Alphastatin-C a new inhibitor of endothelial cell activation is a pro-arteriogenic agent in vivo and retards B16-F10 melanoma growth in a preclinical model

Most characterized angiogenic modulators are proteolytic fragments of structural plasma and/or matrix components. Herein, we have identified a novel anti-angiogenic peptide generated by the in vitro hydrolysis of the C-terminal moiety of the fibrinogen alpha chain, produced by the snake venom metalloprotease bothropasin (SVMP), a hemorrhagic proteinase in Bothrops jararaca venom. The 14-amino acids peptide (alphastatin-C) is a potent antagonist of basic fibroblast growth factor, induced endothelial cell (HUVEC-CS) proliferation, migration and capillary tube formation in matrigel. It also inhibits cell adhesion to fibronectin. The basis of the antagonism between bFGF and alphastatin-C is elucidated by the inhibition of various bFGF induced signaling pathways and their molecular components modification, whenever the combination of the stimuli is provided, in comparison to the treatment with bFGF only. To corroborate to the potential therapeutic use of alphastatin-C, we have chosen to perform in vivo assays in two distinct angiogenic settings. In chick model, alphastatin-C inhibits chorioallantoic membrane angiogenesis. In mouse, it efficiently reduces tumor number and volume in a melanoma model, due to the impairment of tumor neovascularization in treated mice. In contrast, we show that the alphastatin-C peptide induces arteriogenesis, increasing pial collateral density in neonate mice. alphastatin-C is an efficient new antiangiogenic FGF-associated agent in vitro, it is an inhibitor of embryonic and tumor vascularization in vivo while, it is an arteriogenic agent. The results also suggest that SVMPs can be used as in vitro biochemical tools to process plasma and/or matrix macromolecular components unraveling new angiostatic peptides.
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alphastatin-C;  angiogenesis;  peptides;  melanoma;  angiostatic

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Ferreira AK, Cristofaro B, Menezes MC, Oliveira AK, Tashima AK, Melo RL, et al. Alphastatin-C a new inhibitor of endothelial cell activation is a pro-arteriogenic agent in vivo and retards B16-F10 melanoma growth in a preclinical model. Oncotarget. 2020 Dec;11(51):4770-4787. doi:10.18632/oncotarget.27839.
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