Background: Angiogenin is a multifunctional secreted ribonuclease that is upregulated in human cancers and downregulated or mutationally inactivated in neurodegenerative diseases. A role for angiogenin in glioblastoma was inferred from the inverse correlation of angiogenin expression with patient survival but had not been experimentally investigated. Methods: Angiogenin knockout mice were generated and the effect of angiogenin deficiency on glioblastoma progression was examined. Angiogenin and plexin-B2 genes were knocked down in glioblastoma cells and the changes in cell proliferation, invasion and vascular association were examined. Monoclonal antibodies of angiogenin and small molecules were used to assess the therapeutic activity of the angiogenin-plexin-B2 pathway in both genetic and xenograft animal models. Results: Deletion of Ang1 gene prolonged survival of PDGF-induced glioblastoma in mice in the Ink4a/Arf−/−:Pten−/− background, accompanied by decreased invasion, vascular association and proliferation. Angiogenin upregulated MMP9 and CD24 leading to enhanced invasion and vascular association. Inhibition of angiogenin or plexin-B2, either by shRNA, monoclonal antibody or small molecule inhibitor, decreases sphere formation of patient-derived glioma stem cells, reduces glioblastoma proliferation and invasion and inhibits glioblastoma growth in both genetic and xenograft animal models. Conclusions: Angiogenin and its receptor, plexin-B2, are a pair of novel regulators that mediate invasion, vascular association and proliferation of glioblastoma cells. Inhibitors of the angiogenin-plexin-B2 axis have therapeutic potential against glioblastoma.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research