A natural small molecule voacangine inhibits angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo

Abstract

Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, plays a critical role in normal and pathological phenotypes, including solid tumor growth and metastasis. Accordingly, the development of new anti-angiogenic agents is considered an efficient strategy for the treatment of cancer and other human diseases linked with angiogenesis. We have identified voacangine, isolated from Voacanga africana, as a novel anti-angiogenic agent. Voacangine inhibits the proliferation of HUVECs at an IC50 of 18 μM with no cytotoxic effects. Voacangine significantly suppressed in vitro angiogenesis, such as VEGF-induced tube formation and chemoinvasion. Moreover, the compound inhibits in vivo angiogenesis in the chorioallantoic membrane at non-toxic doses. In addition, voacangine decreased the expression levels of hypoxia inducible factor-1α and its target gene, VEGF, in a dose-dependent manner. Taken together, these results suggest that the naturally occurring compound, voacangine, is a novel anti-angiogenic compound.

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