Abstract

Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is highly aggressive and prone to hypervascular metastases. Recently, we found profilin 2 (PFN2) expression in SCLC but not in normal tissues. Furthermore, PFN2 expression had been shown to promote angiogenesis through exosomes. However, it remains unclear whether PFN2 contributes to the progression and metastasis of SCLC through angiogenesis. We report here that overexpression (OE) of PFN2 increased, whereas its knockdown (KD) decreased the proliferation, migration, and invasion of SCLC cell H446. The exosomes from OE-H446 (SCLC-OE-exo) exhibited similar effects on H446 properties. Culturing of endothelial cells (ECs) in SCLC-OE conditioned medium (CM) or SCLC-OE-exo increased the migration and tube formation ability of ECs, whereas SCLC-KD-CM and SCLC-KD-exo had inhibitory effects. Interestingly, both SCLC- and EC-derived exosomes were internalized in H446 more rapidly than in ECs. More importantly, OE-PFN2 dramatically elevated SCLC growth and vasculature formation as well as lung metastasis in tumor xenograft models. Finally, we found that PFN2 activated Smad2/3 in H446 and pERK in ECs, respectively. Taken together, our study revealed the role of PFN2 in SCLC development and metastasis, as well as tumor angiogenesis through exosomes, providing a new molecular target for SCLC treatment.