CD31 Expression Determines Redox Status and Chemoresistance in Human Angiosarcomas

Vivek Venkataramani*, Stefan Küffer , Kenneth Chat Pan Cheung, Xuejun Jiang, Lorenz Trümper, Gerald G Wulf, Philipp Ströbel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Angiosarcomas are soft tissue sarcomas with endothelial differentiation and vasoformative capacity. Most angiosarcomas show strong constitutive expression of the endothelial adhesion receptor CD31/PECAM-1 pointing to an important role of this molecule. However, the biological function of CD31 in angiosarcomas is unknown.
Experimental Design: The expression levels of CD31 in angiosarcoma cells and its effects on cell viability, colony formation, and chemoresistance were evaluated in human angiosarcoma clinical samples and in cell lines through isolation of CD31high and CD31low cell subsets. The redox-regulatory CD31 function linked to YAP signaling was determined using a CD31-blocking antibody and siRNA approach and was further validated in CD31-knockout endothelial cells.
Results: We found that most angiosarcomas contain a small CD31low cell population. CD31low cells had lost part of their endothelial properties and were more tumorigenic and chemoresistant than CD31high cells due to more efficient reactive oxygen species (ROS) detoxification. Active downregulation of CD31 resulted in loss of endothelial tube formation, nuclear accumulation of YAP, and YAP-dependent induction of antioxidative enzymes. Addition of pazopanib, a known enhancer of proteasomal YAP degradation resensitized CD31low cells for doxorubicin resulting in growth suppression and induction of apoptosis.
Conclusions: Human angiosarcomas contain a small aggressive CD31low population that have lost part of their endothelial differentiation programs and are more resistant against oxidative stress and DNA damage due to intensified YAP signaling. Our finding that the addition of YAP inhibitors can resensitize CD31low cells toward doxorubicin may aid in the rational development of novel combination therapies to treat angiosarcomas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-473
Number of pages14
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes

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