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Int J Cancer. 2009 Nov 1;125(9):2049-57. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24564.

Stanniocalcin 2 promotes invasion and is associated with metastatic stages in neuroblastoma.

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Abteilung Anatomie und Zellbiologie, Zentrum Anatomie, Universitätsmedizin Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.


Stanniocalcin 2 (STC2) is a secreted glycoprotein of as yet unknown functions. We investigated STC2 in human neuroblastoma, the most common solid extra-cranial tumor of infancy. In primary tumor samples, we found that expression of STC2 is associated with the metastatic Stages 4 and 4s and MYCN expression. In vitro, however, we demonstrate that cell proliferation is reduced by STC2 due to an increase in the basal apoptosis rate of the transfected cells. On the other hand, in vitro assays showed that STC2-transfected neuroblastoma cells have an increased invasive potential and display higher activity of collagen-degrading matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2). Using experimental tumors on the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), we observed that STC2 expressing cells show signs of emigration from the solid tumor and destroy blood vessels of the CAM, giving rise to massively bleeding tumors. Erosion of blood vessels was also seen when purified STC2 protein was applied on the CAM. Taken together, we demonstrate a dual role for STC2 in neuroblastoma. It reduces proliferation of tumor cells in vitro, but increases the invasive potential and induces bleeding, and thereby may facilitate early metastasis. The potential of STC2 as a surrogate marker for metastatic neuroblastoma calls for further investigation.

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