Activin A triggers angiogenesis via regulation of VEGFA and its overexpression is associated with poor prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma

  • Authors:
    • Carine Ervolino De Oliveira
    • Maurício Rocha Dourado
    • Íris Sawazaki‑Calone
    • Marcell Costa De Medeiros
    • Carlos Rossa Júnior
    • Nilva De Karla Cervigne
    • Jorge Esquiche León
    • Daniel Lambert
    • Tuula Salo
    • Edgard Graner
    • Ricardo D. Coletta
  • View Affiliations

  • Published online on: May 4, 2020     https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2020.5058
  • Pages: 364-376
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Abstract

Poor prognosis associated with the dysregulated expression of activin A in a number of malignancies has been related to with numerous aspects of tumorigenesis, including angiogenesis. The present study investigated the prognostic significance of activin A immunoexpression in blood vessels and cancer cells in a number of oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) cases and applied in vitro strategies to determine the impact of activin A on angiogenesis. In a cohort of 95 patients with OSCC, immunoexpression of activin A in both blood vessels and tumor cells was quantified and the association with clinicopathological parameters and survival was analyzed. Effects of activin A on the tube formation, proliferation and migration of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were evaluated in gain‑of‑function (treatment with recombinant activin A) or loss‑of‑function [treatment with activin A‑antagonist follistatin or by stable transfection with short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting activin A] conditions. Conditioned medium from an OSCC cell line with shRNA‑mediated depletion of activin A was also tested. The profile of pro‑ and anti‑angiogenic factors regulated by activin A was assessed with a human angiogenesis quantitative PCR (qPCR) array. Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and its major isoforms were evaluated by reverse transcription‑qPCR and ELISA. Activin A expression in blood vessels demonstrated an independent prognostic value in the multivariate analysis with a hazard ratio of 2.47 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.30‑4.71; P=0.006) for disease‑specific survival and 2.09 (95% CI, 1.07‑4.08l: P=0.03) for disease‑free survival. Activin A significantly increased tubular formation of HUVECs concomitantly with an increase in proliferation. This effect was validated by reduced proliferation and tubular formation of HUVECs following inhibition of activin A by follistatin or shRNA, as well as by treatment of HUVECs with conditioned medium from activin A‑depleted OSCC cells. Activin A‑knockdown increased the migration of HUVECs. In addition, activin A stimulated the phosphorylation of SMAD2/3 and the expression and production of total VEGFA, significantly enhancing the expression of its pro‑angiogenic isoform 121. The present findings suggest that activin A is a predictor of the prognosis of patients with OSCC, and provide evidence that activin A, in an autocrine and paracrine manner, may contribute to OSCC angiogenesis through differential expression of the isoform 121 of VEGFA.

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July 2020
Volume 57 Issue 1

Print ISSN: 1019-6439
Online ISSN:1791-2423

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APA
Ervolino De Oliveira, C., Dourado, M.R., Sawazaki‑Calone, Í., Costa De Medeiros, M., Rossa Júnior, C., De Karla Cervigne, N. ... Coletta, R.D. (2020). Activin A triggers angiogenesis via regulation of VEGFA and its overexpression is associated with poor prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma. International Journal of Oncology, 57, 364-376. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2020.5058
MLA
Ervolino De Oliveira, C., Dourado, M. R., Sawazaki‑Calone, Í., Costa De Medeiros, M., Rossa Júnior, C., De Karla Cervigne, N., Esquiche León, J., Lambert, D., Salo, T., Graner, E., Coletta, R. D."Activin A triggers angiogenesis via regulation of VEGFA and its overexpression is associated with poor prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma". International Journal of Oncology 57.1 (2020): 364-376.
Chicago
Ervolino De Oliveira, C., Dourado, M. R., Sawazaki‑Calone, Í., Costa De Medeiros, M., Rossa Júnior, C., De Karla Cervigne, N., Esquiche León, J., Lambert, D., Salo, T., Graner, E., Coletta, R. D."Activin A triggers angiogenesis via regulation of VEGFA and its overexpression is associated with poor prognosis of oral squamous cell carcinoma". International Journal of Oncology 57, no. 1 (2020): 364-376. https://doi.org/10.3892/ijo.2020.5058