Abnormal architectures of collagen fibers in the extracellular matrix (ECM) are hallmarks of many invasive diseases, including cancer. Targeting specific stages of collagen assembly in vivo presents a great challenge due to the involvement of various crosslinking enzymes in the multistep, hierarchical process of ECM build-up. Using advanced microscopic tools, we monitored stages of fibrillary collagen assembly in a native fibroblast-derived 3D matrix system and identified anti-lysyl oxidase-like 2 (LOXL2) antibodies that alter the natural alignment and width of endogenic fibrillary collagens without affecting ECM composition. The disrupted collagen morphologies interfered with the adhesion and invasion properties of human breast cancer cells. Treatment of mice bearing breast cancer xenografts with the inhibitory antibodies resulted in disruption of the tumorigenic collagen superstructure and in reduction of primary tumor growth. Our approach could serve as a general methodology to identify novel therapeutics targeting fibrillary protein organization to treat ECM-associated pathologies. Cancer Res; 76(14); 4249–58. ©2016 AACR.
Note: Supplementary data for this article are available at Cancer Research Online (http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/).
M. Grossman and N. Ben-Chetrit contributed equally to this article.
- Received October 14, 2015.
- Revision received March 30, 2016.
- Accepted May 2, 2016.
- ©2016 American Association for Cancer Research.