Caveolin-1 promotes tumor cell proliferation and vasculogenic mimicry formation in human glioma

Braz J Med Biol Res. 2021 Jul 16;54(10):e10653. doi: 10.1590/1414-431X2020e10653. eCollection 2021.


Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) plays an important role in human glioma progression and resistance to antiangiogenic therapy as a compensatory neovascularization mechanism in malignant tumors. Caveolin-1 (Cav-1) has been found to contribute to VM formation. However, it remains largely unknown whether Cav-1 expression correlates with VM in glioma. In this study, we examined CAV-1 expression levels and VM in human glioma cell lines and in 94 human gliomas with different grades of malignancy, and present Cox proportional hazards regression. The molecular role of Cav-1 in glioma cells was investigated using quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assays, western blotting, CCK-8 assays, and tubule formation assays. Cav-1 expression and VM formation were positively correlated with each other and both were closely associated with glioma development and progression as evidenced by the presence of cystic tumor, shortened survival time, and advanced-stage glioma in glioma patients with Cav-1 overexpression/increased VM formation. Cav-1 promoted U251 glioma cell proliferation and VM formation in a Matrigel-based 3D culture model. VM-associated factors including hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) and p-Akt was significantly elevated by Cav-1 overexpression but suppressed by siCav-1 in U251 cells. Collectively, our study identified Cav-1 as an important regulator of glioma cell proliferation and VM formation, contributing to glioma development and progression.

MeSH terms

  • Caveolin 1* / genetics
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Glioma*
  • Humans
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic


  • Caveolin 1