Research Papers:

Basic fibroblast growth factor promotes VEGF-C-dependent lymphangiogenesis via inhibition of miR-381 in human chondrosarcoma cells

Huey-En Tzeng, An-Chen Chang, Chun-Hao Tsai, Shih-Wei Wang and Chih-Hsin Tang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:38566-38578. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.9570

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Huey-En Tzeng1,2,*, An-Chen Chang3,*, Chun-Hao Tsai1,4, Shih-Wei Wang5, Chih-Hsin Tang6,7,8

1Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

2Division of Hematology and Oncology, Department of Internal Medicine, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

3Institute of Biomedical Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, Taiwan

4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

5Department of Medicine, Mackay Medical College, New Taipei City, Taiwan

6Graduate Institute of Basic Medical Science, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

7Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung, Taiwan

8Department of Biotechnology, College of Health Science, Asia University, Taichung, Taiwan

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Chih-Hsin Tang, email: [email protected]

Keywords: bFGF, chondrosarcoma, lymphangiogenesis, VEGF-C, miR-381

Received: March 22, 2016     Accepted: May 10, 2016     Published: May 24, 2016


A chondrosarcoma is a common, primary malignant bone tumor that can grow to destroy the bone, produce fractures and develop soft tissue masses. Left untreated, chondrosarcomas metastasize through the vascular system to the lungs and ultimately lead to large metastatic deposits of the malignant cartilage taking over lung volume and function. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C has been implicated in tumor-induced lymphangiogenesis and elevated expression of VEGF-C has been found to correlate with cancer metastasis. bFGF (basic fibroblast growth factor), a secreted cytokine, regulates biological activity, including angiogenesis and metastasis. We have previously reported on the important role of bFGF in angiogenesis in chondrosarcomas. However, the effect of bFGF in VEGF-C regulation and lymphangiogenesis in chondrosarcomas is poorly understood. In this investigation, we demonstrate a correlation exists between bFGF and VEGF-C in tissue specimens from patients with chondrosarcomas. To examine the lymphangiogenic effect of bFGF, we used human lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) to mimic lymphatic vessel formation. We found that bFGF-treated chondrosarcomas promoted LEC tube formation and cell migration. In addition, bFGF knockdown inhibited lymphangiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. We also found that bFGF-induced VEGF-C is mediated by the platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and c-Src signaling pathway. Furthermore, bFGF inhibited microRNA-381 expression via the PDGFR and c-Src cascade. Our study is the first to describe the mechanism of bFGF-promoted lymphangiogenesis by upregulating VEGF-C expression in chondrosarcomas. Thus, bFGF could serve as a therapeutic target in chondrosarcoma metastasis and lymphangiogenesis.

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