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Baker A.-M.,Hypoxia and Metastasis Team | Bird D.,CRUKTumour Cell Signalling Unit | Bird D.,Institute of Cancer Research | Welti J.C.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 11 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Identification of key molecules that drive angiogenesis is critical for the development of new modalities for the prevention of solid tumor progression. Using multiple models of colorectal cancer, we show that activity of the extracellular matrix-modifying enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX) is essential for stimulating endothelial cells in vitro and angiogenesis in vivo. We show that LOX activates Akt through platelet-derived growth factor receptor b (PDGFRb) stimulation, resulting in increased VEGF expression. LOX-driven angiogenesis can be abrogated through targeting LOX directly or using inhibitors of PDGFRβ, Akt, and VEGF signaling. Furthermore, we show that LOX is clinically correlated with VEGF expression and blood vessel formation in 515 colorectal cancer patient samples. Finally, we validate our findings in a breast cancer model, showing the universality of these observations. Taken together, our findings have broad clinical and therapeutic implications for a wide variety of solid tumor types. © 2012 AACR.

Cox T.R.,Copenhagen University | Cox T.R.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | Bird D.,Hypoxia and Metastasis Team | Bird D.,Cancer Research UK Research Institute | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2013

Tumor metastasis is a highly complex, dynamic, and inefficient process involving multiple steps, yet it accounts for more than 90% of cancer-related deaths. Although it has long been known that fibrotic signals enhance tumor progression and metastasis, the underlying molecular mechanisms are still unclear. Identifying events involved in creating environments that promote metastatic colonization and growth are critical for the development of effective cancer therapies. Here, we show a critical role for lysyl oxidase (LOX) in establishing a milieu within fibrosing tissues that is favorable to growth of metastastic tumor cells. We show that LOX-dependent collagen crosslinking is involved in creating a growth-permissive fibrotic microenvironment capable of supporting metastatic growth by enhancing tumor cell persistence and survival. We show that therapeutic targeting of LOX abrogates not only the extent to which fibrosis manifests, but also prevents fibrosis-enhanced metastatic colonization. Finally, we show that the LOXmediated collagen crosslinking directly increases tumor cell proliferation, enhancing metastatic colonization and growth manifesting in vivo as increased metastasis. This is the first time that crosslinking of collagen I has been shown to enhance metastatic growth. These findings provide an important link between ECM homeostasis, fibrosis, and cancer with important clinical implications for both the treatment of fibrotic disease and cancer. © 2012 American Association for Cancer Research.

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