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Adrenomedullin Up-regulates the Expression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma Cells via JNK/AP-1 Pathway
  1. Qingqing Chen, MM*,
  2. Pan Chen, MM,
  3. Xiaoyan Pang, MD*,
  4. Yanling Hu, MM* and
  5. Yi Zhang, MD, PhD*
  1. *Department of Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, Shenyang, Liaoning, China; and
  2. Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Jin hua Municipal Central Hosptial, Jin hua, Zhejiang, China.
  1. Address correspondence and reprint requests to Yi Zhang, MD, PhD, Department of Gynecology, the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University, 155 Nanjing North St, Shenyang 110001, Liaoning, P.R. China. E-mail: syzi{at}


Objective Adrenomedullin (AM), a potent vasodilator peptide, presents in various kinds of tumors and promotes angiogenesis. We have previously reported that AM is expressed in epithelial ovarian carcinoma tissue. Here, we investigated the hypothesis that AM might regulate production of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in epithelial ovarian carcinoma and further promote angiogenic processes.

Methods The messenger RNA expression of VEGF in human epithelial ovarian carcinoma cells (HO-8910) was examined by real-time polymerase chain reaction. Transcriptional control was analyzed by transient transfection assay of VEGF promoter-luciferase hybrid genes and chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was detected by Western blotting. The formation of capillarylike structures by EA.hy926 cells cocultured with HO-8910 cells on Matrigel was also studied.

Results We found that in HO-8910 cells, AM (10−10 to 10−7 mol/L) enhanced VEGF messenger RNA expression in a time- and concentration-dependent manner, as well as promoter activity. Furthermore, JNK was activated by AM stimulation. The AM-induced increase in VEGF expression was significantly attenuated by SP600125, a specific JNK inhibitor. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay and promoter activity analysis showed that VEGF expression induced by AM required the activator protein 1 motif on the VEGF promoter. In an in vitro angiogenesis system for endothelial cells (EA.hy926) cocultured with HO-8910 cells, we observed that the addition of AM stimulated endothelial cell tube formation, which could be abolished by VEGF neutralizing antibody.

Conclusions Our findings suggest that the JNK/Activator protein 1 pathway is involved in AM-induced VEGF expression in HO-8910 cells.

  • Adrenomedullin (AM)
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
  • Epithelial ovarian carcinoma
  • c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)
  • Activator protein 1 (AP-1)

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  • This work was supported by the Liaoning Natural Science Foundation (No. 2014021021, to Y.Z.)

  • The authors declare no conflicts of interest.