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Cancer Res. 2010 Feb 1;70(3):948-56. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-3094. Epub 2010 Jan 26.

Variable inhibition of thrombospondin 1 against liver and lung metastases through differential activation of metalloproteinase ADAMTS1.

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Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Metastasis relies on angiogenesis for tumor expansion. Tumor angiogenesis is restrained by a variety of endogenous inhibitors, including thrombospondin 1 (TSP1). The principal antiangiogenic activity of TSP1 resides in a domain containing three TSP1 repeats (3TSR), and TSP1 cleavage is regulated, in part, by the metalloproteinase ADAMTS1. In this study, we examined the role of TSP1 and ADAMTS1 in controlling metastatic disease in the liver and lung. TSP1 overexpression inhibited metastatic growth of colon or renal carcinoma cells in liver but not lung. Metastatic melanoma in liver grew more rapidly in Tsp1-null mice compared with controls, whereas in lung grew similarly in Tsp1-null mice or controls. Recombinant TSP1 was cleaved more efficiently in lysates from liver than lung. ADAMTS1 inhibition by neutralizing antibody, small interfering RNA, or genetic deletion abrogated cleavage activity. To confirm that lack of cleavage of TSP1 ablated its antiangiogenic function in the lung, we generated colon cancer cells stably secreting only the 3TSR domain and found that they inhibited formation of both liver and lung metastases. Collectively, our results indicate that the antiangiogenic activity of TSP1 is differentially regulated by ADAMTS1 in the liver and lung, emphasizing the concept that regulation of angiogenesis is varied in different tissue environments.

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