Exp Mol Med.  2010 Apr;42(4):280-293. 10.3858/emm.2010.42.4.027.

Ovarian cancer-derived lysophosphatidic acid stimulates secretion of VEGF and stromal cell-derived factor-1alpha from human mesenchymal stem cells

  • 1Medical Research Center for Ischemic Tissue Regeneration, Medical Research Institute, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Korea. jhkimst@pusan.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Korea.
  • 3Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Korea.
  • 4Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, School of Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 626-870, Korea.


Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) stimulates growth and invasion of ovarian cancer cells and tumor angiogenesis. Cancer-derived LPA induces differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) to alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA)-positive cancer-associated fibroblasts. Presently, we explored whether cancer-derived LPA regulates secretion of pro-angiogenic factors from hASCs. Conditioned medium (CM) from the OVCAR-3 and SKOV3 ovarian cancer cell lines stimulated secretion angiogenic factors such as stromal-derived factor-1alpha (SDF-1alpha) and VEGF from hASCs. Pretreatment with the LPA receptor inhibitor Ki16425 or short hairpin RNA lentiviral silencing of the LPA1 receptor abrogated the cancer CM-stimulated expression of alpha-SMA, SDF-1, and VEGF from hASCs. LPA induced expression of myocardin and myocardin-related transcription factor-A, transcription factors involved in smooth muscle differentiation, in hASCs. siRNA-mediated depletion of endogenous myocardin and MRTF-A abrogated the expression of alpha-SMA, but not SDF-1 and VEGF. LPA activated RhoA in hASCs and pretreatment with the Rho kinase inhibitor Y27632 completely abrogated the LPA-induced expression of alpha-SMA, SDF-1, and VEGF in hASCs. Moreover, LPA-induced alpha-SMA expression was abrogated by treatment with the ERK inhibitor U0126 or the phosphoinositide-3-kinase inhibitor LY294002, but not the PLC inhibitor U73122. LPA-induced VEGF secretion was inhibited by LY294002, whereas LPA-induced SDF-1 secretion was markedly attenuated by U0126, U73122, and LY294002. These results suggest that cancer-secreted LPA induces differentiation of hASCs to cancer-associated fibroblasts through multiple signaling pathways involving Rho kinase, ERK, PLC, and phosphoinositide-3-kinase.


carcinoma; fibroblasts; lysophosphatidic acid; ovarian neoplasms; receptors, lysophosphatidic acid; rho-associated kinases; vascular endothelial growth factor A
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