Research Papers:

Ablation of EIF5A2 induces tumor vasculature remodeling and improves tumor response to chemotherapy via regulation of matrix metalloproteinase 2 expression

Feng-Wei Wang _, Mu-Yan Cai, Shi-Juan Mai, Jie-Wei Chen, Hai-Yan Bai, Yan Li, Yi-Ji Liao, Chang-Peng Li, Xiao-Peng Tian, Hsiang-Fu Kung, Xin-Yuan Guan and Dan Xie

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Oncotarget. 2014; 5:6716-6733. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.2236

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Feng-Wei Wang1*, Mu-Yan Cai1,2*, Shi-Juan Mai1*, Jie-Wei Chen1,2, Hai-Yan Bai1, Yan Li1, Yi-Ji Liao1, Chang-Peng Li1, Xiao-Peng Tian1, Hsiang-Fu Kung1,3, Xin-Yuan Guan1,4, Dan Xie1

1 State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China; Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine; Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China.

2 Department of Pathology, Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou, China.

3 State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

4 Department of Clinical Oncology, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

* These authors contributed equally to this work.

Correspondence to:

Dr. Dan Xie, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: Hepatocellular carcinoma, Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A2, Matrix Metalloproteinase 2, Vasculature remodeling Chemotherapy

Received: May 4, 2014     Accepted: July 15, 2014     Published: July 23, 2014


Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a highly vascularized tumor with poor clinical outcome. Our previous work has shown that eukaryotic initiation factor 5A2 (EIF5A2) over- expression enhances HCC cell metastasis. In this study, EIF5A2 was identified to be an independent risk factor for poor disease-specific survival among HCC patients. Both in vitro and in vivo assays indicated that ablation of endogenous EIF5A2 inhibited tumor angiogenesis by reducing matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2) expression. Given that MMP-2 degrades collagen IV, a main component of the vascular basement membrane (BM), we subsequently investigated the effect of EIF5A2 on tumor vasculature remodeling using complementary approaches, including fluorescent immunostaining, transmission electron microscopy, tumor perfusion assays and tumor hypoxia assays. Taken together, our results indicate that EIF5A2 silencing increases tumor vessel wall continuity, increases blood perfusion and improves tumor oxygenation. Additionally, we found that ablation of EIF5A2 enhanced the chemosensitivity of HCC cells to 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). Finally, we demonstrated that EIF5A2 might exert these functions by enhancing MMP-2 activity via activation of p38 MAPK and JNK/c-Jun pathways. Conclusion: This study highlights an important role of EIF5A2 in HCC tumor vessel remodeling and indicates that EIF5A2 represents a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of HCC.

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