The anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 monoclonal antibody D16F7 inhibits invasiveness of human glioblastoma and glioblastoma stem cells

Maria Grazia Atzori, Lucio Tentori, Federica Ruffini, Claudia Ceci, Lucia Lisi, Elena Bonanno, Manuel Scimeca, Eskil Eskilsson, Thomas Daubon, Hrvoje Miletic, Lucia Ricci Vitiani, Roberto Pallini, Pierluigi Navarra, Rolf Bjerkvig, Stefania D'Atri, Pedro Miguel Lacal, Grazia Graziani

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma (GBM) is a highly migratory, invasive, and angiogenic brain tumor. Like vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A), placental growth factor (PlGF) promotes GBM angiogenesis. VEGF-A is a ligand for both VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1) and VEGFR-2, while PlGF interacts exclusively with VEGFR-1. We recently generated the novel anti-VEGFR-1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) D16F7 that diminishes VEGFR-1 homodimerization/activation without affecting VEGF-A and PlGF binding.

METHODS: In the present study, we evaluated the expression of VEGFR-1 in human GBM tissue samples (n = 42) by immunohistochemistry, in cell lines (n = 6) and GBM stem cells (GSCs) (n = 18) by qRT-PCR and/or western blot analysis. In VEGFR-1 positive GBM or GSCs we also analyzed the ability of D16F7 to inhibit GBM invasiveness in response to VEGF-A and PlGF.

RESULTS: Most of GBM specimens stained positively for VEGFR-1 and all but one GBM cell lines expressed VEGFR-1. On the other hand, in GSCs the expression of the receptor was heterogeneous. D16F7 reduced migration and invasion of VEGFR-1 positive GBM cell lines and patient-derived GSCs in response to VEGF-A and PlGF. Interestingly, this effect was also observed in VEGFR-1 positive GSCs transfected to over-express wild-type EGFR (EGFRwt+) or mutant EGFR (ligand binding domain-deficient EGFRvIII+). Furthermore, D16F7 suppressed intracellular signal transduction in VEGFR-1 over-expressing GBM cells by reducing receptor auto-phosphorylation at tyrosine 1213 and downstream Erk1/2 activation induced by receptor ligands.

CONCLUSION: The results from this study suggest that VEGFR-1 is a relevant target for GBM therapy and that D16F7-derived humanized mAbs warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106
JournalJournal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 2017

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Atzori, M. G., Tentori, L., Ruffini, F., Ceci, C., Lisi, L., Bonanno, E., Scimeca, M., Eskilsson, E., Daubon, T., Miletic, H., Ricci Vitiani, L., Pallini, R., Navarra, P., Bjerkvig, R., D'Atri, S., Lacal, P. M., & Graziani, G. (2017). The anti-vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 monoclonal antibody D16F7 inhibits invasiveness of human glioblastoma and glioblastoma stem cells. Journal of Experimental and Clinical Cancer Research, 36(1), 106. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13046-017-0577-2