Research Papers:

Targeting a novel domain in podoplanin for inhibiting platelet-mediated tumor metastasis

Takaya Sekiguchi, Ai Takemoto, Satoshi Takagi, Kazuki Takatori, Shigeo Sato, Miho Takami and Naoya Fujita _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:3934-3946. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.6598

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Takaya Sekiguchi1,2, Ai Takemoto1, Satoshi Takagi1, Kazuki Takatori1,2, Shigeo Sato1, Miho Takami1, Naoya Fujita1,2

1Division of Experimental Chemotherapy, Cancer Chemotherapy Center, Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research, Tokyo, Japan

2Department of Computational Biology and Medical Sciences, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Correspondence to:

Naoya Fujita, e-mail: [email protected]

Keywords: podoplanin, platelets, platelet aggregation, neutralizing antibody, tumor metastasis

Received: August 28, 2015     Accepted: November 22, 2015     Published: December 14, 2015


Podoplanin/Aggrus is a sialoglycoprotein expressed in various cancers. We previously identified podoplanin as a key factor in tumor-induced platelet aggregation. Podoplanin-mediated platelet aggregation enhances tumor growth and metastasis by secreting growth factors and by forming tumor emboli in the microvasculature. Thus, precise analysis of the mechanisms of podoplanin-mediated platelet aggregation is critical for developing anti-tumor therapies. Here we report the discovery of a novel platelet aggregation-inducing domain, PLAG4 (81-EDLPT-85). PLAG4 has high homology to the previously reported PLAG3 and contributes to the binding of its platelet receptor CLEC-2. Mutant analyses indicated that PLAG4 exhibits a predominant platelet-aggregating function relative to PLAG3 and that conserved Glu81/Asp82/Thr85 residues in PLAG4 are indispensable for CLEC-2 binding. By establishing anti-PLAG4-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, we confirmed its role in CLEC-2 binding, platelet aggregation, and tumor emboli formation. Our results suggest the requirement of simultaneous inhibition of PLAG3/4 for complete suppression of podoplanin-mediated tumor growth and metastasis.

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