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Angiogenesis is essential for solid tumour growth, whilst the molecular profiles of tumour blood vessels have been reported to be different between cancer types. Although presently available anti-angiogenic strategies are providing some promise for the treatment of some cancers it is perhaps not surprisingly that, none of the anti-angiogenic agents available work on all tumours. Thus, the discovery of novel anti-angiogenic targets, relevant to individual cancer types, is required. Using Affymetrix microarray analysis of laser-captured, CD31-positive blood vessels we have identified 63 genes that are upregulated significantly (5-72 fold) in angiogenic blood vessels associated with human invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC) of the breast as compared with blood vessels in normal human breast. We tested the angiogenic capacity of a subset of these genes. Genes were selected based on either their known cellular functions, their enriched expression in endothelial cells and/or their sensitivity to anti-VEGF treatment; all features implicating their involvement in angiogenesis. For example, RRM2, a ribonucleotide reductase involved in DNA synthesis, was upregulated 32-fold in IDC-associated blood vessels; ATF1, a nuclear activating transcription factor involved in cellular growth and survival was upregulated 23-fold in IDC-associated blood vessels and HEX-B, a hexosaminidase involved in the breakdown of GM2 gangliosides, was upregulated 8-fold in IDC-associated blood vessels. Furthermore, in silico analysis confirmed that AFT1 and HEX-B also were enriched in endothelial cells when compared with non-endothelial cells. None of these genes have been reported previously to be involved in neovascularisation. However, our data establish that siRNA depletion of Rrm2, Atf1 or Hex-B had significant anti-angiogenic effects in VEGF-stimulated ex vivo mouse aortic ring assays. Overall, our results provide proof-of-principle that our approach can identify a cohort of potentially novel anti-angiogenic targets that are likley to be, but not exclusivley, relevant to breast cancer.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0044294

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS One

Publication Date

2012

Volume

7

Keywords

Angiogenesis Inhibitors, Animals, Antibodies, Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized, Aorta, Thoracic, Bevacizumab, Breast Neoplasms, Carcinoma, Ductal, Breast, Cell Line, Tumor, Female, Gene Expression Profiling, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, In Vitro Techniques, Mice, Mice, Inbred BALB C, Mice, Inbred C57BL, Mice, SCID, Microscopy, Confocal, Neoplasms, Experimental, Neovascularization, Pathologic, Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis, Platelet Endothelial Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, RNA Interference, Transplantation, Heterologous, Tumor Burden, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A