Investigative ophthalmology & visual science

Suppression of choroidal neovascularization through inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 redox activity.

PMID 24970265


The redox function of APE1/Ref-1 is a key regulator in pathological angiogenesis, such as retinal neovascularization and tumor growth. In this study, we examined whether inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 redox function by a small molecule inhibitor E3330 suppresses experimental choroidal neovascularization (CNV) in vitro and in vivo. Primate choroid endothelial cells (CECs) received treatment of 0 to 100 μM E3330 alone or cotreatment of E3330 and 500 μg/mL anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab. Choroid endothelial cell angiogenic function was examined by cell proliferation, migration, and tube formation assays. The effects of E3330 on NF-κB and STAT3 signaling pathways were determined by reporter gene assay, Western blot, and ELISA. Laser-induced CNV mouse model was used to test the effects of E3330 in vivo. Potential toxicity of E3330 was evaluated by TUNEL assay. The E3330 of 25 to 100 μM dose-dependently suppressed CEC proliferation, migration, and tube formation, in the absence of noticeable cell toxicity. Lower doses of E3330 (10-20 μM) reduced the transcriptional activity of NF-κB and STAT3 without affecting protein phosphorylation of both molecules. At the same time, E3330 downregulated MCP-1 production in CECs. The antiangiogenic effect of E3330 was comparable and additive to bevacizumab. The E3330 effectively attenuated the progression of laser-induced CNV in mice after a single intravitreal injection. The APE1/Ref-1 redox function regulates multiple transcription factors and inflammatory molecules, and is essential for CEC angiogenesis. Specific inhibition of APE1/Ref-1 redox function with E3330 may represent a promising novel treatment for wet AMD.