AXL is an essential factor and therapeutic target for metastatic ovarian cancer

Cancer Res. 2010 Oct 1;70(19):7570-9. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-1267. Epub 2010 Sep 21.

Abstract

The receptor tyrosine kinase AXL is thought to play a role in metastasis; however, the therapeutic efficacy of an AXL-targeting agent remains largely untested in metastatic disease. In this study, we defined AXL as a therapeutic target for metastatic ovarian cancer. AXL is primarily expressed in metastases and advanced-stage human ovarian tumors but not in normal ovarian epithelium. Genetic inhibition of AXL in human metastatic ovarian tumor cells is sufficient to prevent the initiation of metastatic disease in vivo. Mechanistically, inhibition of AXL signaling in animals with metastatic disease results in decreased invasion and matrix metalloproteinase activity. Most importantly, soluble human AXL receptors that imposed a specific blockade of the GAS6/AXL pathway had a profound inhibitory effect on progression of established metastatic ovarian cancer without normal tissue toxicity. These results offer the first genetic validation of GAS6/AXL targeting as an effective strategy for inhibition of metastatic tumor progression in vivo. Furthermore, this study defines the soluble AXL receptor as a therapeutic candidate agent for treatment of metastatic ovarian cancer, for which current therapies are ineffective.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Neoplasm Metastasis
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / enzymology*
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / pathology
  • Ovarian Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA, Small Interfering / administration & dosage
  • RNA, Small Interfering / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / biosynthesis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Xenograft Model Antitumor Assays

Substances

  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • growth arrest-specific protein 6
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • axl receptor tyrosine kinase