Anti-angiogenic therapy has immense clinical potential to not only impede tumor growth but also to inhibit tumor metastases. However, a key challenge today in the development of new anti-angiogenic pharmaceuticals is the identification and validation of novel drug targets. Fortunately, our mode of action studies with the anti-angiogenic small molecule, TNP-470, identified a previously pharmaceutically-unexplored signaling pathway, i.e., the non-canonical Wnt Planar Cell Polarity (PCP) pathway, that we have demonstrated is required for angiogenesis. Using a combination of chemical genetic, murine knockout and zebrafish angiogenesis assays, we showed that inhibition of methionine aminopeptidase 2 (MetAP-2), the target of the fumagillin derivative TNP-470, results in loss of cellular polarity selectively in endothelial cells. Moreover, TNP-470- mediated inhibition of polarity blocks endothelial cell migration and proliferation (via a p53-dependent cell cycle arrest), ultimately leading to loss of angiogenesis. These results strongly suggest that inhibition of PCP signaling may be a viable pharmaceutical strategy for the development of new anti-angiogenic drugs. In this study, we plan 1) to characterize the molecular mechanisms by which MetAP-2 inhibition leads to loss of PCP signaling, 2) to explore the anti-angiogenic potential of other small molecule PCP inhibitors, and 3) to explore the potential clinical limitations of a PCP inhibition strategy, i.e., what undesired non-angiogenic consequences result from in vivo PCP inhibition. The combination of biochemical, small molecule, and murine model approaches proposed here will contribute new information regarding angiogenic regulation and may provide new targets for the development of additional anti-angiogenic agents.

Public Health Relevance

Cancer continues to a major health concern in the U.S.. Since the number of new drugs approved each year continues to decline, it is important that we continue to pursue new lines of inquiry that could lead to novel anti-tumor pharmaceuticals. Our research explores new avenues of research that if successful would address this need for new anticancer drugs.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Drug Discovery and Molecular Pharmacology Study Section (DMP)
Program Officer
Woodhouse, Elizabeth
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Yale University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
New Haven
United States
Zip Code
Raina, Kanak; Noblin, Devin J; Serebrenik, Yevgeniy V et al. (2014) Targeted protein destabilization reveals an estrogen-mediated ER stress response. Nat Chem Biol 10:957-62
Sundberg, Thomas B; Darricarrere, Nicole; Cirone, Pasquale et al. (2011) Disruption of Wnt planar cell polarity signaling by aberrant accumulation of the MetAP-2 substrate Rab37. Chem Biol 18:1300-11
Ju, Rong; Cirone, Pasquale; Lin, Shengda et al. (2010) Activation of the planar cell polarity formin DAAM1 leads to inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107:6906-11
Hines, John; Ju, Rong; Dutschman, Ginger E et al. (2010) Reversal of TNP-470-induced endothelial cell growth arrest by guanine and guanine nucleosides. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 334:729-38
Cirone, Pasquale; Lin, Shengda; Griesbach, Hilary L et al. (2008) A role for planar cell polarity signaling in angiogenesis. Angiogenesis 11:347-60
Yeh, Jing-Ruey J; Ju, Rong; Brdlik, Cathleen M et al. (2006) Targeted gene disruption of methionine aminopeptidase 2 results in an embryonic gastrulation defect and endothelial cell growth arrest. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 103:10379-84
Zhang, Yi; Yeh, Jing Ruey; Mara, Andrew et al. (2006) A chemical and genetic approach to the mode of action of fumagillin. Chem Biol 13:1001-9
Brdlik, Cathleen M; Crews, Craig M (2004) A single amino acid residue defines the difference in ovalicin sensitivity between type I and II methionine aminopeptidases. J Biol Chem 279:9475-80
Yeh, Jing-Ruey J; Crews, Craig M (2003) Chemical genetics: adding to the developmental biology toolbox. Dev Cell 5:11-9
Koh, Brian; Crews, Craig M (2002) Chemical genetics: a small molecule approach to neurobiology. Neuron 36:563-6

Showing the most recent 10 out of 11 publications