Targeting Podoplanin for the Treatment of Osteosarcoma

Clin Cancer Res. 2022 Jun 13;28(12):2633-2645. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-21-4509.


Purpose: Osteosarcoma, the most common bone malignancy in children, has a poor prognosis, especially when the tumor metastasizes to the lungs. Therefore, novel therapeutic strategies targeting both proliferation and metastasis of osteosarcoma are required. Podoplanin (PDPN) is expressed by various tumors and is associated with tumor-induced platelet activation via its interaction with C-type lectin-like receptor 2 (CLEC-2) on platelets. We previously found that PDPN contributed to osteosarcoma growth and metastasis through platelet activation; thus, in this study, we developed an anti-PDPN humanized antibody and evaluated its effect on osteosarcoma growth and metastasis.

Experimental design: Nine osteosarcoma cell lines and two osteosarcoma patient-derived cells were collected, and we evaluated the efficacy of the anti-DPN-neutralizing antibody PG4D2 and the humanized anti-PDPN antibody AP201, which had IgG4 framework region. The antitumor and antimetastasis effect of PG4D2 and AP201 were examined in vitro and in vivo. In addition, growth signaling by the interaction between PDPN and CLEC-2 was analyzed using phospho-RTK (receptor tyrosine kinase) array, growth assay, or immunoblot analysis under the supression of RTKs by knockout and inhibitor treatment.

Results: We observed that PG4D2 treatment significantly suppressed tumor growth and pulmonary metastasis in osteosarcoma xenograft models highly expressing PDPN. The contribution of PDGFR activation by activated platelet releasates to osteosarcoma cell proliferation was confirmed, and the humanized antibody, AP201, suppressed in vivo osteosarcoma growth and metastasis without significant adverse events.

Conclusions: Targeting PDPN with a neutralizing antibody against PDPN-CLEC-2 without antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and complement-dependent cytotoxicity is a novel therapeutic strategy for PDPN-positive osteosarcoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • Bone Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Lectins, C-Type*
  • Lung Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Osteosarcoma* / drug therapy


  • Antibodies, Neutralizing
  • CLEC2B protein, human
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • PDPN protein, human