Biomol Ther.  2021 Sep;29(5):506-518. 10.4062/biomolther.2021.121.

Novel Anti-Angiogenic and Anti-Tumour Activities of the N-Terminal Domain of NOEY2 via Binding to VEGFR-2 in Ovarian Cancer

  • 1Division of Translational Science, Research Institute, National Cancer Center, Goyang 10408,
  • 2Department of Biochemistry, Division of Applied Life Science, Environmental Biotechnology National Core Research Center, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828,
  • 3Department of Life Science, Yong In University, Yongin 17092,
  • 4BK21 FOUR Team and Integrated Research Institute for Drug Development, College of Pharmacy, Dongguk University, Seoul 10326, Republic of Korea


The imprinted tumour suppressor NOEY2 is downregulated in various cancer types, including ovarian cancers. Recent data suggest that NOEY2 plays an essential role in regulating the cell cycle, angiogenesis and autophagy in tumorigenesis. However, its detailed molecular function and mechanisms in ovarian tumours remain unclear. In this report, we initially demonstrated the inhibitory effect of NOEY2 on tumour growth by utilising a xenograft tumour model. NOEY2 attenuated the cell growth approximately fourfold and significantly reduced tumour vascularity. NOEY2 inhibited the phosphorylation of the signalling components downstream of phosphatidylinositol-3’-kinase (PI3K), including phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase 1 (PDK-1), tuberous sclerosis complex 2 (TSC-2) and p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K), during ovarian tumour progression via direct binding to vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2). Particularly, the N-terminal domain of NOEY2 (NOEY2-N) had a potent anti-angiogenic activity and dramatically downregulated VEGF and hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), key regulators of angiogenesis. Since no X-ray or nuclear magnetic resonance structures is available for NOEY2, we constructed the threedimensional structure of this protein via molecular modelling methods, such as homology modelling and molecular dynamic simulations. Thereby, Lys15 and Arg16 appeared as key residues in the N-terminal domain. We also found that NOEY2-N acts as a potent inhibitor of tumorigenesis and angiogenesis. These findings provide convincing evidence that NOEY2-N regulates endothelial cell function and angiogenesis by interrupting the VEGFR-2/PDK-1/GSK-3β signal transduction and thus strongly suggest that NOEY2-N might serve as a novel anti-tumour and anti-angiogenic agent against many diseases, including ovarian cancer.


Ovarian cancer; VEGFR-2; NOEY2 N-terminal,; Antiangiogenic activity; Homology modelling; Tumour suppressor
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