Exploring the role of endothelial galectins in tumor angiogenesis

I. Schulkens1, R. Heusschen1, A.M. Dingemans2, V. Van den Boogaart2, H.M. Verheul1, A.W. Griffioen, V.L.J.L. Thijssen1,3 
Depts. of 1Medical Oncology, VU University Medical Center, 2Pulmonology, Maastricht University Medical Cencer, Maastricht, and 3Radiotherapy, VU University Medical Center
Grant: KWF


The main purpose of this proposal is to explore the implications of endothelial galectins in tumor angiogenesis and their application in cancer treatment.

Gene expression analysis was performed to determine the prognostic value of galectins and integrins in early stage NSCLC patients. In a collaborative effort, the galectin expression profile was also determined in MS patients. Additional research focused on galectin-9 expression in tumor endothelial cells. This resulted in the identification of two novel galectin-9 splice variants besides the known 3 splice variants. All 5 galectin-9 splice variants were cloned in eukaryotic expression vectors. mRNA and protein expression following transfection of these constructs was confirmed in endothelial and non-endothelial cells. Functional relevance of the different galectin-9 splice variants in endothelial cell biology is further evaluated.