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Keywords:

  • melanoma;
  • tumor;
  • angiogenesis;
  • vasculogenic mimicry;
  • lycorine hydrochloride;
  • VE-cadherin

Summary

Melanoma cells actively participate in tumor angiogenesis and vasculogenic mimicry. However, anti-angiogenic therapy in patients with melanoma has not shown a significant survival gain. Thus, new anti-melanoma angiogenic and vasculogenic drugs are highly desired. Using the metastatic melanoma cell line C8161 as a model, we explored melanoma vasculogenic inhibitors and found that lycorine hydrochloride (LH) effectively suppressed C8161 cell-dominant formation of capillary-like tubes in vitro and generation of tumor blood vessels in vivo with low toxicity. Mechanistic studies revealed that LH markedly hindered expression of VE-cadherin in C8161 cells, but did not affect expression of six other important angiogenic and vasculogenic genes. Luciferase assays showed that LH significantly impeded promoter activity of the VE-cadherin gene in a dose-dependent manner. Together, these data suggest that LH inhibits melanoma C8161 cell-dominant vasculogenic mimicry by reducing VE-cadherin gene expression and diminishing cell surface exposure of the protein.