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Oncogene. 2008 Jun 26;27(28):3923-34. doi: 10.1038/onc.2008.38. Epub 2008 Mar 10.

Cisplatin treatment increases survival and expansion of a highly tumorigenic side-population fraction by upregulating VEGF/Flt1 autocrine signaling.

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1
Department of Paediatrics, Division of Hematology/Oncology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract

The cellular and molecular mechanisms of tumor progression following chemotherapy are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that cisplatin (CDDP) treatment upregulates VEGF and Flt1 expression leading to the survival and expansion of a highly tumorigenic fraction of side-population (SP) cells in osteosarcoma (HOS), neuroblastoma (SK-N-BE2) and rhabdomyosarcoma (RH-4) cell lines. In all three lines, we show that CDDP treatment increases levels of VEGF and Flt1 expression, and induces enhanced clonogenic capacity and increased expression of the 'stemness'-associated genes Nanog, Bmi-1 and Oct-4 in the SP fraction. In HOS, these changes are associated with the transformation of a non-tumorigenic osteosarcoma SP fraction to a highly tumorigenic phenotype. Inhibition of Flt1 led to complete reduction of tumorigenicity in the HOS SP fraction, and reduction of clonogenic capacity and expression of stemness genes in the SK-N-BE(2) and RH-4 SP fractions. Treatment with U0126, a specific inhibitor of MAPK/ERK1,2 completely downregulates CDDP-induced VEGF and Flt1 expression and induction/expansion of SP fraction in all three cell lines, indicating that these effects are mediated through MAPK/ERK1,2 signaling. In conclusion, we report a novel mechanism of CDDP-induced tumor progression, whereby the activation of VEGF/Flt1 autocrine signaling leads to the survival and expansion of a highly tumorigenic SP fraction.

PMID:
18332870
DOI:
10.1038/onc.2008.38
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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