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N. Al Sarraf

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    MINI 08 - Prognostic/Predictive Biomarkers (ID 106)

    • Event: WCLC 2015
    • Type: Mini Oral
    • Track: Biology, Pathology, and Molecular Testing
    • Presentations: 1
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      MINI08.08 - VEGF-Mediated Cell Survival in NSCLC: Implications for Epigenetic Targeting of VEGF Receptors as a Therapeutic Approach (ID 2721)

      16:45 - 18:15  |  Author(s): N. Al Sarraf

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      We have recently shown that VEGF, at least in part, is an autocrine growth factor for NSCLC cells, mediating its survival effects via VEGFR2 (KDR) in addition to the more novel receptor, Neuropilin-1 (Barr et al., Mol Cancer, 2015). In this study, we evaluated the potential therapeutic utility of histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors in targeting the VEGF-VEGFR signalling axis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells.

      The effect of the HDAC inhibitor, Trichostatin-A (TSA) on modulating the expression of the VEGF receptors, VEGFR1, VEGFR2, NP1 and NP2, in A549 and SKMES-1 cells was examined and validated at the mRNA level and protein levels using RT-PCR and Western blot analysis. Gene expression was further validated by quantitative real-time PCR. To investigate the effect of TSA on the viability of NSCLC cells, these were treated with increasing concentrations of TSA (2.5 ng/ml-250 ng/ml) for 24h. Cell proliferation and apoptosis was measured by BrdU and Annexin V/PI (FACS), respectively. VEGF protein secretion in response to TSA was assessed in conditioned media from lung tumour cells by ELISA. To determine if the effects of TSA on VEGFR receptors were mediated through immediate to early responses, cells were pre-treated with cycloheximide (10 µg/ml) for 2 h followed by treatment with TSA (250 ng/ml) for 24 h. To confirm whether the observed effects of HDAC inhibition by TSA were due to increased histone hyperacetylation at the VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 gene promoters, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis was carried out following treatment with TSA.

      NP1 and NP2 mRNA levels were decreased in both A549 and SKMES-1 lung cancer cells in response to TSA and induced the expression of VEGFR1 and VEGFR2 at higher concentrations. TSA however, had no effect on VEGF mRNA expression. Critically, the effect of TSA was more marked at the protein level, with complete loss of Neuropilin-1 protein. HDAC inhibition resulted in a significant decrease in the viability of A549 and SKMES-1 cells in a dose-dependent fashion. While TSA induced significant apoptosis of both lung tumour cell lines, VEGF was unable to rescue cells from TSA-induced cell death. VEGF secretion was significantly decreased in both cell lines. Treatment with cycloheximide was unable to abrogate the TSA-mediated increase in the VEGF receptors examined, indicating that de novo protein synthesis is not required for these observed effects, but may be due to direct effects at the promoter level. Direct histone acetylation of histones H3 and H4 was observed, indicating an increase in histone hyperacetylation of VEGFR1 and VEGR2 promoters. A significant trend in the modulation of the VEGF receptors similar to that seen in response to TSA was shown when treated with Vorinostat (SAHA).

      Epigenetic targeting of the Neuropilin receptors may offer an effective treatment for NSCLC patients in the clinical setting. The possibility of novel targeted agents decreasing the levels, or function, of tumour VEGF receptors, in particular NP1, may lead to more successful treatments and prolonged overall survival in these patients.

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