Breaking the harmony of TNF-α signaling for cancer treatment

S. P. Sasi, X. Yan, H. Enderling, D. Park, H. Y. Gilbert, C. Curry, C. Coleman, L. Hlatky, G. Qin, R. Kishore, D. A. Goukassian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) binds to two distinct receptors, TNFR1/p55 and TNFR2/p75. TNF-α is implicated in the processes of tumor growth, survival, differentiation, invasion, metastases, secretion of cytokines and pro-angiogenic factors. We have shown that TNFR2/p75 signaling promotes ischemia-induced angiogenesis via modulation of several angiogenic growth factors. We hypothesized that TNFR2/p75 may promote tumor growth and angiogenesis. Growth of mouse Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC1) and/or mouse melanoma B16 cell was evaluated in wild type (WT), p75 knockout (KO) and double p55KO/p75KO mouse tumor xenograft models. Compared with WT and p55KO/p75KO mice, growth of tumors in p75KO mice was significantly decreased (twofold) in both LLC and B16 tumors. Tumor growth inhibition was correlated with decreases in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression and capillary density, as well as bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells incorporation into the functional capillary network, and an increase in apoptotic cells in LLC xenografts. Gene array analysis of tumor tissues showed a decrease in gene expression in pathways that promote tumor angiogenesis and cell survival. Blocking p75 by short-hairpin RNA in cultured LLCs led to increases in TNF-mediated apoptosis, as well as decreases in the constitutive and TNF-mediated expression of angiogenic growth factors (VEGF, HGF, PLGF), and SDF-1α receptor CXCR4. In summary, p75 is essential for tumor angiogenesis and survival in highly vascularized murine lung tumor xenografts. Blocking p75 expression may lead to tumor regression. This may represent new and effective therapy against lung neoplasms and potentially tumors of other origin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4117-4127
Number of pages11
Issue number37
StatePublished - Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • EPC
  • TNF-α
  • TNFR2/p75
  • angiogenesis
  • cancer
  • microenvironment


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