Previous research has suggested that there may be a link between cancer-associated angiogenesis and inflammation. The protooncogene Ras has also been implicated in tumor-driven blood vessel generation. Ras is abnormally activated in nearly one quarter of all human cancers and is involved in many aspects of tumor progression, including interactions between tumor cells and the surrounding environment. However, the mechanisms that underlie these interactions are unclear.
Dr. Dafna Bar-Sagi from the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology at the State University of New York at Stony Brook examined whether Ras-mediated induction of the inflammatory mediator CXCL-8 was required for tumor growth and angiogenesis in a mouse model. The researchers found that CXCL-8 production was required for Ras-stimulated tumor inflammation, vascularization, and growth. In addition, inhibition of CXCL-8 function in tumors expressing Ras led to a marked decrease in tumor angiogenesis.
Molecules that modulate CXCL-8 expression are known targets of the Ras signaling pathway, establishing a physiological link between these signaling molecules. The researchers conclude that in response to Ras activation, proinflammatory cytokines such as CXCL-8 may recruit immune cells and endothelial cells to tumor sites, representing a new mechanism for cancer-driven blood vessel generation. According to Dr. Bar-Sagi, "Our findin
Contact: Heidi Hardman