Maurizio MONGIAT

Dept. of Cancer Research and Diagnosis. Division of Molecular Oncology, CRO-IRCCS, National Cancer Institute, Aviano (PN) ITALY

Monday 17 February 2020 |12:00 noon – ICGEB Trieste, ITALY

ultimerin-2: a gatekeeper of vascular stability

Host: S. Zacchigna

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature, is a hallmark of cancer. In the last decades efforts have been taken to halt this process to impair tumor growth. However, the modest survival benefits from anti-angiogenic therapy compels researches to develop new strategies. One of the most promising approaches aims at normalizing the abnormal and leaky vasculature associated with tumors to improve drug delivery and hence, therapy efficacy. In this context, Multimerin-2, whose expression is often lost in tumor-associated vessels, represents a key component. Multimerin-2 is an extra-cellular matrix protein deposited along blood vessels where exerts a homeostatic and angiostatic function. Our recent results indicate that Multimerin-2 is necessary to maintain endothelial cell-cell junctions stability. The depletion of Multimerin-2 in endothelial cells leads to dismantlement of the VE-cadherin lining causing a dramatic increase of cell permeability. Our results pinpoint Multimerin-2 as a key molecule for the maintenance of blood vessel stability and suggest the possibility to develop a marker of chemotherapy efficacy based on the expression levels of Multimerin-2 within the tumor vasculature.