Cancer letters

Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 upregulates vascular endothelial growth factor-C/D to promote lymphangiogenesis in human gastric cancer.

PMID 25444928


Lymphangiogenesis is actively contributed to lymphatic metastasis in gastric cancer (GC), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-C and VEGF-D are key regulators for lymphangiogenesis. Metastasis-associated in colon cancer-1 (MACC1) was reported to be associated with lymph node metastasis in a few clinical studies, while little is known about the role of MACC1 in lymphangiogenesis. Hence, in the present study, we explored the potential role of MACC1 in lymphangiogenesis as well as the underlying mechanisms. By clinical observation, we found a positive relationship between MACC1 and lymphangiogenesis. Besides, similar results were also obtained from in vivo and in vitro studies. With an indirect co-culture system, we got that supernatant from MACC1 overexpressed GC cells accelerated human lymphatic endothelial cells' (HLECs') capacity of tube-like formation through enhancing cell proliferation and migration. Moreover, MACC1 overexpressed xenografts also presented more lymphatic vessels. Furthermore, MACC1 significantly increased the expression of VEGF-C/VEGF-D in GC cells and transplanted tumors, which was subsequently suppressed by c-Met inhibitor. All these data suggested a critical role for MACC1 in lymphatic dissemination of GC, providing evidence that MACC1 upregulated VEGF-C/VEGF-D secretion to promote lymphangiogenesis via c-Met signaling.