LHT7, a chemically modified heparin, inhibits multiple stages of angiogenesis by blocking VEGF, FGF2 and PDGF-B signaling pathways.

PMID 25453957


Despite the therapeutic benefits of the angiogenesis inhibitors shown in the clinics, they have encountered an unexpected limitation by the occurrence of acquired resistance. Although the mechanism of the resistance is not clear so far, the upregulation of alternative angiogenic pathways and stabilization of endothelium by mural cells were reported to be responsible. Therefore, blocking multiple angiogenic pathways that are crucial in tumor angiogenesis has been highlighted to overcome such limitations. To develop an angiogenesis inhibitor that could block multiple angiogenic factors, heparin is an excellent lead compound since wide array of angiogenic factors are heparin-binding proteins. In previous study, we reported a heparin-derived angiogenesis inhibitor, LHT7, as a potent angiogenesis inhibitor and showed that it blocked VEGF signaling pathway. Here we show that LHT7 could block the fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) and platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGF-B) in addition to VEGF. Simultaneous blockade of these angiogenic factors resulted in inhibition of multiple stages of the angiogenic process, including initial angiogenic response to maturation of the endothelium by pericyte coverage in vitro. In addition, the treatment of LHT7 in vivo did not show any sign of vascular normalization and directly led to decreased blood perfusion throughout the tumor. Our findings show that LHT7 could effectively inhibit tumor angiogenesis by blocking multiple stages of the angiogenesis, and could potentially be used to overcome the resistance.