Urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA) and its receptor are key components of a cell surface proteolytic cascade used by tumor cells and capillary endothelial cells for basement membrane invasion, a process required for metastasis and angiogenesis. We have cloned, expressed, and purified the epidermal growth factor-like domain of murine uPA alone and fused it to the Fc portion of human IgG as high-affinity murine urokinase receptor antagonists. These molecules are potent inhibitors of murine urokinase binding to its receptor and inhibit angiogenesis in an in vitro model of capillary tube formation in fibrin gels. In vivo, basic fibroblast growth factor-induced neovascularization and B16 melanoma growth in syngeneic mice are also substantially suppressed by these molecules. Coupled with previous studies showing inhibition of metastasis, these findings suggest that urokinase receptor antagonists may be useful therapeutically as inhibitors of tumor progression.

This content is only available via PDF.