Author(s): Brouet A, DeWever J, Martinive P, Havaux X, Bouzin C,
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Abstract In tumors, caveolin-1, the structural protein of caveolae, constitutes a key switch through its function as a tumor suppressor and a promoter of metastases. In endothelial cells (EC), caveolin is also known to directly interact with the endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and thereby to modulate nitric oxide (NO)-mediated processes including vasodilation and angiogenesis. In this study, we examined whether the modulation of the stoichiometry of the caveolin/eNOS complex in EC lining tumor blood vessels could affect the tumor vasculature and consecutively tumor growth. For this purpose, we used cationic lipids, which are delivery systems effective at targeting tumor vs. normal vascular networks. We first documented that in vitro caveolin transfection led to the inhibition of both VEGF-induced EC migration and tube formation on Matrigel. The DNA-lipocomplex was then administered through the tail vein of tumor-bearing mice. The direct interaction between recombinant caveolin and native eNOS was validated in coimmunoprecipitation experiments from tumor extracts. A dramatic tumor growth delay was observed in mice transfected with caveolin- vs. sham-transfected animals. Using laser Doppler imaging and microprobes, we found that in the early time after lipofection (e.g., when macroscopic effects on the integrity of the tumor vasculature were not detectable), caveolin expression impaired NO-dependent tumor blood flow. At later stages post-transfection, a decrease in tumor microvessel density in the central core of caveolin-transfected tumors was also documented. In conclusion, our study reveals that by exploiting the exquisite regulatory interaction between eNOS and caveolin and the propensity of cationic lipids to target EC lining tumor blood vessels, caveolin plasmid delivery appears to be a safe and efficient way to block neoangiogenesis and vascular function in solid tumors, independently of any direct effects on tumor cells.
This article was published in FASEB J
and referenced in Translational Medicine