Ephrin-A1 Facilitates Mammary Tumor Metastasis through an Angiogenesis-Dependent Mechanism Mediated by EphA Receptor and Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Mice

Dana M. Brantley-Sieders, Wei Bin Fang, Yoonha Hwang, Donna Hicks, Jin Chen
2006 Cancer Research  
Ephrin-A1, the prototypic ligand for EphA receptor tyrosine kinases, is overexpressed in vascularized tumors relative to normal tissue. Moreover, ephrin-A1-Fc fusion proteins induce endothelial cell sprouting, migration, and assembly in vitro, and s.c. vascular remodeling in vivo. Based on these data, we hypothesized that native, membrane-bound ephrin-A1 regulates tumor angiogenesis and progression. We tested this hypothesis using a transplantable mouse mammary tumor model. Small interfering
more » ... mall interfering RNA-mediated ephrin-A1 knockdown in metastatic mammary tumor cells significantly diminishes lung metastasis without affecting tumor volume, invasion, intravasation, or lung colonization upon i.v. injection in vivo. Ephrin-A1 knockdown reduced tumor-induced endothelial cell migration in vitro and microvascular density in vivo. Conversely, overexpression of ephrin-A1 in nonmetastatic mammary tumor cells elevated microvascular density and vascular recruitment. Overexpression of ephrin-A1 elevated wild-type but not EphA2-deficient endothelial cell migration toward tumor cells, suggesting that activation of EphA2 on endothelial cells is one mechanism by which ephrin-A1 regulates angiogenesis. Furthermore, ephrin-A1 knockdown diminished, whereas overexpression of ephrin-A1 elevated, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) levels in tumor cell-conditioned medium, suggesting that ephrin-A1-mediated modulation of the VEGF pathway is another mechanism by which membrane-tethered ephrin-A1 regulates angiogenic responses from initially distant host endothelium. These data suggest that ephrin-A1 is a proangiogenic signal, regulating VEGF expression and facilitating angiogenesisdependent metastatic spread. (Cancer Res 2006; 66(21): 10315-24) Requests for reprints:
doi:10.1158/0008-5472.can-06-1560 pmid:17079451 fatcat:pwkciuo3i5h65i5nisb5ovp67a