Secreted by tumor and stromal cells, S100 proteins exert their biological functions via the interaction with surface receptors. The most described receptor is the receptor for advanced glycation end-products (RAGE), thereby participating in the S100-dependent cell migration, invasion, tumor growth, angiogenesis and metastasis. Several approaches have been described for determining this interaction. Here we describe an easy, specific and highly reproducible ELISA-based method, by optimizing several parameters such as the binding and blocking buffer, interaction time and concentrations, directed to screen chemical and biological inhibitors of this interaction for S100A4, S100A7 and S100P proteins. The efficiency of the protocol was validated by using well described neutralizing agents of the RAGE receptor and of the S100A4 activity. The methodology described here will allow future works with other members of the S100 protein family and their receptors.
As a new approach for gene therapy, we recently developed a new type of molecule called polypurine reverse Hoogsteen hairpins (PPRHs). We decided to explore the in vitro and in vivo effect of PPRHs in cancer choosing survivin as a target since it is involved in apoptosis, mitosis and angiogenesis, and overexpressed in different tumors. We designed four PPRHs against the survivin gene, one of them directed against the template strand and three against different regions of the coding strand. These PPRHs were tested in PC3 prostate cancer cells in an in vitro screening of cell viability and apoptosis. PPRHs against the promoter sequence were the most effective and caused a decrease in survivin mRNA and protein levels. We confirmed the binding between the selected PPRHs and their target sequences in the survivin gene. In addition we determined that both the template- and the coding-PPRH targeting the survivin promoter were interfering with the binding of transcription factors Sp1 and GATA-3, respectively. Finally, we conducted two in vivo efficacy assays using the Coding-PPRH against the survivin promoter and performing two routes of administration, namely intratumoral and intravenous, in a subcutaneous xenograft tumor model of PC3 prostate cancer cells. The results showed that the chosen Coding-PPRH proved to be effective in decreasing tumor volume, and reduced the levels of survivin protein and the formation of blood vessels. These findings represent the preclinical proof of principle of PPRHs as a new silencing tool for cancer gene therapy.
S100A4, a member of the S100 calcium-binding protein family secreted by tumor and stromal cells, supports tumorigenesis by stimulating angiogenesis. We demonstrated that S100A4 synergizes with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), via the RAGE receptor, in promoting endothelial cell migration by increasing KDR expression and MMP-9 activity. In vivo overexpression of S100A4 led to a significant increase in tumor growth and vascularization in a human melanoma xenograft M21 model. Conversely, when silencing S100A4 by shRNA technology, a dramatic decrease in tumor development of the pancreatic MiaPACA-2 cell line was observed. Based on these results we developed 5C3, a neutralizing monoclonal antibody against S100A4. This antibody abolished endothelial cell migration, tumor growth and angiogenesis in immunodeficient mouse xenograft models of MiaPACA-2 and M21-S100A4 cells. It is concluded that extracellular S100A4 inhibition is an attractive approach for the treatment of human cancer.
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