Anti-angiogenic effects of crenolanib are mediated by mitotic modulation independently of PDGFR expression

Robert H. Berndsen, C. dric Castrogiovanni, Andrea Weiss, Magdalena Rausch, Marchien G. Dallinga, Marijana Miljkovic-Licina, Ingeborg Klaassen, Patrick Meraldi, Judy R. van Beijnum, Patrycja Nowak-Sliwinska

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Crenolanib is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting PDGFR-α, PDGFR-β and Fms related tyrosine kinase-3 (FLT3) that is currently evaluated in several clinical trials. Although platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) signalling pathway is believed to play an important role in angiogenesis and maintenance of functional vasculature, we here demonstrate a direct angiostatic activity of crenolanib independently of PDGFR signalling. Methods: The activity of crenolanib on cell viability, migration, sprouting, apoptosis and mitosis was assessed in endothelial cells, tumour cells and fibroblasts. Alterations in cell morphology were determined by immunofluorescence experiments. Flow-cytometry analysis and mRNA expression profiles were used to investigate cell differentiation. In vivo efficacy was investigated in human ovarian carcinoma implanted on the chicken chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). Results: Crenolanib was found to inhibit endothelial cell viability, migration and sprout length, and induced apoptosis independently of PDGFR expression. Treated cells showed altered actin arrangement and nuclear aberrations. Mitosis was affected at several levels including mitosis entry and centrosome clustering. Crenolanib suppressed human ovarian carcinoma tumour growth and angiogenesis in the CAM model. Conclusions: The PDGFR/FLT3 inhibitor crenolanib targets angiogenesis and inhibits tumour growth in vivo unrelated to PDGFR expression. Based on our findings, we suggest a broad mechanism of action of crenolanib.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-149
Number of pages11
JournalBritish journal of cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2019

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