Recent studies have shown that integrin alpha v beta 3, a receptor for vitronectin, plays an important role in tumor-induced angiogenesis and tumor growth and that antagonists of alpha v beta 3 inhibit angiogenic processes including endothelial cell adhesion and migration. On the other hand, most inhibitors of integrin alpha v beta 3 are peptide antagonists that include the Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif. We therefore reasoned that non-peptide inhibitors of endothelial cell adhesion to vitronectin might be useful for inhibition of tumor angiogenesis in vivo. We screened for low-molecular-weight natural products able to inhibit adhesion of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) to vitronectin, and pyrrothine group compounds including aureothricin, thioaurin and thiolutin were isolated from microbial culture broths. Of these compounds, thiolutin inhibited adhesion of HUVECs to vitronectin the most effectively (IC(50), 0.83 microM). In vivo experiments showed that thiolutin significantly suppressed angiogenesis induced by tumor cells (S-180), a pathological form of neovascularization, in a mouse dorsal air sac assay system. To explore the mechanism of inhibition of HUVEC adhesion to vitronectin by thiolutin, we examined the effect of this agent on intracellular cell adhesion signaling. We found that the amount of paxillin in HUVECs was significantly reduced by thiolutin treatment, while those of other focal adhesion proteins including vinculin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) were not. Metabolic labeling experiments showed that thiolutin enhanced degradation of paxillin in HUVECs. Protease inhibitors (MG115 and E64-D) decreased the rate of degradation of the paxillin induced by thiolutin and partially restored thiolutin-induced inhibition of HUVEC adhesion to vitronectin. Based on these findings, we concluded that thiolutin, an inhibitor of HUVEC adhesion to vitronectin, reduces the paxillin level in HUVECs and suppresses tumor cell-induced angiogenesis in vivo.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.