The effects of PEDF on cancer biology: mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential

Nat Rev Cancer. 2013 Apr;13(4):258-71. doi: 10.1038/nrc3484. Epub 2013 Mar 14.


The potent actions of pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) on tumour-associated cells, and its extracellular localization and secretion, stimulated research on this multifunctional serpin. Such studies have identified several PEDF receptors and downstream signalling pathways. Known cellular PEDF responses have expanded from the initial discovery that PEDF induces retinoblastoma cell differentiation to its anti-angiogenic, antitumorigenic and antimetastatic properties. Although the diversity of PEDF activities seems to be complex, they are consistent with the varied mechanisms that regulate this multimodal factor. If PEDF is to be used for cancer management, a deeper appreciation of its many functions and mechanisms of action is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism
  • Eye Proteins / physiology*
  • Eye Proteins / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / blood supply
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Nerve Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Nerve Growth Factors / therapeutic use
  • Protease Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Serpins / metabolism
  • Serpins / physiology*
  • Serpins / therapeutic use


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Eye Proteins
  • Nerve Growth Factors
  • Protease Inhibitors
  • Serpins
  • pigment epithelium-derived factor