Induction of neuropilin-I and vascular endothelial growth factor by epidermal growth factor in human gastric cancer cells

M. Akagi, M. Kawaguchi, W. Liu, M. F. McCarty, A. Takeda, F. Fan, O. Stoeltzing, A. A. Parikh, Y. D. Jung, C. D. Bucana, P. F. Mansfield, D. J. Hicklin, L. M. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGF-R) pathway plays a pivotal role in the progression of human gastric cancer. The angiogenic factor vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been shown to be induced by EGF in various cancer cell lines. Neuropilin-I (NRP-I) acts as a coreceptor for VEGF-165 and increases its affinity for VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2) in endothelial cells. Furthermore, NRP-I has been found to be expressed by tumour cells and has been shown to enhance turnout angiogenesis and growth in preclinical models. We examined the expression of NRP-I mRNA and EGF-R protein in seven human gastric cancer cell lines. NRP-I expression was expressed in five of seven cell lines, and EGF-R expression closely mirrored NRP-I expression. Moreover, in EGF-R-positive NCI-N87 and ST-2 cells, EGF induced both NRP-I and VEGF mRNA expression. C225, a monoclonal antibody to EGF-R, blocked EGF-induced NRP-I and VEGF expression in NCI-N87 cells in a dose-dependent manner. The treatment of NCI-N87 cells with EGF resulted in increases in phosphorylation of Erkl/2, Akt, and P38. Blockade of the Erk, phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/Akt, or P38 pathways in this cell line prevented EGF induction of NRP-I and VEGF. These results suggest that regulation of NRP-I expression in human gastric cancer is intimately associated with the EGF/EGF-R system. Activation of EGF-R might contribute to gastric cancer angiogenesis by a mechanism that involves upregulation of VEGF and NRP-I expression via multiple signalling pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 10 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis
  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Gastric cancer
  • Neuropilin
  • Signal transduction
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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