Inhibition of in vivo tumor angiogenesis and growth via systemic delivery of an angiopoietin 2-specific RNA aptamer.
BACKGROUND: Cellular events mediated by the Tie2 receptor are important to tumor neovascularization. Despite the complex interplay of the best-characterized Tie2 ligands, angiopoietins 1 and 2, Ang2 is purportedly "proangiogenic" in the presence of vascular endothelial growth factor. We examined whether in vivo administration of an RNA aptamer that specifically blocks Ang 2 would inhibit tumor angiogenesis and growth. METHODS: Ang2-mediated Tie2 receptor phosphorylation was assessed in vitro in the absence and presence of aptamer coupled to polyethylene glycol. IN VIVO ANGIOGENESIS ASSAY: CT26 murine colon carcinoma cells expressing green fluorescent protein were delivered into mouse dorsal skinfold window chambers. Animals received daily intraperitoneal injections of phosphate-buffered saline, low-dose (Ang2 aptamer-LD; 1 mg/kg/d), or high-dose aptamer (Ang2 aptamer-HD; 10 mg/kg/d). Vascular length density was measured under fluorescence microscopy. PRIMARY TUMOR GROWTH: CT26 cells expressing luciferase were injected into flanks of BALB/c mice to allow tumor growth monitoring by bioluminescence imaging. Animals received continuous phosphate-buffered saline or aptamer (1 mg/kg/d) via ALZET pumps. Tumors were assessed for CD31/PECAM-1 immunostaining and Hoechst dye uptake. RESULTS: Pegylated aptamer inhibited Tie2 phosphorylation. Systemic aptamer administration reduced vascular length density (P < or = 0.03) and decreased bioluminescence emission (P < 0.04), corresponding to 50% decrease in tumor volume (P = 0.04). Control tumors displayed abundant vascular marker staining, in contrast to tumors from aptamer-treated animals. CONCLUSIONS: in vivo administration of a clinically relevant, pegylated RNA aptamer specifically designed against Ang2 inhibited tumor angiogenesis and growth. These findings support targeted Ang2 inhibition as a relevant anti-angiogenic, anti-neoplastic strategy.
Sarraf-Yazdi, S; Mi, J; Moeller, BJ; Niu, X; White, RR; Kontos, CD; Sullenger, BA; Dewhirst, MW; Clary, BM
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