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

Neuropilin-1 is a placenta growth factor-2 receptor.

Placenta growth factor ( PlGF) belongs to the family of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs). It binds to the flt-1 VEGF receptor but not to the KDR/flk-1 receptor which is thought to mediate most of the angiogenic and proliferative effects of VEGF. Three PlGF isoforms are produced by alternative splicing. PlGF-1 and PlGF-3 differ from PlGF-2 since they lack the exon 6 encoded peptide which bestows upon PlGF-2 its heparin binding properties. Cross-linking experiments revealed that 125I-PlGF-2 binds to two endothelial cell surface receptors in a heparin dependent fashion. The binding of 125I-PlGF-2 to these receptors was inhibited by an excess of PlGF-2 and by the 165-amino acid form of VEGF (VEGF165), but not at all by VEGF121 and very marginally if at all by PlGF-1. The apparent molecular weight and the binding characteristics of these receptors correspond to those of the recently identified VEGF165 specific receptor neuropilin-1, and we therefore conclude that neuropilin-1 is a receptor for PlGF-2. The binding of 125I-PlGF-2 as well as the binding of 125I-VEGF165 to these receptors was inhibited by a synthetic peptide derived from exon 6 of PlGF. Furthermore, the binding of 125I-PlGF-2, but not that of 125I-VEGF165, was also inhibited by a synthetic peptide derived from exon 7 of PlGF. These observations indicate that the peptides encoded by these exons probably participate in the formation of the domain which mediates the binding of PlGF-2 to these receptors. We have also determined, using chemically modified heparin species, that the presence of sulfate moieties on the glucosamine-O-6 and on the iduronic acid-O-2 groups of heparin was required for the potentiation of 125I-PlGF-2 binding to these receptors. To determine if PlGF-2 is able to induce biological responses that are not induced by PlGF-1, we compared the effects of PlGF-1 and PlGF-2 on the migration and proliferation of endothelial cells. Both PlGF forms induced migration of endothelial cells. However, there was no quantitative difference between the response to PlGF-2 and the response to PlGF-1. Furthermore, neither PlGF-1 nor PlGF-2 had any effect upon the proliferation of the endothelial cells.[1]


  1. Neuropilin-1 is a placenta growth factor-2 receptor. Migdal, M., Huppertz, B., Tessler, S., Comforti, A., Shibuya, M., Reich, R., Baumann, H., Neufeld, G. J. Biol. Chem. (1998) [Pubmed]
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