Because angiogenesis is essential for tumor growth and metastasis, inhibition of angiogenesis has emerged as a new therapy to treat cancers. Hypoxia-induced expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) plays a central role in tumor-induced angiogenesis. In this study, we found that expression of VEGF in hypoxic tumor cells was affected by the circadian organization of molecular clockwork. The core circadian oscillator is composed of an autoregulatory transcription-translation feedback loop in which CLOCK and BMALL are positive regulators, and Period and Cryptochrome genes act as negative ones. The levels of VEGF mRNA in tumor cells implanted in mice rose substantially in response to hypoxia, but the levels fluctuated rhythmically in a circadian fashion. Luciferase reporter gene analysis revealed that Period2 and Cryptochromel, whose expression in the implanted tumor cells showed a circadian oscillation, inhibited the hypoxia-induced VEGF promoter activity. These results suggest that the negative limbs of the molecular loop periodically inhibit the hypoxic induction of VEGF transcription, resulting in the circadian fluctuation of its mRNA expression. We also showed that the antitumor efficacy of antiangiogenic agents could be enhanced by administering the drugs at the time when VEGF production increased. These findings support the notion that monitoring of the circadian rhythm in VEGF production is useful for choosing the most appropriate time of day for administration of antiangiogenic agents.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 1 2003|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research