Approach and Results—SCUBE2 lentiviral overexpression in human ECs increased and short hairpin RNA knockdown inhibited VEGF-induced EC growth and capillary-like network formation on Matrigel. Like VEGF, endothelial SCUBE2 was upregulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1α at both mRNA and protein levels. EC-specific Scube2 knockout mice were not defective in vascular development but showed impaired VEGF-induced neovascularization in implanted Matrigel plugs and recovery of blood flow after hind-limb ischemia. Coimmunoprecipitation and ligand-binding assays showed that SCUBE2 forms a complex with VEGF and VEGFR2, thus acting as a coreceptor to facilitate VEGF binding and augment VEGFR2 signal activity. SCUBE2 knockdown or genetic knockout suppressed and its overexpression promoted the VEGF-induced activation of downstream proangiogenic and proliferating signals, including VEGFR2 phosphorylation and mitogen-activated protein kinase or AKT activation.
Conclusions—Endothelial SCUBE2 may be a novel coreceptor for VEGFR2 and potentiate VEGF-induced signaling in adult angiogenesis.Journal Link 期刊連結