Research Papers:

A mechanism for semaphorin-induced apoptosis: DNA damage of endothelial and myogenic cells in primary cultures from skeletal muscle

Haynes Shek Hei Yuan, Sachin Katyal and Judy E. Anderson _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:22618-22630. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25200

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Haynes Shek Hei Yuan1,2,3, Sachin Katyal2,3 and Judy E. Anderson1

1Department of Biological Sciences, CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

2Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

3University of Manitoba, Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology, CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Correspondence to:

Judy E. Anderson, email: [email protected]

Keywords: DNA damage; semaphorins; apoptosis; endothelial cell; angiogenesis

Received: September 28, 2017     Accepted: April 04, 2018     Published: April 27, 2018


One hallmark of cancer is its ability to recruit a vascular supply to support rapid growth. Suppression of angiogenesis holds potential as a second-line or adjuvant therapy to stunt cancer growth, progression, metastasis, and post-resection regeneration. To begin to test the hypothesis that semaphorin 3A and 3F together, will induce endothelial cell apoptosis by inducing DNA damage, mixed primary cultures isolated from normal adult mouse skeletal muscle were treated for 48 hr with Sema3A ± Sema3F (100ng/mL). Changes in surviving-cell density, DNA synthesis, DNA repair (gamma-Histone 2AX, γH2AX, an indirect measure for DNA damage), and apoptotic DNA fragmentation (TUNEL staining) were assayed in cultures of CD31+ endothelial and desmin+ muscle cells. Sema3F increased DNA damage-associated DNA repair in both cell types. Co-treatment with Sema3A+3F increased γH2AX staining ~25-fold over control levels, and further increased apoptosis compared to control and Sema3A alone. Results were negated by treatment with neutralizing anti-semaphorin antibodies and are interpreted as suggesting that Sema3A may sensitize endothelial but not muscle cells to Sema3F-induced DNA damage. These preliminary findings on a complex system of interacting cells may contribute to developing applications that could target angiogenic regulatory mechanisms for their therapeutic potential against cancer progression and metastasis.

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