ETS Transcription Factors Etv2 and Fli1b are Required for Tumor Angiogenesis
ETS transcription factor ETV2/Etsrp functions as a key regulator of embryonic vascular development in multiple vertebrates. However, its role in pathological vascular development has not been previously investigated. To analyze its role in tumor angiogenesis, we utilized a zebrafish xenotransplantation model. Using a photoconvertible kdrl:NLS-KikGR line, we demonstrated that all tumor vessels originate from the existing embryonic vasculature by the mechanism of angiogenesis. Xenotransplantation of mouse B16 melanoma cells resulted in a significant increase in expression of the ETS transcription factors etv2 and fli1b expression throughout the embryonic vasculature. etv2 null mutants which undergo significant recovery of embryonic angiogenesis during later developmental stages displayed a strong inhibition of tumor angiogenesis. We utilized highly specific and fully validated photoactivatable morpholinos to inhibit Etv2 function after embryonic vasculogenesis has completed. Inducible inhibition of Etv2 function resulted in a significant reduction of tumor angiogenesis and inhibition of tumor growth. Furthermore, inducible inhibition of Etv2 function in fli1b mutant embryos resulted in even stronger reduction in tumor angiogenesis and growth, demonstrating that Etv2 and Fli1b have a partially redundant requirement during tumor angiogenesis. These results demonstrate the requirement for Etv2 and Fli1b in tumor angiogenesis and suggest that inhibition of these ETS factors may present a novel strategy to inhibit tumor angiogenesis and reduce tumor growth.
Craig, M. P.,
Desai, S. P.,
Hegde, R. S.,
& Sumanas, S.
(2017). ETS Transcription Factors Etv2 and Fli1b are Required for Tumor Angiogenesis. Angiogenesis, 20 (3), 307-323.