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Br J Cancer. 2018 Jun;118(12):1596-1608. doi: 10.1038/s41416-018-0128-4. Epub 2018 May 24.

The sVEGFR1-i13 splice variant regulates a β1 integrin/VEGFR autocrine loop involved in the progression and the response to anti-angiogenic therapies of squamous cell lung carcinoma.

Author information

1
Team RNA Splicing, Cell Signalling and Response to Therapies, Institute For Advanced Biosciences, INSERM U1209, CNRS UMR5309, Université Grenoble Alpes, 38000, Grenoble, France.
2
Team Tumor Molecular Pathology and Biomarkers, Institute For Advanced Biosciences, INSERM U1209, CNRS UMR5309, Université Grenoble Alpes, 38000, Grenoble, France.
3
Program in Solid Tumors (CIMA), CIBERONC and Navarra Institute for Health Research (IdiSNA), 31008, Pamplona, Spain.
4
Department of Histology and Pathology, University of Navarra, School of Medicine, 31008, Pamplona, Spain.
5
Team Genetics and Epigenetics of Lymphoid Cancers, Institute For Advanced Biosciences, INSERM U1209, CNRS UMR5309, Université Grenoble Alpes, 38000, Grenoble, France.
6
Laboratory of Molecular Oncology, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata IRCCS, Rome, Italy.
7
Department of Biochemistry and Genetics, University of Navarra, School of Sciences, 31008, Pamplona, Spain.
8
Team RNA Splicing, Cell Signalling and Response to Therapies, Institute For Advanced Biosciences, INSERM U1209, CNRS UMR5309, Université Grenoble Alpes, 38000, Grenoble, France. Beatrice.Eymin@univ-grenoble-alpes.fr.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

While lung adenocarcinoma patients can somewhat benefit from anti-angiogenic therapies, patients with squamous cell lung carcinoma (SQLC) cannot. The reasons for this discrepancy remain largely unknown. Soluble VEGF receptor-1, namely sVEGFR1-i13, is a truncated splice variant of the cell membrane-spanning VEGFR1 that has no transmembrane or tyrosine kinase domain. sVEGFR1-i13 is mainly viewed as an anti-angiogenic factor which counteracts VEGF-A/VEGFR signalling in endothelial cells. However, its role in tumour cells is poorly known.

METHODS:

mRNA and protein status were analysed by Real-Time qPCR, western blotting, ELISA assay, proximity ligation assay or immunohistochemistry in human tumour cell lines, murine tumourgrafts and non small cell lung carcinoma patients samples.

RESULTS:

We show that anti-angiogenic therapies specifically increase the levels of sVEGFR1-i13 in SQLC cell lines and chemically induced SQLC murine tumourgrafts. At the molecular level, we characterise a sVEGFR1-i13/β1 integrin/VEGFR autocrine loop which determines whether SQLC cells proliferate or go into apoptosis, in response to anti-angiogenic therapies. Furthermore, we show that high levels of both sVEGFR1-i13 and β1 integrin mRNAs and proteins are associated with advanced stages in SQLC patients and with a poor clinical outcome in patients with early stage SQLC.

CONCLUSIONS:

Overall, these results reveal an unexpected pro-tumoural function of sVEGFR1-i13 in SQLC tumour cells, which contributes to their progression and escape from anti-angiogenic therapies. These data might help to understand why some SQLC patients do not respond to anti-angiogenic therapies.

PMID:
29795310
PMCID:
PMC6008445
[Available on 2019-06-12]
DOI:
10.1038/s41416-018-0128-4

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