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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 
 
 

Novel role of lactosylceramide in vascular endothelial growth factor-mediated angiogenesis in human endothelial cells.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) has been implicated in angiogenesis associated with coronary heart disease, vascular complications in diabetes, inflammatory vascular diseases, and tumor metastasis. The mechanism of VEGF-driven angiogenesis involving glycosphingolipids such as lactosylceramide (LacCer), however, is not known. To demonstrate the involvement of LacCer in VEGF-induced angiogenesis, we used small interfering RNA (siRNA)-mediated silencing of LacCer synthase expression (GalT-V) in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. This gene silencing markedly inhibited VEGF- induced platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) expression and angiogenesis. Second, we used D-threo-1-phenyl-2-decanoylamino-3-morpholino-1-propanol (D-PDMP), an inhibitor of LacCer synthase and glucosylceramide synthase, that significantly mitigated VEGF- induced PECAM-1 expression and angiogenesis. Interestingly, these phenotypic changes were reversed by LacCer but not by structurally related compounds such as glucosylceramide, digalactosylceramide, and ceramide. In a human mesothelioma cell line ( REN) that lacks the endogenous expression of PECAM-1, VEGF/LacCer failed to stimulate PECAM-1 expression and tube formation/angiogenesis. In REN cells expressing human PECAM-1 gene/protein, however, both VEGF and LacCer- induced PECAM-1 protein expression and tube formation/angiogenesis. In fact, VEGF-induced but not LacCer-induced angiogenesis was mitigated by SU-1498, a VEGF receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitor. Also, VEGF/LacCer- induced PECAM-1 expression and angiogenesis was mitigated by protein kinase C and phospholipase A2 inhibitors. These results indicate that LacCer generated in VEGF-treated endothelial cells may serve as an important signaling molecule for PECAM-1 expression and in angiogenesis. This finding and the reagents developed in our report may be useful as anti-angiogenic drugs for further studies in vitro and in vivo.[1]

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