Neuropilin 1 and Neuropilin 2 gene invalidation or pharmacological inhibition reveals their relevance for the treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma
Journal of experimental & clinical cancer research : CR
Despite the improvement of relapse-free survival mediated by anti-angiogenic drugs like sunitinib (Sutent®), or by combinations of anti-angiogenic drugs with immunotherapy, metastatic clear cell Renal Cell Carcinoma (mccRCC) remain incurable. Hence, new relevant treatments are urgently needed. The VEGFs coreceptors, Neuropilins 1, 2 (NRP1, 2) are expressed on several tumor cells including ccRCC. We analyzed the role of the VEGFs/NRPs signaling in ccRCC aggressiveness and evaluated the relevance
... uated the relevance to target this pathway. We correlated the NRP1, 2 levels to patients' survival using online available data base. Human and mouse ccRCC cells were knocked-out for the NRP1 and NRP2 genes by a CRISPR/Cas9 method. The number of metabolically active cells was evaluated by XTT assays. Migration ability was determined by wound closure experiments and invasion ability by using Boyden chamber coated with collagen. Production of VEGFA and VEGFC was evaluated by ELISA. Experimental ccRCC were generated in immuno-competent/deficient mice. The effects of a competitive inhibitor of NRP1, 2, NRPa-308, was tested in vitro and in vivo with the above-mentioned tests and on experimental ccRCC. NRPa-308 docking was performed on both NRPs. Knock-out of the NRP1 and NRP2 genes inhibited cell metabolism and migration and stimulated the expression of VEGFA or VEGFC, respectively. NRPa-308 presented a higher affinity for NRP2 than for NRP1. It decreased cell metabolism and migration/invasion more efficiently than sunitinib and the commercially available NRP inhibitor EG00229. NRPa-308 presented a robust inhibition of experimental ccRCC growth in immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice. Such inhibition was associated with decreased expression of several pro-tumoral factors. Analysis of the TCGA database showed that the NRP2 pathway, more than the NRP1 pathway correlates with tumor aggressiveness only in metastatic patients. Our study strongly suggests that inhibiting NRPs is a relevant treatment for mccRCC patients in therapeutic impasses and NRPa-308 represents a relevant hit.