A small interfering RNA targeting vascular endothelial growth factor inhibits Ewing's sarcoma growth in a xenograft mouse model

Hui Guan, Zhichao Zhou, Hua Wang, Shu-Fang Jia, Wenbiao Liu, Eugenie S Kleinerman
Clinical Cancer Research 2005 April 1, 11 (7): 2662-9
Angiogenesis plays an essential role in tumor growth and metastasis and is a promising therapeutic target for cancer. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key regulator in vasculogenesis as well as in angiogenesis. TC71 human Ewing's sarcoma cells overexpress VEGF, with a shift in isoform production from membrane-bound VEGF189 to the more soluble VEGF165. Transfection of TC71 cells with a vector-based VEGF targeted small interfering RNA expression system (VEGFsi) inhibited VEGF165 expression by 80% and VEGF165 protein production by 98%, with no alteration in VEGF189 expression. Human microvascular endothelial cell proliferation and migration induced by conditioned medium from VEGFsi-transfected TC71 cells was significantly less than that induced by conditioned medium from TC71 cells and control vector-transfected TC71 cells. Furthermore, after s.c. injection into athymic nu/nu mice, the tumor growth of VEGFsi-expressing TC71 cells was significantly less than that of parental or control vector-transfected cells. Vessel density as assessed by CD31 immunohistochemical analysis and VEGF165 expression as assessed by Northern blotting were also decreased. Intratumor gene therapy with polyethylenimine/VEGFsi also resulted in tumor growth suppression. When inoculated into the tibias of nude mice, VEGFsi-expressing TC71 cells induced osteolytic bone lesions that were less severe than those induced by control groups. These data suggest that targeting VEGF165 may provide a therapeutic option for Ewing's sarcoma.

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