Lung cancer is an extremely common cancer and metastatic lung cancer has a greatly low survival rate. Lymphangiogenesis is essential for the development and metastasis of lung cancer. The adipokine angiopoietin-like protein 2 (ANGPTL2) regulates tumor progression and metastasis, although the functions of ANGPTL2 in lung cancer are unknown. Analysis of data from TCGA genomics program, the GEPIA web server and the Oncomine database revealed that higher levels of ANGPTL2 expression were correlated with progressive disease and lymph node metastasis. ANGPTL2 enhanced VEGF-A-dependent lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) tube formation and migration. Integrin α5β1, p38 and nuclear factor (NF)-κB signaling mediated ANGPTL2-regulated lymphangiogenesis. Importantly, overexpression ANGPTL2 facilitated tumor growth and lymphangiogenesis in vivo.
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