[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tumors can escape from immunity by repressing leukocyte adhesion molecule expression on tumor endothelial cells and by rendering endothelial cells unresponsive to inflammatory activation. This endothelial cell anergy is induced by angiogenic growth factors and results in reduced leukocyte-vessel wall interactions, thereby attenuating infiltration of leukocytes into the tumor. This report describes a novel mechanism of endothelial cell anergy regulation. We recently reported that DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors have angiostatic activity. Here, we studied whether epigenetic mechanisms regulate this angiogenesis-mediated escape from immunity. We found that DNMT inhibitors 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and zebularine, as well as HDAC inhibitor trichostatin A, reexpressed intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) on tumor-conditioned endothelial cells in vitro, resulting in restored leukocyte-endothelial cell adhesion. In addition, treatment with DNMT or HDAC inhibitors in vivo also restored ICAM-1 expression on tumor endothelial cells from two different mouse tumor models. Furthermore, leukocyte-vessel wall interactions in mouse tumors were increased by these compounds, as measured by intravital microscopy, resulting in enhanced leukocyte infiltration. We show that ICAM-1 down-regulation in tumor endothelial cells is associated with ICAM-1 promoter histone H3 deacetylation and loss of histone H3 Lys(4) methylation but not with DNA hypermethylation. In conclusion, our data show that ICAM-1 is epigenetically silenced in tumor endothelial cells by promoter histone modifications, which can be overcome by DNMT and HDAC inhibitors, suggesting a new molecular mechanism based on which novel therapeutic approaches for cancer can be pursued.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inhibitors of DNA methyltransferases (DNMT) and histone deacetylases can reactivate epigenetically silenced tumor suppressor genes and thereby decrease tumor cell growth. Little, however, is known on the effects of these compounds in endothelial cell biology and tumor angiogenesis. Here, we show that the DNMT inhibitors 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and zebularine markedly decrease vessel formation in different tumor models. We show that DNMT inhibitors are antiproliferative for tumor-conditioned endothelial cells, without affecting endothelial cell apoptosis and migration. Furthermore, these compounds inhibit angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo as shown by inhibition of endothelial cells sprouting in a three-dimensional gel and inhibition of microvessel formation in the chorioallantoic membrane, respectively. 5-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine, as well as the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A, reactivates the growth-inhibiting genes TSP1, JUNB, and IGFBP3, which are suppressed in tumor-conditioned endothelial cells. Despite enhanced DNMT activity and increased overall genomic methylation levels in tumor-conditioned endothelial cells, silencing of these genes seemed not to be regulated by direct promoter hypermethylation. For IGFBP3, gene expression in endothelial cells correlated with histone H3 acetylation patterns. In conclusion, our data show that DNMT inhibitors have angiostatic activity in addition to their inhibitory effects on tumor cells. This dual action of these compounds makes them promising anticancer therapeutics.
Preview · Article · Mar 2006 · Molecular Cancer Therapeutics