Tie2-mediated vascular remodeling by ferritin-based protein C nanoparticles confers antitumor and anti-metastatic activities

Young Sun Choi, Hyeonha Jang, Biki Gupta, Ji Hak Jeong, Yun Ge, Chul Soon Yong, Jong Oh Kim, Jong Sup Bae, Im Sook Song, In San Kim, You Mie Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Conventional therapeutic approaches for tumor angiogenesis, which are primarily focused on the inhibition of active angiogenesis to starve cancerous cells, target the vascular endothelial growth factor signaling pathway. This aggravates hypoxia within the tumor core and ultimately leads to increased tumor proliferation and metastasis. To overcome this limitation, we developed nanoparticles with antiseptic activity that target tumor vascular abnormalities. Methods: Ferritin-based protein C nanoparticles (PCNs), known as TFG and TFMG, were generated and tested in Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) allograft and MMTV-PyMT spontaneous breast cancer models. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed on tumor samples to evaluate the tumor vasculature. Western blot and permeability assays were used to explore the role and mechanism of the antitumor effects of PCNs in vivo. For knocking down proteins of interest, endothelial cells were transfected with siRNAs. Statistical analysis was performed using one-way ANOVA followed by post hoc Dunnett's multiple comparison test. Results: PCNs significantly inhibited hypoxia and increased pericyte coverage, leading to the inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis, while increasing survival in LLC allograft and MMTV-PyMT spontaneous breast cancer models. The coadministration of cisplatin with PCNs induced a synergistic suppression of tumor growth by improving drug delivery as evidenced by increased blood prefusion and decreased vascular permeability. Moreover, PCNs altered the immune cell profiles within the tumor by increasing cytotoxic T cells and M1-like macrophages with antitumor activity. PCNs induced PAR-1/PAR-3 heterodimerization through EPCR occupation and PAR-1 activation, which resulted in Gα13-RhoA-mediated-Tie2 activation and stabilized vascular tight junctions via the Akt-FoxO3a signaling pathway. Conclusions: Cancer treatment targeting the tumor vasculature by inducing antitumor immune responses and enhancing the delivery of a chemotherapeutic agent with PCNs resulted in tumor regression and may provide an effective therapeutic strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalJournal of Hematology and Oncology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept 14
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Author(s).


  • Antitumor immune response
  • EPCR
  • Ferritin-based protein C nanoparticles
  • Tie2
  • Vascular normalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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