Angiogenesis is a multistep process that requires coordinated migration, proliferation, and junction formation of vascular endothelial cells (ECs) to form new vessel branches in response to growth stimuli. Major intracellular signaling pathways that regulate angiogenesis have been well elucidated, but key transcriptional regulators that mediate these signaling pathways and control EC behaviors are only beginning to be understood. Here, we show that YAP/TAZ, a transcriptional coactivator that acts as an end effector of Hippo signaling, is critical for sprouting angiogenesis and vascular barrier formation and maturation. In mice, endothelial-specific deletion of Yap/Taz led to blunted-end, aneurysm-like tip ECs with fewer and dysmorphic filopodia at the vascular front, a hyper-pruned vascular network, reduced and disarranged distributions of tight and adherens junction proteins, disrupted barrier integrity, subsequent hemorrhage in growing retina and brain vessels, and reduced pathological choroidal neovascularization. Mechanistically, YAP/TAZ activates actin cytoskeleton remodeling, an important component of filopodia formation and junction assembly. Moreover, YAP/TAZ coordinates EC proliferation and metabolic activity by upregulating MYC signaling. Overall, these results show that YAP/TAZ plays multifaceted roles for EC behaviors, proliferation, junction assembly, and metabolism in sprouting angiogenesis and barrier formation and maturation and could be a potential therapeutic target for treating neovascular diseases.
Jongshin Kim, Yoo Hyung Kim, Jaeryung Kim, Do Young Park, Hosung Bae, Da-Hye Lee, Kyun Hoo Kim, Seon Pyo Hong, Seung Pil Jang, Yoshiaki Kubota, Young-Guen Kwon, Dae-Sik Lim, Gou Young Koh
The mechanisms that promote the generation of new coronary vasculature during cardiac homeostasis and after injury remain a fundamental and clinically important area of study in the cardiovascular field. Recently, it was reported that mesenchymal-to-endothelial transition (MEndoT) contributes to substantial numbers of coronary endothelial cells after myocardial infarction. Therefore, the MEndoT has been proposed as a paradigm mediating neovascularization and is considered a promising therapeutic target in cardiac regeneration. Here, we show that preexisting endothelial cells mainly beget new coronary vessels in the adult mouse heart, with essentially no contribution from other cell sources through cell-lineage transdifferentiation. Genetic-lineage tracing revealed that cardiac fibroblasts expand substantially after injury, but do not contribute to the formation of new coronary blood vessels, indicating no contribution of MEndoT to neovascularization. Moreover, genetic-lineage tracing with a pulse-chase labeling strategy also showed that essentially all new coronary vessels in the injured heart are derived from preexisting endothelial cells, but not from other cell lineages. These data indicate that therapeutic strategies for inducing neovascularization should not be based on targeting presumptive lineage transdifferentiation such as MEndoT. Instead, preexisting endothelial cells appear more likely to be the therapeutic target for promoting neovascularization and driving heart regeneration after injury.
Lingjuan He, Xiuzhen Huang, Onur Kanisicak, Yi Li, Yue Wang, Yan Li, Wenjuan Pu, Qiaozhen Liu, Hui Zhang, Xueying Tian, Huan Zhao, Xiuxiu Liu, Shaohua Zhang, Yu Nie, Shengshou Hu, Xiang Miao, Qing-Dong Wang, Fengchao Wang, Ting Chen, Qingbo Xu, Kathy O. Lui, Jeffery D. Molkentin, Bin Zhou
Tumors are capable of coopting hematopoietic cells to create a suitable microenvironment to support malignant growth. Here, we have demonstrated that upregulation of kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), also known as VEGFR2, in a myeloid cell sublineage is necessary for malignant progression of gliomas in transgenic murine models and is associated with high-grade tumors in patients. KDR expression increased in myeloid cells as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accumulated, which was associated with the transformation and progression of low-grade fibrillary astrocytoma to high-grade anaplastic gliomas. KDR deficiency in murine BM-derived cells (BMDCs) suppressed the differentiation of myeloid lineages and reduced granulocytic/monocytic populations. The depletion of myeloid-derived KDR compromised its proangiogenic function, which inhibited the angiogenic switch necessary for malignant progression of low-grade to high-grade tumors. We also identified inhibitor of DNA binding protein 2 (ID2) as a key upstream regulator of KDR activation during myeloid differentiation. Deficiency of ID2 in BMDCs led to downregulation of KDR, suppression of proangiogenic myeloid cells, and prevention of low-grade to high-grade transition. Tumor-secreted TGF-β and granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GM-CSF) enhanced the KDR/ID2 signaling axis in BMDCs. Our results suggest that modulation of KDR/ID2 signaling may restrict tumor-associated myeloid cells and could potentially be a therapeutic strategy for preventing transformation of premalignant gliomas.
Yujie Huang, Prajwal Rajappa, Wenhuo Hu, Caitlin Hoffman, Babacar Cisse, Joon-Hyung Kim, Emilie Gorge, Rachel Yanowitch, William Cope, Emma Vartanian, Raymond Xu, Tuo Zhang, David Pisapia, Jenny Xiang, Jason Huse, Irina Matei, Hector Peinado, Jacqueline Bromberg, Eric Holland, Bi-sen Ding, Shahin Rafii, David Lyden, Jeffrey Greenfield
Controlled angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are essential for tissue development, function, and repair. However, aberrant neovascularization is an essential pathogenic mechanism in many human diseases, including diseases involving tumor growth and survival. Here, we have demonstrated that mice deficient in C-type lectin family 14 member A (CLEC14A) display enhanced angiogenic sprouting and hemorrhage as well as enlarged jugular lymph sacs and lymphatic vessels. CLEC14A formed a complex with VEGFR-3 in endothelial cells (ECs), and CLEC14A KO resulted in a marked reduction in VEGFR-3 that was concomitant with increases in VEGFR-2 expression and downstream signaling. Implanted tumor growth was profoundly reduced in CLEC14A-KO mice compared with that seen in WT littermates, but tumor-bearing CLEC14A-KO mice died sooner. Tumors in CLEC14A-KO mice had increased numbers of nonfunctional blood vessels and severe hemorrhaging. Blockade of VEGFR-2 signaling suppressed these vascular abnormalities and enhanced the survival of tumor-bearing CLEC14A-KO mice. We conclude that CLEC14A acts in vascular homeostasis by fine-tuning VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 signaling in ECs, suggesting its relevance in the pathogenesis of angiogenesis-related human disorders.
Sungwoon Lee, Seung-Sik Rho, Hyojin Park, Jeong Ae Park, Jihye Kim, In-Kyu Lee, Gou Young Koh, Naoki Mochizuki, Young-Myeong Kim, Young-Guen Kwon
Different tumor microenvironments (TMEs) induce stromal cell plasticity that affects tumorigenesis. The impact of TME-dependent heterogeneity of tumor endothelial cells (TECs) on tumorigenesis is unclear. Here, we isolated pure TECs from human colorectal carcinomas (CRCs) that exhibited TMEs with either improved (Th1-TME CRCs) or worse clinical prognosis (control-TME CRCs). Transcriptome analyses identified markedly different gene clusters that reflected the tumorigenic and angiogenic activities of the respective TMEs. The gene encoding the matricellular protein SPARCL1 was most strongly upregulated in Th1-TME TECs. It was also highly expressed in ECs in healthy colon tissues and Th1-TME CRCs but low in control-TME CRCs. In vitro, SPARCL1 expression was induced in confluent, quiescent ECs and functionally contributed to EC quiescence by inhibiting proliferation, migration, and sprouting, whereas siRNA-mediated knockdown increased sprouting. In human CRC tissues and mouse models, vessels with SPARCL1 expression were larger and more densely covered by mural cells. SPARCL1 secretion from quiescent ECs inhibited mural cell migration, which likely led to stabilized mural cell coverage of mature vessels. Together, these findings demonstrate TME-dependent intertumoral TEC heterogeneity in CRC. They further indicate that TEC heterogeneity is regulated by SPARCL1, which promotes the cell quiescence and vessel homeostasis contributing to the favorable prognoses associated with Th1-TME CRCs.
Elisabeth Naschberger, Andrea Liebl, Vera S. Schellerer, Manuela Schütz, Nathalie Britzen-Laurent, Patrick Kölbel, Ute Schaal, Lisa Haep, Daniela Regensburger, Thomas Wittmann, Ludger Klein-Hitpass, Tilman T. Rau, Barbara Dietel, Valérie S. Méniel, Alan R. Clarke, Susanne Merkel, Roland S. Croner, Werner Hohenberger, Michael Stürzl
Angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) regulates blood vessel remodeling in many pathological conditions through differential effects on Tie2 signaling. While ANG2 competes with ANG1 to inhibit Tie2, it can paradoxically also promote Tie2 phosphorylation (p-Tie2). A related paradox is that both inactivation and overactivation of Tie2 can result in vascular remodeling. Here, we reconciled these opposing actions of ANG2 by manipulating conditions that govern its actions in the vasculature. ANG2 drove vascular remodeling during
Minah Kim, Breanna Allen, Emilia A. Korhonen, Maximilian Nitschké, Hee Won Yang, Peter Baluk, Pipsa Saharinen, Kari Alitalo, Christopher Daly, Gavin Thurston, Donald M. McDonald
The angiopoietin/Tie (ANG/Tie) receptor system controls developmental and tumor angiogenesis, inflammatory vascular remodeling, and vessel leakage. ANG1 is a Tie2 agonist that promotes vascular stabilization in inflammation and sepsis, whereas ANG2 is a context-dependent Tie2 agonist or antagonist. A limited understanding of ANG signaling mechanisms and the orphan receptor Tie1 has hindered development of ANG/Tie-targeted therapeutics. Here, we determined that both ANG1 and ANG2 binding to Tie2 increases Tie1-Tie2 interactions in a β1 integrin–dependent manner and that Tie1 regulates ANG-induced Tie2 trafficking in endothelial cells. Endothelial Tie1 was essential for the agonist activity of ANG1 and autocrine ANG2. Deletion of endothelial
Emilia A. Korhonen, Anita Lampinen, Hemant Giri, Andrey Anisimov, Minah Kim, Breanna Allen, Shentong Fang, Gabriela D’Amico, Tuomas J. Sipilä, Marja Lohela, Tomas Strandin, Antti Vaheri, Seppo Ylä-Herttuala, Gou Young Koh, Donald M. McDonald, Kari Alitalo, Pipsa Saharinen
Lymphatic remodeling in tumor microenvironments correlates with progression and metastasis, and local lymphatic vessels play complex and poorly understood roles in tumor immunity. Tumor lymphangiogenesis is associated with increased immune suppression, yet lymphatic vessels are required for fluid drainage and immune cell trafficking to lymph nodes, where adaptive immune responses are mounted. Here, we examined the contribution of lymphatic drainage to tumor inflammation and immunity using a mouse model that lacks dermal lymphatic vessels (K14-VEGFR3-Ig mice). Melanomas implanted in these mice grew robustly, but exhibited drastically reduced cytokine expression and leukocyte infiltration compared with those implanted in control animals. In the absence of local immune suppression, transferred cytotoxic T cells more effectively controlled tumors in K14-VEGFR3-Ig mice than in control mice. Furthermore, gene expression analysis of human melanoma samples revealed that patient immune parameters are markedly stratified by levels of lymphatic markers. This work suggests that the establishment of tumor-associated inflammation and immunity critically depends on lymphatic vessel remodeling and drainage. Moreover, these results have implications for immunotherapies, the efficacies of which are regulated by the tumor immune microenvironment.
Amanda W. Lund, Marek Wagner, Manuel Fankhauser, Eli S. Steinskog, Maria A. Broggi, Stefani Spranger, Thomas F. Gajewski, Kari Alitalo, Hans P. Eikesdal, Helge Wiig, Melody A. Swartz
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a major complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in the working-age population. Impaired blood-retinal barrier function leads to macular edema that is closely associated with the deterioration of central vision. We previously demonstrated that the neuronal guidance cue netrin-1 activates a program of reparative angiogenesis in microglia within the ischemic retina. Here, we provide evidence in both vitreous humor of diabetic patients and in retina of a murine model of diabetes that netrin-1 is metabolized into a bioactive fragment corresponding to domains VI and V of the full-length molecule. In contrast to the protective effects of full-length netrin-1 on retinal microvasculature, the VI-V fragment promoted vascular permeability through the uncoordinated 5B (UNC5B) receptor. The collagenase matrix metalloprotease 9 (MMP-9), which is increased in patients with diabetic macular edema, was capable of cleaving netrin-1 into the VI-V fragment. Thus, MMP-9 may release netrin-1 fragments from the extracellular matrix and facilitate diffusion. Nonspecific inhibition of collagenases or selective inhibition of MMP-9 decreased pathological vascular permeability in a murine model of diabetic retinal edema. This study reveals that netrin-1 degradation products are capable of modulating vascular permeability, suggesting that these fragments are of potential therapeutic interest for the treatment of DR.
Khalil Miloudi, François Binet, Ariel Wilson, Agustin Cerani, Malika Oubaha, Catherine Menard, Sullivan Henriques, Gaelle Mawambo, Agnieszka Dejda, Phuong Trang Nguyen, Flavio A. Rezende, Steve Bourgault, Timothy E. Kennedy, Przemyslaw Sapieha
The lymphatic vasculature is essential for maintaining interstitial fluid homeostasis, and dysfunctional lymphangiogenesis contributes to various pathological processes, including inflammatory disease and tumor metastasis. Mutations in
Anees Fatima, Ying Wang, Yutaka Uchida, Pieter Norden, Ting Liu, Austin Culver, William H. Dietz, Ford Culver, Meredith Millay, Yoh-suke Mukouyama, Tsutomu Kume
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