Laulimalide, a natural product from marine sponges, is a microtubule-stabilizing agent that binds to tubulin at a site distinct from that of the taxoids. In the present study, we found that laulimalide inhibited human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tubule formation and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced HUVEC migration, key components of the angiogenic process. These occurred at concentrations substantially lower than that which inhibited HUVEC proliferation. When combined, laulimalide and docetaxel (Taxotere) synergistically inhibited migration and tubule formation, but their combined effect on proliferation was antagonistic. Possible mechanism(s) by which laulimalide inhibited VEGF-induced HUVEC migration were explored. Similar to docetaxel, laulimalide had no effect on the VEGF-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of the VEGF receptor Flk-1/KDR (VEGFR-2). Low concentrations of laulimalide substantially blocked subsequent VEGFR-2 downstream events, as did docetaxel, including the phosphorylation of the Tyr397 and Tyr407 residues of focal adhesion kinase (FAK), the association of VEGFR-2 with FAK and Hsp90, and the Tyr31 phosphorylation of paxillin. Laulimalide inhibited integrin activation; however, compared with docetaxel, it had a weaker inhibitory effect on the VEGF-induced association of VEGFR-2 with the α5β1 integrin. Compared with docetaxel, laulimalide more potently caused a reduction in the constitutive levels (i.e., in the absence of VEGF) of phosphorylated paxillin and more potently inhibited the association of RhoA with the α5β1 integrin. In conclusion, although both docetaxel and laulimalide inhibited integrin-associated signaling pathways that mediated VEGF-induced cell migration, their actions on the signaling cascade seemed not to be identical. These complementary actions could account for their synergistic effects on HUVEC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine