Deciphering vascular endothelial cell growth factor/vascular permeability factor signaling to vascular permeability. Inhibition by atrial natriuretic peptide.

Division of Endocrinology, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Long Beach, California 90822, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.65). 12/2002; 277(46):44385-98. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M202391200
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) was originally described as a potent vascular permeability factor (VPF) that importantly contributes to vascular pathobiology. The signaling pathways that underlie VEGF/VPF-induced permeability are not well defined. Furthermore, endogenous vascular peptides that regulate this important VPF function are currently unknown. We report here that VPF significantly enhances permeability in aortic endothelial cells via a linked signaling pathway, sequentially involving Src, ERK, JNK, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/AKT. This leads to the serine/threonine phosphorylation and redistribution of actin and the tight junction (TJ) proteins, zona occludens-1 and occludin, and the loss of the endothelial cell barrier architecture. Atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) inhibited VPF signaling, TJ protein phosphorylation and localization, and VPF-induced permeability. This involved both guanylate cyclase and natriuretic peptide clearance receptors. In vivo, transgenic mice that overexpress ANP showed significantly less VPF-induced kinase activation and vascular permeability compared with non-transgenic littermates. Thus, ANP acts as an anti-permeability factor by inhibiting the signaling functions of VPF that we define here and by preserving the endothelial cell TJ functional morphology.