Research Papers:

The antiangiogenic effects of polyisoprenylated cysteinyl amide inhibitors in HUVEC, chick embryo and zebrafish is dependent on the polyisoprenyl moiety

Augustine T. Nkembo, Elizabeth Ntantie, Olufisayo O. Salako, Felix Amissah, Rosemary A. Poku, Lekan M. Latinwo and Nazarius S. Lamango _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:68194-68205. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11908

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Augustine T. Nkembo1,2, Elizabeth Ntantie1, Olufisayo O. Salako1, Felix Amissah1, Rosemary A. Poku1, Lekan M. Latinwo2, Nazarius S. Lamango1

1Division of Basic Pharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University Tallahassee, Tallahassee, Florida 32307, USA

2Department of Biological Sciences, College of Science and Technology, Florida A&M University Tallahassee, Tallahassee, Florida 32307, USA

Correspondence to:

Nazarius S. Lamango, email: [email protected]

Keywords: angiogenesis, PCAIs, HUVEC, cell invasion, zebrafish

Received: July 20, 2016     Accepted: August 31, 2016     Published: September 08, 2016


Angiogenesis is essential for solid tumor growth, therapeutic resistance and metastasis, the latest accounting for 90% of cancer deaths. Although angiogenesis is essential for the malignant transformations in solid tumors and therefore is an attractive target, few drugs are available that block tumor angiogenesis. The focus has been to block signaling by receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs), such as for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), whose activation abrogate apoptosis and promote angiogenesis. The polyisoprenylated cysteinyl amide inhibitors (PCAIs) were designed to modulate aberrant polyisoprenylated small G-proteins such as mutant Ras whose constitutive activation promotes RTKs signaling. Since polyisoprenylation is essential for protein-protein interactions and functions of G-proteins, we hypothesized that the PCAIs would disrupt the monomeric G-protein signaling thereby effectively inhibiting angiogenesis. In this study we determined the effects of PCAIs on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) tube formation, cell viability, cell migration and invasion as well as in vivo using the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) and zebrafish models. At sub- to low micromolar concentrations, the PCAIs inhibit the native and VEGF-stimulated cell migration and invasion as well as tube formation and angiogenesis in CAM and zebrafish embryos. The concentrations that block the angiogenic processes were lower than those that induce cell death. Since angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth but otherwise limited to wound healing, feeding fat cells and uterine wall repair in adults, it is conceivable that these compounds can be developed into safer therapeutics for cancers and retinal neovascularization that leads to loss of vision.

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