• DNA methylation regulates expression of VEGF-R2 (KDR) and VEGF-R3 (FLT4).

      Quentmeier, Hilmar; Eberth, Sonja; Romani, Julia; Weich, Herbert A; Zaborski, Margarete; Drexler, Hans G; Helmholtz Centre for infection research, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (2012-01-17)
      Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors (VEGFs) and their receptors (VEGF-Rs) are important regulators for angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis. VEGFs and VEGF-Rs are not only expressed on endothelial cells but also on various subtypes of solid tumors and leukemias contributing to the growth of the malignant cells. This study was performed to examine whether VEGF-R2 (KDR) and VEGF-R3 (FLT4) are regulated by DNA methylation.
    • Elevated expression of VEGFR-3 in lymphatic endothelial cells from lymphangiomas.

      Norgall, Susanne; Papoutsi, Maria; Rössler, Jochen; Schweigerer, Lothar; Wilting, Jörg; Weich, Herbert A; Department Gene Regulation and Differentiation, Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Braunschweig, Germany. susannenorgall@gmx.de <susannenorgall@gmx.de> (2007)
      BACKGROUND: Lymphangiomas are neoplasias of childhood. Their etiology is unknown and a causal therapy does not exist. The recent discovery of highly specific markers for lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) has permitted their isolation and characterization, but expression levels and stability of molecular markers on LECs from healthy and lymphangioma tissues have not been studied yet. We addressed this problem by profiling LECs from normal dermis and two children suffering from lymphangioma, and also compared them with blood endothelial cells (BECs) from umbilical vein, aorta and myometrial microvessels. METHODS: Lymphangioma tissue samples were obtained from two young patients suffering from lymphangioma in the axillary and upper arm region. Initially isolated with anti-CD31 (PECAM-1) antibodies, the cells were separated by FACS sorting and magnetic beads using anti-podoplanin and/or LYVE-1 antibodies. Characterization was performed by FACS analysis, immunofluorescence staining, ELISA and micro-array gene analysis. RESULTS: LECs from foreskin and lymphangioma had an almost identical pattern of lymphendothelial markers such as podoplanin, Prox1, reelin, cMaf and integrin-alpha1 and -alpha9. However, LYVE-1 was down-regulated and VEGFR-2 and R-3 were up-regulated in lymphangiomas. Prox1 was constantly expressed in LECs but not in any of the BECs. CONCLUSION: LECs from different sources express slightly variable molecular markers, but can always be distinguished from BECs by their Prox1 expression. High levels of VEGFR-3 and -2 seem to contribute to the etiology of lymphangiomas.
    • High-resolution mass spectrometric analysis of the secretome from mouse lung endothelial progenitor cells.

      Hemmen, Katherina; Reinl, Tobias; Buttler, Kerstin; Behler, Friederike; Dieken, Hauke; Jänsch, Lothar; Wilting, Jörg; Weich, Herbert A; Department of Gene Regulation, HZI, Build. D, Inhoffenstr. 7, 38124, Braunschweig, Germany. katharina.hemmen@ewetel.net (2011-05)
      Recently, we isolated and characterized resident endothelial progenitor cells from the lungs of adult mice. These cells have a high proliferation potential, are not transformed and can differentiate into blood- and lymph-vascular endothelial cells under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Here we studied the secretome of these cells by nanoflow liquid chromatographic mass spectrometry (LC-MS). For analysis, 3-day conditioned serum-free media were used. We found 133 proteins belonging to the categories of membrane-bound or secreted proteins. Thereby, several of the membrane-bound proteins also existed as released variants. Thirty-five proteins from this group are well known as endothelial cell- or angiogenesis-related proteins. The MS analysis of the secretome was supplemented and confirmed by fluorescence activated cell sorting analyses, ELISA measurements and immunocytological studies of selected proteins. The secretome data presented in this study provides a platform for the in-depth analysis of endothelial progenitor cells and characterizes potential cellular markers and signaling components in hem- and lymphangiogenesis.
    • The role of heterodimerization between VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2 in the regulation of endothelial cell homeostasis.

      Cudmore, Melissa J; Hewett, Peter W; Ahmad, Shakil; Wang, Ke-Qing; Cai, Meng; Al-Ani, Bahjat; Fujisawa, Takeshi; Ma, Bin; Sissaoui, Samir; Ramma, Wenda; et al. (2012)
      VEGF-A activity is tightly regulated by ligand and receptor availability. Here we investigate the physiological function of heterodimers between VEGF receptor-1 (VEGFR-1; Flt-1) and VEGFR-2 (KDR; Flk-1) (VEGFR(1-2)) in endothelial cells with a synthetic ligand that binds specifically to VEGFR(1-2). The dimeric ligand comprises one VEGFR-2-specific monomer (VEGF-E) and a VEGFR-1-specific monomer (PlGF-1). Here we show that VEGFR(1-2) activation mediates VEGFR phosphorylation, endothelial cell migration, sustained in vitro tube formation and vasorelaxation via the nitric oxide pathway. VEGFR(1-2) activation does not mediate proliferation or elicit endothelial tissue factor production, confirming that these functions are controlled by VEGFR-2 homodimers. We further demonstrate that activation of VEGFR(1-2) inhibits VEGF-A-induced prostacyclin release, phosphorylation of ERK1/2 MAP kinase and mobilization of intracellular calcium from primary endothelial cells. These findings indicate that VEGFR-1 subunits modulate VEGF activity predominantly by forming heterodimer receptors with VEGFR-2 subunits and such heterodimers regulate endothelial cell homeostasis.