Author(s): Imanishi Y, Hu B, Xiao G, Yao X, Cheng SY
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Abstract The early onsets of breast cancer metastasis involve cell retention, survival, and resistant to apoptosis and subsequent growth at target vascular beds and tissues in distant organs. We previously reported that angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), an angiogenic regulator stimulates MCF-7 breast tumor metastasis from their orthotopic sites to distant organs through the α(5)β(1) integrin/integrin-linked kinase (ILK)/Akt pathway. Here, by using an experimental tumor metastasis model and in vitro studies, we further dissect the underlying mechanism by which Ang2 promotes the initial growth and survival of MCF-7 breast cancer metastasis in the lung of animals. We show that Ang2 increases cell survival and suppresses cell apoptosis through ILK-induced phosphorylation of Akt1, Akt2, and up-regulation of Bcl-2 in breast cancer cells. Inhibition of ILK, Akt1, and Akt2, and their effector Bcl-2 diminishes Ang2-stimulated breast cancer cell survival and Ang2-attenuated apoptosis in vitro, and initial survival and growth of breast cancer metastasis in the lung of animals. Additionally, siRNA knockdown of endogenous Ang2 in three human metastatic breast cancer cell lines also inhibits phosphorylation of Akt, expression of Bcl-2, and tumor cell survival, migration, and increases cell apoptosis. Since increased expression of Ang2 correlates with elevated potential of human breast cancer metastasis in clinic, our data underscore the importance that up-regulated Ang2 not only stimulates breast cancer growth and metastasis at late stages of the process, but is also critical at the initiating stages of metastases onset, thereby suggesting Ang2 as a promising therapeutic target for treating patients with metastatic breast cancer.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Translational Medicine