J Cancer 2019; 10(25):6327-6340. doi:10.7150/jca.34171 This issue
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, Shanghai General Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of medicine, No.100 Haining Road, Shanghai, 200080, P.R. China.
* These authors contributed equally to this paper.
Vasculogenic mimicry (VM) is a vascular formation mechanism used by aggressive tumor cells. VM provides an alternative pathway for adequate blood perfusion and challenges the traditional angiogenesis mechanism that depends only on endothelial cells (ECs), as VM-forming tumor cells express a mixed endothelial/tumor phenotype. VM is closely correlated with tumor invasion, migration, and progression. Hence, anticancer therapeutic strategies targeting VM biogenesis are essential. It is widely acknowledged that the VM formation mechanism involves multiple pathways. The purpose of this review is to describe the potential molecular mechanisms related to different pathways and discuss the involvement of microRNAs (miRNAs), long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs), and circular RNAs (circRNAs) in VM formation. Moreover, we discuss the significance of VM in clinical practice and present new anticancer therapeutic strategies that target VM.
Keywords: vasculogenic mimicry, molecular mechanisms, miRNAs, lncRNAs, circRNAs