Inhibition of Endothelial SCUBE2 (Signal Peptide-CUB-EGF Domain-Containing Protein 2), a Novel VEGFR2 (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor 2) Coreceptor, Suppresses Tumor Angiogenesis
Dr. Yang, Ruey-Bing (Ray)
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, Mar 15, 2018
SCUBE2 (signal peptide-CUB-EGF domain-containing protein 2), expressed on the endothelial cell surface, functions as a novel coreceptor for VEGFR2 (vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2) and enhances VEGF-induced signaling in adult angiogenesis. However, whether SCUBE2 plays a role in pathological angiogenesis and whether anti-SCUBE2 antibody is an effective strategy for blocking tumor angiogenesis remain unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the pathological role and targeting therapy of SCUBE2 in tumor vasculature.
APPROACH AND RESULTS:
Immunohistochemistry revealed that SCUBE2 is highly expressed in endothelial cells of numerous carcinomas. Genetic endothelial cell knockout of SCUBE2 and pharmacological inhibition with the anti-SCUBE2 monoclonal antibody SP.B1 significantly reduced xenograft tumor growth, decreased tumor vascular density, increased apoptosis, and decreased the proliferation of tumor cells. Mechanistic studies revealed that SP.B1 binds to SCUBE2 and induces its internalization for lysosomal degradation, thereby reducing its cell surface level and inhibiting the binding of and downstream signaling of VEGF, including VEGFR2 phosphorylation and AKT/MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) activation. Importantly, dual combination therapy with anti-SCUBE2 monoclonal antibody and anti-VEGF antibody or chemotherapy was more effective than single-agent therapy.
Endothelial cell surface SCUBE2 is a VEGFR2 coreceptor essential for pathological tumor angiogenesis, and anti-SCUBE2 monoclonal antibody acting as an internalization inducer may provide a potent combination therapy for tumor angiogenesis.