VEGF/Neuropilin-2 Regulation of Bmi-1 and Consequent Repression of IGF-IR Define a Novel Mechanism of Aggressive Prostate Cancer
Department of Cancer Biology; Program in Molecular Medicine
Prostatic Neoplasms; Neuropilin-2; Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor; Polycomb Repressive Complex 1; Receptor, IGF Type 1; PTEN Phosphohydrolase
We show that the VEGF receptor neuropilin-2 (NRP2) is associated with high-grade, PTEN-null prostate cancer and that its expression in tumor cells is induced by PTEN loss as a consequence of c-Jun activation. VEGF/NRP2 signaling represses insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-IR) expression and signaling, and the mechanism involves Bmi-1-mediated transcriptional repression of the IGF-IR. This mechanism has significant functional and therapeutic implications that were evaluated. IGF-IR expression positively correlates with PTEN and inversely correlates with NRP2 in prostate tumors. NRP2 is a robust biomarker for predicting response to IGF-IR therapy because prostate carcinomas that express NRP2 exhibit low levels of IGF-IR. Conversely, targeting NRP2 is only modestly effective because NRP2 inhibition induces compensatory IGF-IR signaling. Inhibition of both NRP2 and IGF-IR, however, completely blocks tumor growth in vivo.