Cellular prion protein and γ-synuclein overexpression in LS 174T colorectal cancer cell drives endothelial proliferation-to-differentiation switch

PeerJ. 2018 Mar 6:6:e4506. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4506. eCollection 2018.


Background: Tumor-induced angiogenesis is an imperative event in pledging new vasculature for tumor metastasis. Since overexpression of neuronal proteins gamma-synuclein (γ-Syn) and cellular prion protein (PrPC) is always detected in advanced stages of cancer diseases which involve metastasis, this study aimed to investigate whether γ-Syn or PrPC overexpression in colorectal adenocarcinoma, LS 174T cells affects angiogenesis of endothelial cells, EA.hy 926 (EA).

Methods: EA cells were treated with conditioned media (CM) of LS 174T-γ-Syn or LS 174T-PrP, and their proliferation, invasion, migration, adhesion and ability to form angiogenic tubes were assessed using a range of biological assays. To investigate plausible background mechanisms in conferring the properties of EA cells above, nitrite oxide (NO) levels were measured and the expression of angiogenesis-related factors was assessed using a human angiogenesis antibody array.

Results: EA proliferation was significantly inhibited by LS 174T-PrP CM whereas its telomerase activity was reduced by CM of LS 174T-γ-Syn or LS 174T-PrP, as compared to EA incubated with LS 174T CM. Besides, LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM inhibited EA invasion and migration in Boyden chamber assay. Furthermore, LS 174T-γ-Syn CM significantly inhibited EA migration in scratch wound assay. Gelatin zymography revealed reduced secretion of MMP-2 and MMP-9 by EA treated with LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM. In addition, cell adhesion assay showed lesser LS 174T-γ-Syn or LS 174T-PrP cells adhered onto EA, as compared to LS 174T. In tube formation assay, LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM induced EA tube formation. Increased NO secretion by EA treated with LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM was also detected. Lastly, decreased expression of pro-angiogenic factors like CXCL16, IGFBP-2 and amphiregulin in LS 174T-γ-Syn CM or LS 174T-PrP CM was detected using the angiogenesis antibody array.

Discussion: These results suggest that overexpression of γ-Syn or PrPC could possibly be involved in colorectal cancer-induced angiogenesis by inducing an endothelial proliferation-differentiation switch. NO could be the main factor in governing this switch, and modulation on the secretion patterns of angiogenesis-related proteins could be the strategy of colorectal cancer cells overexpressing γ-Syn or PrPC in ensuring this transition.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Cellular prion protein; Colon cancer; Endothelial cell; Gamma-synuclein.

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.5853198.v1

Grants and funding

This work was supported by grants from the UTAR Research Fund—IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/C210/S1 and IPSR/RMC/UTARRF/2012-C2/G05. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.