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Paracrine expression of a native soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibits tumor growth, metastasis, and mortality rate

Authors
Publisher
The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
Source
PMC
Keywords
  • Biological Sciences
Disciplines
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Abstract

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent and selective vascular endothelial cell mitogen and angiogenic factor. VEGF expression is elevated in a wide variety of solid tumors and is thought to support their growth by enhancing tumor neovascularization. To block VEGF-dependent angiogenesis, tumor cells were transfected with cDNA encoding the native soluble FLT-1 (sFLT-1) truncated VEGF receptor which can function both by sequestering VEGF and, in a dominant negative fashion, by forming inactive heterodimers with membrane-spanning VEGF receptors. Transient transfection of HT-1080 human fibrosarcoma cells with a gene encoding sFLT-1 significantly inhibited their implantation and growth in the lungs of nude mice following i.v. injection and their growth as nodules from cells injected s.c. High sFLT-1 expressing stably transfected HT-1080 clones grew even slower as s.c. tumors. Finally, survival was significantly prolonged in mice injected intracranially with human glioblastoma cells stably transfected with the sflt-1 gene. The ability of sFLT-1 protein to inhibit tumor growth is presumably attributable to its paracrine inhibition of tumor angiogenesis in vivo, since it did not affect tumor cell mitogenesis in vitro. These results not only support VEGF receptors as antiangiogenic targets but also demonstrate that sflt-1 gene therapy might be a feasible approach for inhibiting tumor angiogenesis and growth.

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