Aplidine, a new anticancer agent of marine origin, inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretion and blocks VEGF-VEGFR-1 (flt-1) autocrine loop in human leukemia cells MOLT-4

M. Broggini, S. V. Marchini, E. Galliera, P. Borsotti, G. Taraboletti, E. Erba, M. Sironi, J. Jimeno, G. T. Faircloth, R. Giavazzi, M. D'Incalci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The mechanism by which aplidine, a marine natural product in early clinical development as an anticancer agent, induces cell growth inhibition and apoptosis has been investigated in the human leukemia cell line MOLT-4. This cell line is characterized not only by the ability to secrete VEGF, but also for the presence on its surface of the VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1). Previous studies from our laboratory concerned with evaluating early changes in gene expression induced by aplidine in MOLT-4 cells have shown that the drug decreases the expression of VEGFR-1 (Marchini et al. Proc Am Assoc Cancer Res 2000; 41: 833). Here, we report the ability of aplidine to block the VEGF/VEGFR-1 loop. We found that aplidine blocked VEGF secretion that was temporally followed by a decrease in both VEGF and VEGFR-1 production. Aplidine did not directly affect either VEGF transcription or stabilization of its mRNA. Transfection of MOLT-4 cells with an antisense VEGF cDNA construct, resulted in inhibition of colony formations. One clone, transfected with sense VEGF cDNA, secreting 8-10 times more VEGF than parental cells, was less sensitive to aplidine-induced cytotoxicity and apoptosis than control cells. Moreover, addition of VEGF in the medium decreased the activity of aplidine in MOLT-4 cells. These data demonstrate that aplidine inhibits the growth and induces apoptosis in MOLT-4 cells through the inhibition of VEGF secretion which blocks the VEGF/VEGFR-1 autocrine loop necessary for the growth of these cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalLeukemia
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003

Keywords

  • Apoptosis
  • Autocrine loop
  • Leukemia
  • Marine compounds
  • VEGF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cancer Research

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