Anti-angiogenic effect of auranofin on HUVECs in vitro and zebrafish in vivo

Ming Fang He, Xiao Ping Gao, Shu Chun Li, Zhi Heng He, Ning Chen, Yu Bin Wang, Jin Xiong She

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Angiogenesis plays an essential role in many physiological and pathological processes. Auranofin (Ridaura®), an important gold(I) complex, is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. However, the effect of auranofin on blood vessel formation is still unclear. In this study, we investigated the anti-angiogenic activity of auranofin on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) in vitro and zebrafish in vivo. Our results showed that auranofin could inhibit the proliferation, migration and tube formation of HUVECs and disrupted the formation of intersegmental vessels and the subintestinal vessels of zebrafish embryos. Auranofin inhibited the phosphorylation of vascular endothelial growth factor 2 (p-VEGFR2) on HUVECs and suppressed the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling pathway (vegfa, flt-1, kdr) but not thioredoxin reductase (TrxR) on zebrafish. Our study suggested that auranofin might serve as a potential anti-angiogenic compound candidate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)240-247
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Angiogenesis inhibitor
  • Auranofin
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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