Soluble epithin/PRSS14 secreted from cancer cells contains active angiogenic potential

Sang Bum Kim, Deokjae Lee, Joo Won Jeong, Chungho Kim, Dongeun Park, Moon Gyo Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Epithin (PRSS14/matriptase/ST14), a type II membrane protein, is involved in progression of epithelial cancers and metastasis as well as in the normal epidermal barrier function. When activated, it translocates into the cell-cell contacts and sheds into media. In order to understand the specific mechanism during tumor progression, we tested the angiogenic potential of secreted form of epithin. Epithin produced from the cancer cells shed more in hypoxia and induced motility of endothelial cells. Epithin enhanced the migration and invasion of mouse and bovine endothelial cells without cell proliferation. Furthermore, soluble epithin induced endothelial differentiation in the assay of the human endothelial microvessel-like tube formation and in that of the chicken chorioallantoic membrane. The knock-down of epithin in the 427 thymoma cell line abolished the protease activity of secreted epithin fraction, reduced the invasion of endothelial cells through matrigel, and tube formation activity. Only specific antibodies abolished the migration of endothelial cell and the vessel morphogenesis, suggesting that epithin specifically functions in these systems. Therefore, we propose that the secreted epithin in the hypoxic cancer microenvironment plays a role as a proangiogenic factor, and can be modulated with specific antibodies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)617-623
Number of pages7
JournalMolecules and cells
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Research Program for New Drug Target Discovery (2009-0083366) grant (to M. Kim) and by the grant 3344-20090036 from Brain Research Center of the 21st century Frontier Research Program (to D. Park), funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea.


  • PRSS14
  • angiogenesis
  • epithin
  • hypoxia
  • matriptase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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