Angiogenesis is critical for the growth and proliferation of tumors as well as for normal development. We now describe a novel role for histidine-rich glycoprotein (HRGP) in the modulation of angiogenesis. HRGP is a plasma protein that circulates in relatively high concentrations (1.5 μM), but has no known function in vivo. We have shown previously that HRGP binds with high affinity to thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), a homotrimeric glycoprotein that is a potent inhibitor of angiogenesis. The antiangiogenic activity of TSP-1 is mediated by the binding of properdin-like type I repeats to the receptor CD36. We found that binding of HRGP to TSP-1 was similarly mediated by TSP type I repeats. HRGP colocalized with TSP-1 in the stroma of human breast cancer specimens, and this interaction masked the antiangiogenic epitope of TSP-1. In assays performed in vitro of endothelial cell migration and tube formation, and in vivo corneal angiogenesis assays, HRGP inhibited the antiangiogenic effect of TSP-1. These studies suggest that HRGP can modulate the antiangiogenic activity of TSP-1, and identify a potential mechanism of resistance to the antiangiogenic effect of TSP-1.
Ronit Simantov, Maria Febbraio, René Crombie, Adam S. Asch, Ralph L. Nachman, Roy L. Silverstein