Journal Article

Novel angiogenesis inhibitory activity in cinnamon extract blocks VEGFR2 kinase and downstream signaling

Jianming Lu, Keqiang Zhang, Sangkil Nam, Richard A. Anderson, Richard Jove and Wei Wen

in Carcinogenesis

Volume 31, issue 3, pages 481-488
Published in print March 2010 | ISSN: 0143-3334
Published online December 2009 | e-ISSN: 1460-2180 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/carcin/bgp292
Novel angiogenesis inhibitory activity in cinnamon extract blocks VEGFR2 kinase and downstream signaling

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As a critical factor in the induction of angiogenesis, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has become an attractive target for anti-angiogenesis treatment. However, the side effects associated with most anti-VEGF agents limit their chronic use. Identification of naturally occurring VEGF inhibitors derived from diet is a potential alternative approach, with the advantage of known safety. To isolate natural inhibitors of VEGF, we established an in vitro tyrosine kinase assay to screen for diet-based agents that suppress VEGFR2 kinase activity. We found that a water-based extract from cinnamon (cinnamon extract, CE), one of the oldest and most popular spices, was a potent inhibitor of VEGFR2 kinase activity, directly inhibiting kinase activity of purified VEGFR2 as well as mitogen-activated protein kinase- and Stat3-mediated signaling pathway in endothelial cells. As a result, CE inhibited VEGF-induced endothelial cell proliferation, migration and tube formation in vitro, sprout formation from aortic ring ex vivo and tumor-induced blood vessel formation in vivo. Depletion of polyphenol from CE with polyvinylpyrrolidone abolished its anti-angiogenesis activity. While cinnamaldehyde, a component responsible for CE aroma, had little effect on VEGFR2 kinase activity, high-performance liquid chromatography-purified components of CE, procyanidin type A trimer (molecular weight, 864) and a tetramer (molecular weight, 1152) were found to inhibit kinase activity of purified VEGFR2 and VEGFR2 signaling, implicating procyanidin oligomers as active components in CE that inhibit angiogenesis. Our data revealed a novel activity in cinnamon and identified a natural VEGF inhibitor that could potentially be useful in cancer prevention and/or treatment.

Journal Article.  4925 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics

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