The Journal of Medical Investigation
Online ISSN : 1349-6867
Print ISSN : 1343-1420
ISSN-L : 1343-1420
Antiangiogenic agent sunitinib induces epithelial to mesenchymal transition and accelerates motility of colorectal cancer cells
Chisato TomidaNaoko YamagishiHikaru NaganoTakayuki UchidaAyako OhnoKatsuya HirasakaTakeshi NikawaShigetada Teshima-Kondo
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2017 Volume 64 Issue 3.4 Pages 250-254


Although vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGF-R)-targeted antiangiogenic agents are important treatment for a number of human malignancies, there is accumulating evidence that the therapies may promote disease progression, such as invasion and metastasis. How tumors become to promote their evasiveness remains fully uncertain. One of possible mechanisms for the adaptation may be a direct effect of VEGF-R inhibitors on tumor cells expressing VEGF-R. To elucidate a direct effect of VEGF-R-targeting drug (sunitinib), we established a human colorectal cancer cell model adapted to sunitinib. The sunitinib-conditioned cells showed a significant increase in cellular motility and migration activities, compared to the vehicle-treated control cells. Consistent with the phenotype, the sunitinib-conditioned cells decreased the expression levels of E-cadherin (an epithelial marker), while significantly increased the levels of Slug and Zeb1 (mesenchymal markers). Expression profiles of VEGF-R in the sunitinib-conditioned cells showed that only neuropilin-1 (NRP1) expression was significantly increased among all VEGF-R tested. Blockade of NRP1 using its antagonist clearly repressed the migration activation in sunitinib-conditioned cells, but not in the control cells. These results suggest that inhibition of VEGF-R on colorectal cancer cells can drive the epithelial-mesenchymal transition, leading to activation of cell motility in an NRP1-dependent manner. J. Med. Invest. 64: 250-254, August, 2017

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© 2017 by The University of Tokushima Faculty of Medicine
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