Serum ANGPTL2 levels reflect clinical features of breast cancer patients: implications for the pathogenesis of breast cancer metastasis

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Abstract

Introduction:

breast cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide, and its metastasis is a major cause of disease mortality. Therefore, identification of the mechanisms underlying breast cancer metastasis is crucial for the development of therapeutic and diagnostic strategies. Our recent study of immunodeficient female mice transplanted with MDA-MB231 breast cancer cells demonstrated that tumor cell-derived angiopoietin-like protein 2 (ANGPTL2) accelerates metastasis through both increasing tumor cell migration in an autocrine/paracrine manner, and enhancing tumor angiogenesis. To determine whether ANGPTL2 contributes to its clinical pathogenesis, we asked whether serum ANGPTL2 levels reflect the clinical features of breast cancer progression.

Methods:

We monitored the levels of secreted ANGPTL2 in supernatants of cultured proliferating MDA-MB231 cells. We also determined whether the circulating ANGPTL2 levels were positively correlated with cancer progression in anin vivobreast cancer xenograft model using MDA-MB231 cells. Finally, we investigated whether serum ANGPTL2 levels were associated with clinical features in breast cancer patients.

Results:

bothin vitroandin vivoexperiments showed that the levels of ANGPTL2 secreted from breast cancer cells increased with cell proliferation and cancer progression. Serum ANGPTL2 levels in patients with metastatic breast cancer were significantly higher than those in healthy subjects or in patients with ductal carcinoma in situ or non-metastatic invasive ductal carcinoma. Serum ANGPTL2 levels in patients negative for estrogen receptors and progesterone receptors, particularly triple-negative cases, reflected histological grades.

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that serum ANGPTL2 levels in breast cancer patients could represent a potential marker of breast cancer metastasis.

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