Oct-3/4 promotes tumor angiogenesis through VEGF production in glioblastoma
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Accumulating evidence shows that the expression level of Oct-3/4, a self-renewal regulator in stem cells, is positively correlated with the progression of various solid tumors. However, little is known regarding the influence of Oct-3/4 in the tumor angiogenesis of glioblastomas. In the present study, we subcutaneously transplanted Oct-3/4-overexpressing human glioblastoma U251 (U251/EGFP-Oct-3/4) cells into the right thighs of nude mice to evaluate the roles of Oct-3/4 in the tumor angiogenesis. Both tumor size and the number of large vessels growing in the tumor were markedly increased. In an in vitro model of angiogenesis, the conditioned media from U251/EGFP-Oct-3/4 cells significantly accelerated capillary-like tube formation compared with that of U251/EGFP cells. In comparison with U251/EGFP cells, U251/EGFP-Oct-3/4 cells had markedly elevated the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor mRNA under the control of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 1α. In U251/EGFP-Oct-3/4 cells, enhanced protein expression and nuclear translocation of HIF1α were observed. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the involvement of AKT, an oncogenic signaling molecule, in the Oct-3/4 induced upregulation of HIF1α protein. Our findings suggest that Oct-3/4-expressing glioblastoma cells have the ability to adapt to low-oxygen environments within tumor masses by promoting tumor angiogenesis through AKT-HIF1 pathway.
KeywordsGlioblastoma Oct-3/4 Angiogenesis VEGF HIF1 AKT
We thank Dr. M. E. Choudhury for helpful comments on the manuscript. This research was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid for scientific research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (Program for Scientific Research (C) No. 23592129 to H. T.).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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