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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(2), 254; doi:10.3390/ijms18020254

The Pleiotropic Role of L1CAM in Tumor Vasculature

Unit of Gynecological Oncology Research, European Institute of Oncology, Via G. Ripamonti 435, I-20141 Milan, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Li Yang
Received: 30 December 2016 / Revised: 19 January 2017 / Accepted: 23 January 2017 / Published: 26 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tumor Microenvironment and Metabolism)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1445 KB, uploaded 26 January 2017]   |  

Abstract

Angiogenesis, the formation of new vessels, is a key step in the development, invasion, and dissemination of solid tumors and, therefore, represents a viable target in the context of antitumor therapy. Indeed, antiangiogenic approaches have given promising results in preclinical models and entered the clinical practice. However, in patients, the results obtained so far with antiangiogenic drugs have not completely fulfilled expectations, especially because their effect has been transient with tumors developing resistance and evasion mechanisms. A better understanding of the mechanisms that underlie tumor vascularization and the functional regulation of cancer vessels is a prerequisite for the development of novel and alternative antiangiogenic treatments. The L1 cell adhesion molecule (L1CAM), a cell surface glycoprotein previously implicated in the development and plasticity of the nervous system, is aberrantly expressed in the vasculature of various cancer types. L1CAM plays multiple pro-angiogenic roles in the endothelial cells of tumor-associated vessels, thus emerging as a potential therapeutic target. In addition, L1CAM prevents the maturation of cancer vasculature and its inhibition promotes vessel normalization, a process that is thought to improve the therapeutic response of tumors to cytotoxic drugs. We here provide an overview on tumor angiogenesis and antiangiogenic therapies and summarize the current knowledge on the biological role of L1CAM in cancer vasculature. Finally, we highlight the clinical implications of targeting L1CAM as a novel antiangiogenic and vessel-normalizing approach. View Full-Text
Keywords: L1CAM; tumor angiogenesis; vascular normalization; antiangiogenic therapy L1CAM; tumor angiogenesis; vascular normalization; antiangiogenic therapy
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Angiolini, F.; Cavallaro, U. The Pleiotropic Role of L1CAM in Tumor Vasculature. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 254.

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