Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase signaling mediates angiogenesis and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor in endothelial cells

The Scripps Research Institute, Department of Molecular Medicine, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 03/2000; 97(4):1749-53. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.040560897
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase) is a signaling molecule that controls numerous cellular properties and activities. The oncogene v-p3k is a homolog of the gene coding for the catalytic subunit of PI 3-kinase, p110alpha. P3k induces transformation of cells in culture, formation of hemangiosarcomas in young chickens, and myogenic differentiation in myoblasts. Here, we describe a role of PI 3-kinase in angiogenesis. Overexpression of the v-P3k protein or of cellular PI 3-kinase equipped with a myristylation signal, Myr-P3k, can induce angiogenesis in the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) of the chicken embryo. This process is characterized by extensive sprouting of new blood vessels and enlargement of preexisting vessels. Overexpression of the myristylated form of the PI 3-kinase target Akt, Myr-Akt, also induces angiogenesis. Overexpression of the tumor suppressor PTEN or of dominant-negative constructs of PI 3-kinase inhibits angiogenesis in the yolk sac of chicken embryos, suggesting that PI 3-kinase and Akt signaling is required for normal embryonal angiogenesis. The levels of mRNA for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are elevated in cells expressing activated PI 3-kinase or Myr-Akt. VEGF mRNA levels are also increased by insulin treatment through the PI 3-kinase-dependent pathway. VEGF mRNA levels are decreased in cells treated with the PI 3-kinase inhibitor LY294002 and restored by overexpression of v-P3k or Myr-Akt. Overexpression of VEGF by the RCAS vector induces angiogenesis in chicken embryos. These results suggest that PI 3-kinase plays an important role in angiogenesis and regulates VEGF expression.

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