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Nat Med. 2001 Sep;7(9):1041-7.

NSAIDs inhibit alpha V beta 3 integrin-mediated and Cdc42/Rac-dependent endothelial-cell spreading, migration and angiogenesis.

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Centre Pluridisciplinaire d'Oncologie, University of Lausanne Medical School, Lausanne, Switzerland.


Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), a key enzyme in arachidonic acid metabolism, is overexpressed in many cancers. Inhibition of COX-2 by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the risk of cancer development in humans and suppresses tumor growth in animal models. The anti-cancer effect of NSAIDs seems to involve suppression of tumor angiogenesis, but the underlying mechanism is not completely understood. Integrin alpha V beta 3 is an adhesion receptor critically involved in mediating tumor angiogenesis. Here we show that inhibition of endothelial-cell COX-2 by NSAIDs suppresses alpha V beta 3-dependent activation of the small GTPases Cdc42 and Rac, resulting in inhibition of endothelial-cell spreading and migration in vitro and suppression of fibroblast growth factor-2-induced angiogenesis in vivo. These results establish a novel functional link between COX-2, integrin alpha V beta 3 and Cdc42-/Rac-dependent endothelial-cell migration. Moreover, they provide a rationale to the understanding of the anti-angiogenic activity of NSAIDs.

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