Angiogenetic axis angiopoietins/Tie2 and VEGF in familial breast cancer.

European journal of human genetics : EJHG

PubMedID: 23232696

Danza K, Pilato B, Lacalamita R, Addati T, Giotta F, Bruno A, Paradiso A, Tommasi S. Angiogenetic axis angiopoietins/Tie2 and VEGF in familial breast cancer. Eur J Hum Genet. 2013;21(8):824-30.
Angiogenesis leads to the formation of blood vessels from pre-existing ones, allowing tumor growth. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and Angiopoietins (Ang-1, Ang-2) have a pivotal role in tumor angiogenesis but few data regarding their role in hereditary breast cancer are available. The aim of the present study was to analyze Ang-1, Ang-2, tyrosine-protein kinase receptor Tie2 and VEGF expression and their correlation in a cohort of familial and sporadic breast cancers in order to verify whether the presence of germline mutations in BRCA may have a role in tumor microenvironment regulation. Tumor samples from a cohort of 41 patients with a first diagnosis and a family history of breast cancer and 19 patients with sporadic breast cancers were enrolled. The expression of Tie2, Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF were analyzed by quantitative real-time PCR. Patients harboring BRCA mutations had higher levels of Ang-1 (P=0.05), Ang-2 (P=0.02) and VEGF (P=0.04) mRNA compared with those without BRCA mutations (BRCAX). The same was observed in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Moreover, a positive correlation between Ang-2 and VEGF was found in both the familial breast cancer group (BRCA carriers: r=0.83; P<0.0001 and BRCAX: r=0.58; P=0.008) and in TNBC (r=0.62; P=0.007). The higher levels of Ang-1, Ang-2 and VEGF mRNA found in BRCA carriers and TNBCs suggest that they could be attractive angiogenic therapeutic targets in these breast cancers.