Gastric Cancer-Derived Extracellular Vesicles (EVs) Promote Angiogenesis via Angiopoietin-2

Talya Kalfon, Shelly Loewenstein*, Fabian Gerstenhaber, Stav Leibou, Hen Geller, Osnat Sher, Eran Nizri, Guy Lahat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Angiogenesis is an important control point of gastric cancer (GC) progression and metastasis. Angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) is a key driver of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis, and it has been identified in primary GC tissues. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) play an important role in mediating intercellular communication through the transfer of proteins between cells. However, the expression of ANG2 in GC-EVs has never been reported. Here, we characterized the EV-mediated crosstalk between GC and endothelial cells (ECs), with particular focus on the role of ANG2. We first demonstrate that ANG2 is expressed in GC primary and metastatic tissues. We then isolated EVs from two different GC cell lines and showed that these EVs enhance EC proliferation, migration, invasion, and tube formation in vitro and in vivo. Using an angiogenesis protein array, we showed that GC-EVs contain high levels of proangiogenic proteins, including ANG2. Lastly, using Lenti viral ANG2-shRNA, we demonstrated that the proangiogenic effects of the GC-EVs were mediated by ANG2 through the activation of the PI3K/Akt signal transduction pathway. Our data suggest a new mechanism via which GC cells induce angiogenesis. This knowledge may be utilized to develop new therapies in gastric cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2953
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2022


FundersFunder number
The Cancer Biology Research Center
Tel Aviv University


    • angiogenesis
    • angiopoetin-2 (ANG2)
    • endothelial cells (ECs)
    • extracellular vesicles (EVs)
    • gastric cancer (GC)


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