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J Biol Chem. 2012 Feb 17;287(8):5492-506. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.283499. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

Decorin antagonizes the angiogenic network: concurrent inhibition of Met, hypoxia inducible factor 1α, vascular endothelial growth factor A, and induction of thrombospondin-1 and TIMP3.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Anatomy and Cell Biology, the Cancer Cell Biology and Signaling Program, Kimmel Cancer Center, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA.


Decorin, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan, inhibits tumor growth by antagonizing multiple receptor tyrosine kinases including EGFR and Met. Here, we investigated decorin during normoxic angiogenic signaling. An angiogenic PCR array revealed a profound decorin-evoked transcriptional inhibition of pro-angiogenic genes, such as HIF1A. Decorin evoked a reduction of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-1α and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) in MDA-231 breast carcinoma cells expressing constitutively-active HIF-1α. Suppression of Met with decorin or siRNA evoked a similar reduction of VEGFA by attenuating downstream β-catenin signaling. These data establish a noncanonical role for β-catenin in regulating VEGFA expression. We found that exogenous decorin induced expression of thrombospondin-1 and TIMP3, two powerful angiostatic agents. In contrast, decorin suppressed both the expression and enzymatic activity of matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-9 and MMP-2, two pro-angiogenic proteases. Our data establish a novel duality for decorin as a suppressor of tumor angiogenesis under normoxia by simultaneously down-regulating potent pro-angiogenic factors and inducing endogenous anti-angiogenic agents.

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