Intracellular expression of PAI-1 specific aptamers alters breast cancer cell migration, invasion and angiogenesis

Yolanda M Fortenberry, Stephanie M. Brandal, Gilles Carpentier, Malvi Hemani, Arvind Pathak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) is elevated in various cancers, where it has been shown to effect cell migration and invasion and angiogenesis. While, PAI-1 is a secreted protein, its intercellular levels are increased in cancer cells. Consequently, intracellular PAI-1 could contribute to cancer progression. While various small molecule inhibitors of PAI-1 are currently being investigated, none specifically target intracellular PAI-1. A class of inhibitors, termed aptamers, has been used effectively in several clinical applications. We previously generated RNA aptamers that target PAI-1 and demonstrated their ability to inhibit extracellular PAI-1. In the current study we explored the effect of these aptamers on intracellular PAI-1. We transiently transfected the PAI-1 specific aptamers into both MDAMB-231 human breast cancer cells, and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and studied their effects on cell migration, invasion and angiogenesis. Aptamer expressing MDA-MB-231 cells exhibited a decrease in cell migration and invasion. Additionally, intracellular PAI-1 and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) protein levels decreased, while the PAI-1/uPA complex increased. Moreover, a significant decrease in endothelial tube formation in HUVECs transfected with the aptamers was observed. In contrast, conditioned media from aptamer transfected MDA-MB-231 cells displayed a slight pro-angiogenic effect. Collectively, our study shows that expressing functional aptamers inside breast and endothelial cells is feasible and may exhibit therapeutic potential.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0164288
JournalPLoS One
Volume11
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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