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Cancer Res. 2011 Dec 15;71(24):7502-12. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-1758. Epub 2011 Oct 31.

Angiopoietin-like protein 2 is an important facilitator of inflammatory carcinogenesis and metastasis.

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Department of Molecular Genetics, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kumamoto University, Kumamoto, Japan.


Chronic inflammation plays important roles at different stages of cancer development, including carcinogenesis, tumor invasion, and metastasis, but molecular mechanisms linking inflammation to cancer development have not been fully clarified. Here, we report that expression of angiopoietin-like protein 2 (Angptl2), recently identified as a chronic inflammation mediator, is highly correlated with the frequency of carcinogenesis in a chemically induced skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) mouse model. Furthermore, Angptl2 expression in SCC is highly correlated with the frequency of tumor cell metastasis to distant secondary organs and lymph nodes. When SCC was induced in transgenic mice expressing Angptl2 in skin epithelial cells, epithelial-to-mesenchymal transitions in SCC as well as tumor angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis were significantly increased, resulting in increased tumor cell metastasis and shortened survival compared with wild-type mice. Conversely, in a chemically induced SCC mouse model, carcinogenesis and metastasis were markedly attenuated in Angptl2 knockout mice, resulting in extended survival compared with wild-type mice. Overall, we propose that Angptl2 contributes to increased carcinogenesis and metastasis and represents a novel target to antagonize these pathologies.

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