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See detailPlasmin-activated doxorubicin prodrugs containing a spacer reduce tumor growth and angiogenesis without systemic toxicity
Devy, L.; de Groot, F. M.; Blacher, Silvia ULg et al

in FASEB Journal (2004), 18(3), 565-567

To generate doxorubicin (Dox) specifically at the tumor site, the chemotherapeutic agent was incorporated into a prodrug by linkage to a peptide specifically recognized by plasmin, which is overproduced ... [more ▼]

To generate doxorubicin (Dox) specifically at the tumor site, the chemotherapeutic agent was incorporated into a prodrug by linkage to a peptide specifically recognized by plasmin, which is overproduced in many cancers. ST-9905, which contains an elongated self-elimination spacer, is activated more rapidly in vitro by plasmin than is ST-9802. Prodrug activation in vitro depended on the level of urokinase produced by tumor cells and was inhibited by aprotinin, a plasmin inhibitor. Comparison of equimolar concentrations of ST-9905, ST-9802, and Dox in EF43.fgf-4 and MCF7 models revealed that both prodrugs, in sharp contrast to Dox, displayed antiproliferative and antiangiogenic activities without discernible toxicity. Although MCF7 cells are poor urokinase producers in vitro, prodrug efficacy in this model may be explained by production of plasmin by tumor-infiltrating host cells. Mice treated with equitoxic concentrations (maximum tolerated doses) of prodrugs showed 100% survival and negligible body weight loss, in contrast to results after Dox treatment. ST-9905 was substantially more effective than ST9802 and induced similar tumor growth inhibition as Dox but without apparent toxicity. This finding may be explained by the elongated spacer, which facilitates enzymatic prodrug activation. These data validate both the use of elongated spacers in vivo and the concept of targeting anticancer prodrugs to tumor-associated plasmin. [less ▲]

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See detailMT1-MMP expression promotes tumor growth and angiogenesis through an up-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor expression
Sounni, Nor Eddine ULg; Devy, L.; Hajitou, A. et al

in FASEB Journal (2002), 16(6), 555-564

Membrane type 1 metalloprotease (MT1-MMP) is a transmembrane metalloprotease that plays a major role in the extracellular matrix remodeling, directly by degrading several of its components and indirectly ... [more ▼]

Membrane type 1 metalloprotease (MT1-MMP) is a transmembrane metalloprotease that plays a major role in the extracellular matrix remodeling, directly by degrading several of its components and indirectly by activating pro-MMP2. We investigated the effects of MT1-MMP overexpression on in vitro and in vivo properties of human breast adenocarcinoma MCF7 cells, which do not express MT1-MMP or MMP-2. MT1-MMP and MMP-2 cDNAs were either transfected alone or cotransfected. All clones overexpressing MT1-MMP 1) were able to activate endogenous or exogenous pro-MMP-2, 2) displayed an enhanced in vitro invasiveness through matrigel-coated filters independent of MMP-2 transfection, 3) induced the rapid development of highly vascularized tumors when injected subcutaneously in nude mice, and 4) promoted blood vessels sprouting in the rat aortic ring assay. These effects were observed in all clones overexpressing MT1-MMP regardless of MMP-2 expression levels, suggesting that the production of MMP-2 by tumor cells themselves does not play a critical role in these events. The angiogenic phenotype of MT1-MMP-producing cells was associated with an up-regulation of VEGF expression. These results emphasize the importance of MT1-MMP during tumor angiogenesis and open new opportunities for the development of anti-angiogenic strategies combining inhibitors of MT1-MMP and VEGF antagonists. [less ▲]

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See detailProgression in MCF-7 Breast Cancer Cell Tumorigenicity: Compared Effect of FGF-3 and FGF-4.
Hajitou, A.; Deroanne, Christophe ULg; Noël, Agnès ULg et al

in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment (2000), 60(1), 15-28

The transforming properties of fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGF-3) were investigated in MCF7 breast cancer cells and compared to those of FGF-4, a known oncogenic product. The short form of fgf-3 and the ... [more ▼]

The transforming properties of fibroblast growth factor 3 (FGF-3) were investigated in MCF7 breast cancer cells and compared to those of FGF-4, a known oncogenic product. The short form of fgf-3 and the fgf-4 sequences were each introduced with retroviral vectors and the proteins were only detected in the cytoplasm of the infected cells, as expected. In vitro, cells producing FGF-3 (MCF7.fgf-3) and FGF-4 (MCF7.fgf-4) displayed an amount of estrogen receptors decreased to around 45% of the control value. However, MCF7.fgf-3 cell proliferation remained responsive to estradiol supply. The sensitivity of the MCF7.fgf-4 cells, if existant, was masked by the important mitogenic action exerted by FGF-4. In vivo, the MCF7.fgf-3 and MCF7.fgf-4 cells gave rise to tumors under conditions in which the control cells were not tumorigenic. Supplementing the mice with estrogen had the paradoxical effect of totally suppressing the start of the FGF-3 as well as the FGF-4 tumors. Tumorigenicity in the presence of matrigel was similar for MCF7.fgf-3 and control cells and was increased by estrogen supplementation. Once started, the MCF7.fgf-4 tumors grew with a characteristic high rate. Remarkably, FGF-4 but not FGF-3, stimulated the secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) without altering the steady-state level of its mRNA, suggesting a possible regulation of VEGF synthesis at the translational level in MCF7 cells. The increased VEGF secretion is probably involved in the more aggressive phenotype of the MCF7.fgf-4 cells while a decreased dependence upon micro-environmental factors might be part of the increased tumorigenic potential of the MCF7.fgf-3 cells. [less ▲]

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