Tumor angiogenesis is necessary for progression and metastasis of solid tumor. Tumor blood vessels are morphologically different from their normal counterparts. In this study, we isolated tumor endothelial cells (TECs) and revealed their abnormalities. We have compared the gene expression profiles of TECs and normal endothelial cells (NECs) by microarray analysis and found that several genes were upregulated in TECs. Expression of the chemokine receptor CXCR7 mRNA was higher in TECs than in NECs. However, information regarding the expression of CXCR7 in the tumor vessels of renal cell carcinoma is limited. CXCR7 and its ligand CXCL12 have been implicated in tumor cell survival. In this study, the expression of CXCR7 in the tumor vessels of renal cell carcinoma (RCC) was investigated. Real-time PCR revealed higher expression level of CXCR7 in cultured TECs than in cultured NECs. Furthermore, similar to mouse TECs, immunostaining revealed strong expression of CXCR7 in vivo in human tumor vessels. These findings suggest that CXCR7 is a novel TEC marker and a target for antiangiogenic therapy for RCC.
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