Anti-tumour effects of antibodies targeting the extracellular cysteine-rich region of the receptor tyrosine kinase EphB4.

Oncotarget (2015-04-02)
Sally-Anne Stephenson, Evelyn L Douglas, Inga Mertens-Walker, Jessica E Lisle, Mohanan S N Maharaj, Adrian C Herington
RESUMEN

EphB4 is a membrane-bound receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) commonly over-produced by many epithelial cancers but with low to no expression in most normal adult tissues. EphB4 over-production promotes ligand-independent signaling pathways that increase cancer cell viability and stimulate migration and invasion. Several studies have shown that normal ligand-dependent signaling is tumour suppressive and therefore novel therapeutics which block the tumour promoting ligand-independent signaling and/or stimulate tumour suppressive ligand-dependent signaling will find application in the treatment of cancer. An EphB4-specific polyclonal antibody, targeting a region of 200 amino acids in the extracellular portion of EphB4, showed potent in vitro anti-cancer effects measured by an increase in apoptosis and a decrease in anchorage independent growth. Peptide exclusion was used to identify the epitope targeted by this antibody within the cysteine-rich region of the EphB4 protein, a sequence defined as a potential ligand interacting interface. Addition of antibody to cancer cells resulted in phosphorylation and subsequent degradation of the EphB4 protein, suggesting a mechanism that is ligand mimetic and tumour suppressive. A monoclonal antibody which specifically targets this identified extracellular epitope of EphB4 significantly reduced breast cancer xenograft growth in vivo confirming that EphB4 is a useful target for ligand-mimicking antibody-based anti-cancer therapies.

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