harmful effects on tumor growth. By contrast, fluorescence of cells labeled with PKH26 could not be detected at this same time. Furthermore, POLARIC-, but not PKH26-labeled cells, were also detected in lung metastases. These results indicate that labeling cells with POLARIC fluorophores can significantly extend the time course of in vivo studies on tumor cell growth.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Size of the liposomes (LPs) specially governs its biodistribution. In this study, LPs were developed with controlled sizes, where variation in LP size dictates the ligand-receptor interaction, cellular internalization and its distribution within the tumor microenvironment. The therapeutic efficacies of doxorubicin (DOX)-loaded RGD modified small size (∼100 nm in diameter, dnm) and large size (∼300 dnm) PEGylated LPs (RGD-PEG-LPs) were compared to that of Doxil (a clinically used DOX-loaded PEG-LP, ∼100 dnm) in DOX resistant OSRC-2 (Renal cell carcinoma, RCC) tumor xenografts. Doxil, which accumulated in tumor tissue via the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect, failed to suppress tumor growth. Small size RGD-PEG-LP, that targets the tumor endothelial cells (TECs) and extravasates to tumor cells, failed to provide anti-tumor effect. Large size RGD-PEG-LP preferentially targets the TECs via minimization of the EPR effect, and significantly reduced the tumor growth, which was exerted through its strong anti-angiogenic activity on the tumor vasculature rather than having a direct effect on DOX resistant RCC. The prepared large size RGD-PEG-LP that targets the TECs via interacting with Integrin αvβ3, is a potentially effective and alternate therapeutic strategy for the treatment of DOX resistant tumor cells by utilizing DOX, in cases where Doxil is ineffective.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor growth is dependent on angiogenesis, and tumor blood vessels are recognized as an important target for cancer therapy. Tumor endothelial cells (TECs) are the main targets of anti-angiogenic therapy. Unlike the traditionally held view, some TECs may be genetically abnormal and might acquire drug resistance. Therefore, we investigated the drug resistance of TECs and the mechanism by which it is acquired. TECs show resistance to paclitaxel through greater mRNA expression of multidrug resistance 1,which encodes P-glycoprotein, as compared with normal endothelial cells. We found that high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor in tumor-conditioned medium may be responsible for upregulated P-glycoprotein expression. This is a novel mechanism for the acquisition of drug resistance by TECs in a tumor microenvironment. This review focuses on the possibility that TECs can acquire drug resistance.
Journal of biochemistry 01/2013; · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is much evidence that hypoxia in the tumor microenvironment enhances tumor progression. In an earlier study, we reported abnormal phenotypes of tumor-associated endothelial cells such as those resistant to chemotherapy and chromosomal instability. Here we investigated the role of hypoxia in the acquisition of chromosomal abnormalities in endothelial cells. Tumor-associated endothelial cells isolated from human tumor xenografts showed chromosomal abnormalities, >30% of which were aneuploidy. Aneuploidy of the tumor-associated endothelial cells was also shown by simultaneous in-situ hybridization for chromosome 17 and by immunohistochemistry with anti-CD31 antibody for endothelial staining. The aneuploid cells were surrounded by a pimonidazole-positive area, indicating hypoxia. Human microvascular endothelial cells expressed hypoxia-inducible factor 1 and vascular endothelial growth factor A in response to either hypoxia or hypoxia-reoxygenation, and in these conditions, they acquired aneuploidy in 7 days. Induction of aneuploidy was inhibited by either inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor signaling with vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 inhibitor or by inhibition of reactive oxygen species by N-acetyl-L-cysteine. These results indicate that hypoxia induces chromosomal abnormalities in endothelial cells through the induction of reactive oxygen species and excess signaling of vascular endothelial growth factor in the tumor microenvironment.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e80349. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor angiogenesis is necessary for tumor progression and metastasis; therefore, tumor blood vessels are potential therapeutic targets in anticancer therapy. We previously reported that tumor endothelial cells (TECs) exhibit different phenotypes compared with normal endothelial cells (NECs), and microarray analyses of mouse TECs and NECs have shown that several genes are upregulated in TECs compared with NECs. Among these genes, the expression levels of prostaglandin F receptor (PTGFR) mRNA, which encodes the prostaglandin F receptor (FP), were higher in TECs than in NECs. It has been reported that FP and its ligand, prostaglandin F(2α) , are involved in tumor angiogenesis. However, there have been no reports of the expression of PTGFR in the tumor vessels of renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Thus, we isolated human TECs (hTECs) from RCCs. The expression levels of PTGFR mRNA were also upregulated in hTECs. In addition, immunostaining showed that the PTGFR was expressed in human tumor blood vessels in vivo. These findings suggested that PTGFR is a novel TEC marker and that it may be a novel target for antiangiogenic therapy for RCC.
Pathology International 01/2013; 63(1):37-44. · 1.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anti-angiogenic therapy is a potential chemotherapeutic strategy for the treatment of drug resistant cancers. However, a method for delivering such drugs to tumor endothelial cells remains to be a major impediment to the success of anti-angiogenesis therapy. We designed liposomes (LPs) with controlled diameter of around 300 nm, and modified them with a specific ligand and a cell penetrating peptide (CPP) (a dual-ligand LP) for targeting CD13-expressing neovasculature in a renal cell carcinoma (RCC). We modified the LPs with an NGR motif peptide on the top of poly(ethylene glycol) and tetra-arginine (R4) on the surface of the liposome membrane as a specific and CPP ligand, respectively. The large size prevented extravasation of the dual-ligand LP, which allowed it to associate with target vasculature. While a single modification with either the specific or CPP ligand showed no increase in targetability, the dual-ligand enhanced the amount of delivered liposomes after systemic administration to OS-RC-2 xenograft mice. The anti-tumor activity of a dual-ligand LP encapsulating doxorubicin was evaluated and the results were compared with Doxil, which is clinically used to target tumor cells. Even though Doxil showed no anti-tumor activity, the dual-ligand LP suppressed tumor growth because the disruption of tumor vessels was efficiently induced. The comparison showed that tumor endothelial cells (TECs) were more sensitive to doxorubicin by 2 orders than RCC tumor cells, and the disruption of tumor vessels was efficiently induced. Collectively, the dual-ligand LP is promising carrier for the treatment of drug resistant RCC via the disruption of TECs.
Journal of Controlled Release 06/2012; 162(1):225-32. · 7.63 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor angiogenesis is necessary for progression and metastasis of solid tumor. Tumor blood vessels are morphologically different from their normal counterparts. In this study, we isolated tumor endothelial cells (TECs) and revealed their abnormalities. We have compared the gene expression profiles of TECs and normal endothelial cells (NECs) by microarray analysis and found that several genes were upregulated in TECs. Expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 mRNA was higher in TECs than in NECs. However, information regarding the expression of CXCR7 in the tumor vessels of renal cell carcinoma is limited. CXCR7 and its ligand CXCL12 have been implicated in tumor cell survival. In this study, the expression of CXCR7 in the tumor vessels of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was investigated. Real-time PCR revealed higher expression level of CXCR7 in cultured TECs than in cultured NECs. Furthermore, similar to mouse TECs, immunostaining revealed strong expression of CXCR7 in vivo in human tumor vessels. These findings suggest that CXCR7 is a novel TEC marker and a target for antiangiogenic therapy for RCC.
Pathology International 05/2012; 62(5):309-17. · 1.72 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumor endothelial cells (TECs) are therapeutic targets in anti-angiogenic therapy. Contrary to the traditional assumption, TECs can be genetically abnormal and might also acquire drug resistance. In this study, mouse TECs and normal ECs were isolated to investigate the drug resistance of TECs and the mechanism by which it is acquired. TECs were more resistant to paclitaxel with the up-regulation of multidrug resistance (MDR) 1 mRNA, which encodes the P-glycoprotein, compared with normal ECs. Normal human microvascular ECs were cultured in tumor-conditioned medium (CM) and became more resistant to paclitaxel through MDR1 mRNA up-regulation and nuclear translocation of Y-box-binding protein 1, which is an MDR1 transcription factor. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor 2 (VEGFR2) and Akt were activated in human microvascular ECs by tumor CM. We observed that tumor CM contained a significantly high level of VEGF. A VEGFR kinase inhibitor, Ki8751, and a phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt inhibitor, LY294002, blocked tumor CM-induced MDR1 up-regulation. MDR1 up-regulation, via the VEGF-VEGFR pathway in the tumor microenvironment, is one of the mechanisms of drug resistance acquired by TECs. We observed that VEGF secreted from tumors up-regulated MDR1 through the activation of VEGFR2 and Akt. This process is a novel mechanism of the acquisition of drug resistance by TECs in the tumor microenvironment.
American Journal Of Pathology 03/2012; 180(3):1283-93. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Molecules highly expressed in tumor endothelial cells (TEC) are important for specific targeting of these cells. Previously, using DNA microarray analysis, we found that the prostacyclin receptor (IP receptor) gene was upregulated in TEC compared with normal endothelial cells (NEC). Although prostacyclin is implicated in re-endothelialization and angiogenesis, its role remains largely unknown in TEC. Moreover, the effect of the IP receptor on TEC has not been reported. In the present study we investigated the function of the IP receptor in TEC. The TEC were isolated from two types of human tumor xenografts in nude mice, while NEC were isolated from normal counterparts. Prostacyclin secretion levels in TEC were significantly higher than those in NEC, as shown using ELISA. Real-time RT-PCR showed that the IP receptor was upregulated in TEC compared with NEC. Furthermore, migration and tube formation of TEC were suppressed by the IP receptor antagonist RO1138452. Immunohistostaining showed that the IP receptor was specifically expressed in blood vessels of renal cell carcinoma specimens, but not in glomerular vessels of normal renal tissue. These findings suggest that the IP receptor is a TEC-specific marker and might be a useful therapeutic target.
Cancer Science 03/2012; 103(6):1038-44. · 3.48 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An important concept in tumor angiogenesis is that tumor endothelial cells (TECs) are genetically normal and homogeneous. However, we previously reported that TECs differ from normal ECs. Whether the characteristics of TECs derived from different tumors differ remains unknown. To elucidate this, in this study, we isolated two types of TECs from high-metastatic (HM) and low-metastatic (LM) tumors and compared their characteristics. HM tumor-derived TECs (HM-TECs) showed higher proliferative activity and invasive activity than LM tumor-derived TECs (LM-TECs). Moreover, the mRNA expression levels of pro-angiogenic genes, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptors 1 and 2, VEGF, and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, were higher in HM-TECs than in LM-TECs. The tumor blood vessels themselves and the surrounding area in HM tumors were exposed to hypoxia. Furthermore, HM-TECs showed higher mRNA expression levels of the stemness-related gene stem cell antigen and the mesenchymal marker CD90 compared with LM-TECs. HM-TECs were spheroid, with a smoother surface and higher circularity in the stem cell spheroid assay. HM-TECs differentiated into osteogenic cells, expressing activated alkaline phosphatase in an osteogenic medium at a higher rate than either LM-TECs or normal ECs. Furthermore, HM-TECs contained more aneuploid cells than LM-TECs. These results indicate that TECs from HM tumors have a more pro-angiogenic phenotype than those from LM tumors.
American Journal Of Pathology 03/2012; 180(3):1294-307. · 4.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We isolated tumour endothelial cells (TECs), demonstrated their abnormalities, compared gene expression profiles of TECs and normal endothelial cells (NECs) by microarray analysis and identified several genes upregulated in TECs. We focused on the gene encoding biglycan, a small leucine-rich repeat proteoglycan. No report is available on biglycan expression or function in TECs.
The NEC and TEC were isolated. We investigated the biglycan expression and function in TECs. Western blotting analysis of biglycan was performed on sera from cancer patients.
Biglycan expression levels were higher in TECs than in NECs. Biglycan knockdown inhibited cell migration and caused morphological changes in TECs. Furthermore, immunostaining revealed strong biglycan expression in vivo in human tumour vessels, as in mouse TECs. Biglycan was detected in the sera of cancer patients but was hardly detected in those of healthy volunteers.
These findings suggested that biglycan is a novel TEC marker and a target for anti-angiogenic therapy.
British Journal of Cancer 02/2012; 106(6):1214-23. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increasing evidence indicates that tumor endothelial cells (TEC) differ from normal endothelial cells (NEC). Our previous reports also showed that TEC were different from NEC. For example, TEC have chromosomal abnormality and proangiogenic properties such as high motility and proliferative activity. However, the mechanism by which TEC acquire a specific character remains unclear. To investigate this mechanism, we focused on tumor-derived microvesicles (TMV). Recent studies have shown that TMV contain numerous types of bioactive molecules and affect normal stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment. However, most of the functional mechanisms of TMV remain unclear.
Here we showed that TMV isolated from tumor cells were taken up by NEC through endocytosis. In addition, we found that TMV promoted random motility and tube formation through the activation of the phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt pathway in NEC. Moreover, the effects induced by TMV were inhibited by the endocytosis inhibitor dynasore. Our results indicate that TMV could confer proangiogenic properties to NEC partly via endocytosis.
We for the first time showed that endocytosis of TMV contributes to tumor angiogenesis. These findings offer new insights into cancer therapies and the crosstalk between tumor and endothelial cells mediated by TMV in the tumor microenvironment.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e34045. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study used a spontaneous cell-based SELEX method (Systemic Evolution of Ligands by EXponential Enrichment) to produce DNA aptamers that specifically bind to cell surface proteins or biomarkers produced by primary cultured mouse tumor endothelial cells (mTECs). In solid tumors, new blood vessels are formed through an angiogenesis process, and this plays a critical role in cancer development as well as metastasis. To combat angiogenesis, an appropriate diagnosis and a molecular-level understanding of the different cancer types are now a high priority. The novel DNA aptamer AraHH001, developed in this study, binds specifically to mTECs with high affinity in the nano-molar range, but does not bind to normal skin endothelial cells (skin-ECs). The selected DNA aptamer was also found to bind to cultured human tumor endothelial cells (hTECs), isolated from a clinical patient with a renal carcinoma. The aptamer AraHH001 showed significant anti-angiogenesis activity by inhibiting tube formation by mTECs on matrigel. Interestingly, a confocal laser scanning microscopy examination of in vitro cellular uptake revealed that AraHH001 was assimilated by mTECs, and became co-localized in acidic compartments, as detected by labeling with Lysotracker Red. Therefore, the development of a specific DNA aptamer that binds to mTECs, as reported here for the first time, holds great promise not only as a therapeutic aptamer but also as a targeted molecular probe that appears to play a major role in angiogenesis, and for the development of a targeted new drug delivery system.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(12):e50174. · 3.73 Impact Factor