Fibrotic tumor stroma plays an important role in facilitating triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) progression and chemotherapeutic resistance. We previously reported a rationally designed protein (ProAgio) that targets integrin αvβ3 at a novel site. ProAgio induces apoptosis via the integrin. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and angiogenic endothelial cells (aECs) in TNBC tumor express high levels of integrin αvβ3. ProAgio effectively induces apoptosis in CAFs and aECs. The depletion of CAFs by ProAgio reduces intratumoral collagen and decreases growth factors released from CAFs in the tumor, resulting in decreased cancer cell proliferation and apoptotic resistance. ProAgio also eliminates leaky tumor angiogenic vessels, which consequently reduces tumor hypoxia and improves drug delivery. The depletion of CAFs and reduction in hypoxia by ProAgio decreases lysyl oxidase (LOX) secretion, which may play a role in the reduction of metastasis. ProAgio stand-alone or in combination with a chemotherapeutic agent provides survival benefit in TNBC murine models, highlighting the therapeutic potential of ProAgio as a treatment strategy.

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at
You do not currently have access to this content.