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Zona occludens-1 (ZO-1) is a key component of tight junctions that govern the function of the endothelial barrier against tumor metastasis. Factors secreted by tumor cells contribute to the maintenance of tumor vascular networks. How tumor cell-derived protein signals regulate ZO-1 expression is unclear. Here, we explored the effect of tumor cell-secreted asparaginyl endopeptidase (AEP) on the permeability of endothelial cells in the tumor microenvironment. First, we confirmed the existence of AEP in conditioned medium (CM) from AEP-overexpressing MDA-MB-231 and 4 T1 cells. Treatment with CM from AEP-overexpressing tumor cells increased the permeability and tumor cell transversal of an endothelial monolayer. Furthermore, CM from AEP-overexpressing tumor cells suppressed endothelial ZO-1 expression, as well as ZO-1-associated nucleic acid binding protein ZONAB. In addition, the level of phosphorylated STAT3 was increased by treatment with AEP-containing CM. A mutation of RGD or blocking integrin αvβ3 with antibody recovered the ZO-1 downregulation induced by AEP. In vivo, a lung metastatic mouse model showed increased endothelial permeability in the AEP-overexpressing group compared with the control group. An orthotopic tumor transplantation model was established using AEP-overexpression and compared with mice receiving control 4 T1 cells. Compared with controls, overexpression of AEP increased lung metastatic foci and area, as well as vascular instability in primary tumors or lung metastatic sites. Moreover, endothelial ZO-1 was decreased in the AEP-overexpressing group. Taken together, our data show that tumor cell-derived AEP increases the permeability of endothelial barriers. Interactions between RGD and endothelial integrin αvβ3 mediate this effect by downregulating ZO-1.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease
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The original member of the family of endothelial cell growth factors referred to as VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTORS. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A was originally isolated from tumor cells and referred to as "tumor angiogenesis factor" and "vascular permeability factor". Although expressed at high levels in certain tumor-derived cells it is produced by a wide variety of cell types. In addition to stimulating vascular growth and vascular permeability it may play a role in stimulating VASODILATION via NITRIC OXIDE-dependent pathways. Alternative splicing of the mRNA for vascular endothelial growth factor A results in several isoforms of the protein being produced.
A cell adhesion molecule of the immunoglobulin superfamily that is expressed by ENDOTHELIAL CELLS where it functions to stabilize INTERCELLULAR JUNCTIONS. It is also highly expressed by melanoma tumor cells and may facilitate their METASTASIS.
Hypoxic conditions in tumor cells due to the tumor outgrowing its blood supply. It is associated with increased METASTASIS and resistance to RADIOTHERAPY and DRUG THERAPY.
A member of tumor necrosis factor superfamily found on ENDOTHELIAL CELLS that plays a role in the inhibition of endothelial cell growth and PHYSIOLOGIC ANGIOGENESIS.
Highly specialized EPITHELIAL CELLS that line the HEART; BLOOD VESSELS; and lymph vessels, forming the ENDOTHELIUM. They are polygonal in shape and joined together by TIGHT JUNCTIONS. The tight junctions allow for variable permeability to specific macromolecules that are transported across the endothelial layer.
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