Research ArticleCancer

Hypoxic cancer–associated fibroblasts increase NCBP2-AS2/HIAR to promote endothelial sprouting through enhanced VEGF signaling

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Sci. Signal.  05 Feb 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 567, eaan8247
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aan8247

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The secret(ing) life of the tumor stroma

The hypoxia that develops in solid tumors leads to the formation of a dysfunctional vasculature that enables cancer cell survival and also prevents efficient chemotherapeutic penetration. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in the tumor stroma release important angiogenic signals; however, the proteins secreted by these cells have generally been characterized at the genome level. Kugeratski et al. analyzed the proteome and secretome of CAFs and found that hypoxia altered the secretome of these cells. The authors identified a previously uncharacterized protein that they renamed HIAR. HIAR was increased in abundance in hypoxic CAFs, promoted the release of the pro-angiogenic factor VEGF from CAFs, and induced VEGF-dependent signaling in endothelial cells. These results provide an overview of the CAF secretome at the protein level and a new potential target for anti-angiogenic therapy.