Research ArticleCancer

The Secreted Protein ANGPTL2 Promotes Metastasis of Osteosarcoma Cells Through Integrin α5β1, p38 MAPK, and Matrix Metalloproteinases

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Sci. Signal.  21 Jan 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 309, pp. ra7
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2004612

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The tumor microenvironment can enhance the invasive capacity of tumor cells. We showed that expression of angiopoietin-like protein 2 (ANGPTL2) in osteosarcoma (OS) cell lines increased and the methylation of its promoter decreased with time when grown as xenografts in mice compared with culture. Compared with cells grown in normal culture conditions, the expression of genes encoding DNA demethylation–related enzymes increased in tumor cells implanted into mice or grown in hypoxic, serum-starved culture conditions. ANGPTL2 expression in OS cell lines correlated with increased tumor metastasis and decreased animal survival by promoting tumor cell intravasation mediated by the integrin α5β1, p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, and matrix metalloproteinases. The tolloid-like 1 (TLL1) protease cleaved ANGPTL2 into fragments in vitro that did not enhance tumor progression when overexpressed in xenografts. Expression of TLL1 was weak in OS patient tumors, suggesting that ANGPTL2 may not be efficiently cleaved upon secretion from OS cells. These findings demonstrate that preventing ANGPTL2 signaling stimulated by the tumor microenvironment could inhibit tumor cell migration and metastasis.

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