Epidermal growth factor receptor inhibition reduces angiogenesis via hypoxia-inducible factor-1a and Notch1 in head neck squamous cell carcinoma.

Wang WM, Zhao ZL, Ma SR, Yu GT, Liu B, Zhang L, Zhang WF, Kulkarni AB, Sun ZJ, Zhao YF
Source: PLoS ONE
Publication Date: (2015)
Issue: 10(2): e0119723
Research Area:
Cancer Research/Cell Biology
Cells used in publication:
Endothelial, umbilical vein, human (HUVEC)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: vein
CHNSCC was modeled in this experiment. Cetuximab-induced epidermal growth factor recepetor inhibition were investigated in xenograft and transgenic mouse models. Signal transuction of Nothch 1 and HIF-1a was also analyzed. Cetuximab delayed tumor formation by reducing tumor angiogenesis.
Angiogenesis, a marker of cancer development, affects response to radiotherapy sensibility. This preclinical study aims to understand the receptor tyrosine kinase-mediated angiogenesis in head neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). The receptor tyrosine kinase activity in a transgenic mouse model of HNSCC was assessed. The anti-tumorigenetic and anti-angiogenetic effects of cetuximab-induced epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibition were investigated in xenograft and transgenic mouse models of HNSCC. The signaling transduction of Notch1 and hypoxia-inducible factor-1a (HIF-1a) was also analyzed. EGFR was overexpressed and activated in the Tgfbr1/Pten deletion (2cKO) mouse model of HNSCC. Cetuximab significantly delayed tumor onset by reducing tumor angiogenesis. This drug exerted similar effects on heterotopic xenograft tumors. In the human HNSCC tissue array, increased EGFR expression correlated with increased HIF-1a and micro vessel density. Cetuximab inhibited tumor-induced angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo by significantly downregulating HIF-1a and Notch1. EGFR is involved in the tumor angiogenesis of HNSCC via the HIF-1a and Notch1 pathways. Therefore, targeting EGFR by suppressing hypoxia- and Notch-induced angiogenesis may benefit HNSCC therapy.