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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Inhibition of HUVEC tubulogenesis by hederacolchiside-A1 is associated with plasma membrane cholesterol sequestration and activation of the Ha-Ras/MEK/ERK cascade.

PURPOSE: Neoangiogenesis is critical to cancer proliferation and metastasis and constitutes an attractive target for cancer therapy. It has previously been demonstrated that hederacolchiside-A1 (HCol-A1), a triterpenoid saponin from Hedera colchica Koch, has antimelanoma potential. The goal of this study was to evaluate, in vitro, if in addition to its tumoricidal effect on melanoma cells, HCol-A1 might affect endothelial cell network formation. METHODS: We investigated whether HCol-A1 affects matrigel-induced tubulogenesis and inhibits the viability (WST-1 assay) of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). To provide structure-activity relationships (SAR), studies were conducted on HCol-A1, oleanolic acid and hederacolchiside A (HCol-A), a triterpenoid saponin which possess the same sugar sequence as Hcol-A1. Plasma membrane cholesterol sequestration was studied by labelling with [3H]cholesterol and assayed with HCol-A1-cholesterol complexes. HCol-A1 signalling was investigated using immunoassays. RESULTS: In contrast to HCol-A and oleanolic acid, HCol-A1 inhibited matrigel-induced angiogenesis at micromolar concentration. Plasma membrane cholesterol sequestration was found to be critical for this activity. Activation of the Ras/MEK/ERK cascade appears to be one of the mechanisms by which Hcol-A1 affects HUVEC network formation. The predominant activation of the Ha-Ras isoform, which decreases HUVEC-tolerance to apoptosis, might contribute to the high susceptibility of this cell line to HCol-A1. CONCLUSION: Since cholesterol sequestration affects cell confluence-dependent remodelling of endothelial membranes and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 activity, these results raise the possibility that Hcol-A1 might slow-down cancer proliferation and metastasis in vivo by inhibiting critical aspects of neoangiogenesis. Further in vivo studies are needed to verify this hypothesis.[1]


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