Primary tumors and distant site metastases form a bidirectionally communicating system. Yet, the molecular mechanisms of this crosstalk are poorly understood. Here, we identified the proteolytically cleaved fragments of angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4) as contextually active protumorigenic and antitumorigenic contributors in this communication ecosystem. Preclinical studies in multiple tumor models revealed that the C-terminal fragment (cANGPTL4) promoted tumor growth and metastasis. In contrast, the N-terminal fragment of ANGPTL4 (nANGPTL4) inhibited metastasis and enhanced overall survival in a postsurgical metastasis model by inhibiting WNT signaling and reducing vascularity at the metastatic site. Tracing ANGPTL4 and its fragments in tumor patients detected full-length ANGPTL4 primarily in tumor tissues, whereas nANGPTL4 predominated in systemic circulation and correlated inversely with disease progression. The study highlights the spatial context of the proteolytic cleavage-dependent pro- and antitumorigenic functions of ANGPTL4 and identifies and validates nANGPTL4 as a novel biomarker of tumor progression and antimetastatic therapeutic agent.

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 http://www.rupress.org/terms/). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).
You do not currently have access to this content.