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Cancer Res. 2004 May 15;64(10):3586-92.

Blocking angiogenesis and tumorigenesis with GFA-116, a synthetic molecule that inhibits binding of vascular endothelial growth factor to its receptor.

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Drug Discovery Program, H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida 33612, USA.


A small synthetic library of cyclohexapeptidomimetic calixarenes was prepared to identify disrupters of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) binding to its receptor that inhibits angiogenesis. From this library, we discovered GFA-116, which potently inhibits (125)I-VEGF binding to Flk-1 in Flk-1-overexpressing NIH 3T3 cells and human prostate tumor cells with an IC(50) of 750 nM. This inhibition is highly selective for VEGF in that (125)I- platelet-derived growth factor binding to its receptor is not affected. GFA-116 inhibits VEGF-stimulated Flk-1 tyrosine phosphorylation and subsequent activation of Erk1/2 mitogen-activated protein kinases. Furthermore, epidermal growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor, and fibroblast growth factor-dependent stimulation of Erk1/2 phosphorylation are not affected at concentrations as high as 10 microM. In vitro, GFA-116 inhibits angiogenesis as measured by inhibition of migration and formation of capillary-like structures by human endothelial cells as well as suppression of microvessel outgrowth in rat aortic rings and rat cornea angiogenesis. In vivo, GFA-116 (50 mpk/day) inhibits tumor growth and angiogenesis as measured by CD31 staining of A-549 human lung tumors in nude mice. Furthermore, GFA-116 is also effective at inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis to the lung of B16-F10 melanoma cells injected into immunocompetent mice. Taken together, these results demonstrate that a synthetic molecule capable of disrupting the binding of VEGF to its receptor selectively inhibits VEGF-dependent signaling and suppresses angiogenesis and tumorigenesis.

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