ABSTRACT: Pristimerin is a triterpenoid isolated from Celastrus and Maytenus spp. that has been shown to possess a variety of biological activities, including anti-cancer activity. However, little is known about pristimerin's effects on tumor angiogenesis. In this study, we examined the function and the mechanism of this compound in tumor angiogenesis using multiple angiogenesis assays. We found that pristimerin significantly reduced both the volume and weight of solid tumors and decreased angiogenesis in a xenograft mouse tumor model in vivo. Pristimerin significantly inhibited the neovascularization of chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) in vivo and abrogated vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced microvessel sprouting in an ex vivo rat aortic ring assay. Furthermore, pristimerin inhibited the VEGF-induced proliferation, migration and capillary-like structure formation of human umbilical vascular endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a concentration-dependent manner. Mechanistic studies revealed that pristimerin suppressed the VEGF-induced phosphorylation of VEGF receptor 2 kinase (KDR/Flk-1) and the activity of AKT, ERK1/2, mTOR, and ribosomal protein S6 kinase. Taken together, our results provide evidence for the first time that pristimerin potently suppresses angiogenesis by targeting VEGFR2 activation. These results provide a novel mechanism of action for pristimerin which may be important in the treatment of cancer.
Molecules 01/2012; 17(6):6854-68. · 2.39 Impact Factor