VEGF-D is an X-linked/AP-1 regulated putative onco-angiogen in human glioblastoma multiforme

Waldemar Debinski, Becky Slagle-Webb, Marc G. Achen, Steven A. Stacker, Eugene Tulchinsky, G. Yancey Gillespie, Denise M. Gibo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a hypervascularized and locally infiltrating brain tumor of astroglial origin with a very poor prognosis. An X-linked c-fos oncogene-inducible mitogenic, morphogenic, and angiogenic factor, endothelial growth factor-D (VEGF-D), is the newest mammalian member of VEGF family. We analyzed VEGF-D in GBM because of its high angiogenic potential and its linkage to the X chromosome. Materials and Methods: Nonmalignant brain and GBM tissue sections as well as GBM cell lines were analyzed by immunofluorescence for the expression of VEGF-D, factor VIII (endothelial cell marker), glial-fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) (astrocytic cell lineage cytoplasmic marker), and several Fos family transcription factors, including c-Fos and Fra-1. The proteins were also detected by Western blots. The differences between genotypes of normal brain and GBM cells were examined by cDNA microarrays. Results and Conclusions: GBM expressed ubiquitously VEGF-D, which colocalized with GFAP. Contrary to our expectations, low levels of c-Fos were detected in GBM cells. However, we identified another Fos family member, Fra-1, together with its transcriptional activation partner, c-Jun, as being stably up-regulated in GBM cells. Furthermore, we demonstrated that a fra-1 transgene induced VEGF-D expression in cultured cells and GBM cell stimulation evoked a sustained increase in both Fra-1 and VEGF-D levels. This study reveals that an up-regulation of AP-1 factors may be a hallmark of GBM. Because VEGF-D activates VEGF receptor 2 and 3, receptors important for tumor angiogenesis, it may represent an X-linked/AP-1-regulated onco-angiogen in human GBM. The VEGF-D system and AP-1 activity appear to be very attractive targets for new molecular diagnostics and rational molecular anti-cancer therapies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-608
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Medicine
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

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