Rac1/Pak1/p38/MMP-2 axis regulates angiogenesis in ovarian cancer

Vianey Gonzalez-Villasana, Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Cristina Ivan, Heather J. Dalton, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Ricardo J. Fernandez-De Thomas, Burcu Aslan, Paloma Del C. Monroig, Guermarie Velazquez-Torres, Rebecca A. Previs, Sunila Pradeep, Nermin Kahraman, Huamin Wang, Pinar Kanlikilicer, Bulent Ozpolat, George Calin, Anil K. Sood, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Purpose: Zoledronic acid is being increasingly recognized for its antitumor properties, but the underlying functions are not well understood. In this study, we hypothesized that zoledronic acid inhibits ovarian cancer angiogenesis preventing Rac1 activation. Experimental Design: The biologic effects of zoledronic acid were examined using a series of in vitro [cell invasion, cytokine production, Rac1 activation, reverse-phase protein array, and in vivo (orthotopic mouse models)] experiments. Results: There was significant inhibition of ovarian cancer (HeyA8-MDR and OVCAR-5) cell invasion as well as reduced production of proangiogenic cytokines in response to zoledronic acid treatment. Furthermore, zoledronic acid inactivated Rac1 and decreased the levels of Pak1/p38/matrix metalloproteinase-2 in ovarian cancer cells. In vivo, zoledronic acid reduced tumor growth, angiogenesis, and cell proliferation and inactivated Rac1 in both HeyA8-MDR and OVCAR-5 models. These in vivo antitumor effects were enhanced in both models when zoledronic acid was combined with nab-paclitaxel. Conclusions: Zoledronic acid has robust antitumor and antiangiogenic activity and merits further clinical development as ovarian cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2127-2137
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Cancer Research
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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