Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Activation of Sterol Regulatory Element Binding Protein
A Potential Role in Angiogenesis
This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.
By stimulating the migration and proliferation of endothelial cells (ECs), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic factor. However, the molecular mechanism involved in the VEGF-induced angiogenesis remains elusive. We hypothesized that sterol regulatory element binding proteins (SREBPs), transcription factors governing cellular lipid homeostasis, play an important role in regulating angiogenesis in response to VEGF. VEGF activated SREBP1 and SREBP2 in ECs, as demonstrated by the increased SREBPs, their cleavage products, and the upregulation of the targeted genes. VEGF-induced SREBP activation depended on SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP), because knocking down SCAP by RNA interference (RNAi) inhibited SREBP activation in response to VEGF. SREBP activation was also blocked by 25-hydroxycholesterol (25-HC). To verify the functional implication of SREBPs in VEGF-induced angiogenesis, we tested the role of SREBPs in EC migration and proliferation. SCAP RNAi or 25-HC inhibited VEGF-induced pseudopodia extension and migration of ECs. Both treatments inhibited VEGF-induced EC proliferation, with cell growth arrested at the G0/G1 phase and a concomitant decrease of the S phase. Blocking the PI3K-Akt pathway inhibited the VEGF-activated SREBPs, demonstrating that PI3K-Akt regulates SREBPs. Consistent with our in vitro data, SREBP1 was detected in newly developed microvasculatures in a rabbit skin partial-thickness wound-healing model. SREBP inhibition also markedly suppressed VEGF-induced angiogenesis in chick embryos. In summary, this study identifies SREBPs as the key molecules in regulating angiogenesis in response to VEGF.