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Orphanet J Rare Dis. 2015 Sep 22;10:118. doi: 10.1186/s13023-015-0343-5.

Propranolol reduces viability and induces apoptosis in hemangioblastoma cells from von Hippel-Lindau patients.

Author information

1
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain. vir_albi_di@yahoo.es.
2
SSCC del Servicio de Salud de Castilla-La Mancha (SESCAM), Toledo, Spain. kvillar@jccm.es.
3
Unidad de Investigación, Complejo Universitario Hospital Albacete, Albacete, Spain. gemmas@sescam.jccm.es.
4
Unidad de Investigación, Complejo Universitario Hospital Albacete, Albacete, Spain. tomass@sescam.jccm.es.
5
Unidad de Investigación, Complejo Universitario Hospital Albacete, Albacete, Spain. abperona@sescam.jccm.es.
6
SSCC del Servicio de Salud de Castilla-La Mancha (SESCAM), Toledo, Spain. mmota@jccm.es.
7
Servicio de Neurocirugía, Fundación Jiménez Díaz, Madrid, Spain.
8
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain. cibluisa@cib.csic.es.
9
Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain. cibluisa@cib.csic.es.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) disease is a rare oncological disease with an incidence of 1:36,000, and is characterized by the growth of different types of tumors: hemangioblastomas in the central nervous system (CNS) and retina, renal carcinoma, pheochromocytomas, pancreatic serous cystadenoma, and endolymphatic sac tumors. These tumors do not express VHL protein (pVHL). pVHL ubiquitinates hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) protein for degradation by the proteasome; in the absence of VHL, HIF translocates to the nucleus to activate the expression of its target genes. Targeting VHL-derived tumors with drugs that have reduced side effects is urgent to avoid repeat CNS surgeries. Recent reports have shown that propranolol, a β-blocker used for the treatment of hypertension and other cardiac and neurological diseases, is the best option for infantile hemangioma (IH). Propranolol could be an efficient treatment to control hemangioblastoma growth in VHL disease because of its antiangiogenic effects demonstrated in IH and the hypothetical impact on HIF levels.

METHODS:

HeLa 9X (HRE) hypoxia responsive element cell line and primary hemangioblastoma-derived cells were subjected to propranolol treatment and cell viability and apoptosis were evaluated. HIF1-α and Hif-2α expression after propranolol treatment was analyzed by western blotting. Quantitative PCR was performed to study the mRNA expression of HIF target genes. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) was measured in culture supernatants by immunoassay.

RESULTS:

Propranolol downregulated HIF-dependent transcription in HeLa 9XHRE cells. Under hypoxic conditions, propranolol decreased the expression of HIF target genes in hemangioblastoma cells, which stopped proliferating and died following long-term treatment. These results suggests that propranolol treatment promoted reduced HIF protein expression and corresponding downregulation of HIF target genes, and inhibited cell proliferation in parallel with induction of cell death by apoptosis.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our results suggest that propranolol could reduce the growth of HIF-dependent tumors and may thus be a promising treatment to delay surgery in VHL patients.

PMID:
26394686
PMCID:
PMC4579575
DOI:
10.1186/s13023-015-0343-5
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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