VEGF and VEGFR-1 are coexpressed by epithelial and stromal cells of renal cell carcinoma.Cancer. 2008 Jan 15; 112(2):433-42.C
Tumor angiogenesis is a dynamic process that plays a major role in cancer progression. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors play a pivotal role in angiogenesis. The expression of VEGF and its receptors VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was investigated in the perspective of anti-VEGF treatments.
Total VEGF protein levels were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) in tumor tissue samples from surgical specimens of 65 patients with clear cell RCC. At the cellular level the VEGF isoforms VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 mRNA were quantified by real-time quantitative reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in laser-microdissected tumoral epithelial as stromal cells and in corresponding normal tissue compartments. Colocalization of VEGF and VEGFR-1 proteins was studied by triple immunofluorescent labeling.
Protein VEGF in cytosolic extracts was significantly higher in tumoral than in nontumoral tissue (P< .0001). Event-free survival was significantly longer for patients with cytosolic VEGF lower than the cutoff (75th percentile of VEGF protein levels, P= .02). In laser-microdissected epithelial cells, VEGF(121) and VEGFR-1 mRNA expressions were higher in RCC than in corresponding nontumoral kidney (P= .007 and P= .002, respectively); they were also higher in stromal cells of RCC compared with nontumoral kidney (P= .02 and P= .003, respectively). There was no differential VEGFR-2 expression in epithelial or in stromal cells of tumoral or nontumoral kidney. By immunofluorescent labeling VEGF and VEGFR-1 colocalized on RCC tumor epithelial and stromal cells.
Combined laser microdissection and quantitative RT-PCR, as triple immunofluorescent labeling, underlined the preferential expression of the most soluble VEGF isoform, VEGF(121), and its receptor VEGFR-1, but not VEGFR-2, in epithelial and stromal cells of RCC.