In vivo activities of mutants of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) with differential in vitro activities.
SourceInternational Journal of Cancer, 91, 3, (2001), pp. 327--33
Article / Letter to editor
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International Journal of Cancer
SubjectTumor pathology; Tumor pathologie
VEGF mutants in which Cys51 or Cys60 are converted into a serine are poor inducers of proliferation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, but they have wild-type activity in the Miles vascular permeability assay. To assess the contribution of proliferation vs. other VEGF activities such as vascular permeability, to tumor angiogenesis and growth, C127I cells, transfected with BPV-based expression plasmids carrying wild-type or mutated VEGF cDNAs, were injected subcutaneously in BALB/c nu/nu mice. From C127I cells expressing wtVEGF(165), intensely vascularized and invasive tumors developed within 2 to 3 weeks. From cells expressing VEGF-Cys51Ser or VEGF-Cys60Ser, tumors developed only after 2 to 3 months, comparable to the time of development of control tumors, i.e., tumors from cells transfected with empty vector. Despite the late take, the VEGF-Cys51Ser and VEGF-Cys60Ser tumors developed an extensive vascular bed with an architecture comparable to that of recombinant wtVEGF-producing tumors whereas control tumors had a considerably lower vascular density. No metastases were detected in mice carrying either wtVEGF or mutant VEGF expressing tumors. Thus, because proliferation-defective VEGF-mutants cannot induce angiogenesis, we conclude that the proliferation-inducing effect of VEGF is crucial for tumor angiogenesis and growth. The hypervasculature in the tumors expressing these VEGF-mutants suggests, however, that other VEGF-activities, such as the induction of vascular permeability, strongly affects vascular density and vascular structure. Furthermore, neither overexpression of VEGF or a high vascular density or hyperpermeability of tumor vasculature is necessarily followed by metastasis.
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