ALK5- and TGFBR2-independent role of ALK1 in the pathogenesis of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 2. Blood

Department of Physiology and Functional Genomics, University of Florida College of Medicine, Shands Cancer Center, Gainesville 32610, USA.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.45). 02/2008; 111(2):633-42. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2007-08-107359
Source: PubMed


ALK1 belongs to the type I receptor family for transforming growth factor-beta family ligands. Heterozygous ALK1 mutations cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 2 (HHT2), a multisystemic vascular disorder. Based largely on in vitro studies, TGF-beta1 has been considered as the most likely ALK1 ligand related to HHT, yet the identity of the physiologic ALK1 ligand remains controversial. In cultured endothelial cells, ALK1 and another TGF-beta type I receptor, ALK5, regulate angiogenesis by controlling TGF-beta signal transduction, and ALK5 is required for ALK1 signaling. However, the extent to which such interactions between these 2 receptors play a role in pathogenesis of HHT is unknown. We directly addressed these issues in vivo by comparing the phenotypes of mice in which the Alk1, Alk5, or Tgfbr2 gene was conditionally deleted in restricted vascular endothelia using a novel endothelial Cre transgenic line. Alk1-conditional deletion resulted in severe vascular malformations mimicking all pathologic features of HHT. Yet Alk5- or Tgfbr2-conditional deletion in mice, or Alk5 inhibition in zebrafish, did not affect vessel morphogenesis. These data indicate that neither ALK5 nor TGFBR2 is required for ALK1 signaling pertinent to the pathogenesis of HHT and suggest that HHT might not be a TGF-beta subfamily disease.

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    • "during development (Park et al., 2008). Alk1-Cre is active at early stages of brain angiogenesis, as revealed by intercrosses with the Rosa26-loxSTOPlox-lacZ reporter strain (Figure 1B). "
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    ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis in the developing central nervous system (CNS) is regulated by neuroepithelial cells, although the genes and pathways that couple these cells to blood vessels remain largely uncharacterized. Here, we have used biochemical, cell biological and molecular genetic approaches to demonstrate that β8 integrin and Neuropilin-1 (Nrp1) cooperatively promote CNS angiogenesis by mediating adhesion and signaling events between neuroepithelial cells and vascular endothelial cells. β8 integrin in the neuroepithelium promotes the activation of extracellular matrix (ECM)-bound latent transforming growth factor β (TGFβ) ligands and stimulates TGFβ receptor signaling in endothelial cells. Nrp1 in endothelial cells suppresses TGFβ activation and signaling by forming intercellular protein complexes with β8 integrin. Cell type-specific ablation of β8 integrin, Nrp1, or canonical TGFβ receptors results in pathological angiogenesis due to defective neuroepithelial cell-endothelial cell adhesion and imbalances in canonical TGFβ signaling. Collectively, these data identify a paracrine signaling pathway that links the neuroepithelium to blood vessels and precisely balances TGFβ signaling during cerebral angiogenesis.
    Development 11/2015; DOI:10.1242/dev.113746 · 6.46 Impact Factor
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    • "Alk1 is primarily expressed in the endothelial cells (ECs) of the arterial vessels [20]. We have previously demonstrated that conditional deletion of the Alk1 gene in ECs is sufficient for the development of AVMs in the lung, brain, and GI tract, indicating that ALK1 expression and function in ECs are crucial for HHT pathogenesis [21], [22]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is a genetic vascular disease in which arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) manifest in skin and multiple visceral organs. HHT is caused by heterozygous mutations in endoglin (ENG), activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1), or SMAD4. ALK1 regulates angiogenesis, but the precise function of ALK1 in endothelial cells (ECs) remains elusive. Since most blood vessels of HHT patients do not produce pathological vascular lesions, ALK1 heterozygous ECs may be normal unless additional genetic or environmental stresses are imposed. To investigate the cellular and biochemical phenotypes of Alk1-null versus Alk1-heterozygous ECs, we have generated pulmonary EC lines in which a genotype switch from the Alk1-conditional allele (Alk1 (2f)) to the Alk1-null allele (Alk1 (1f)) can be induced by tamoxifen treatment. Alk1-null (1 f/1 f) ECs displayed increased migratory properties in vitro in response to bFGF compared with Alk1-het (2 f/1 f) ECs. The 1 f/1 f-ECs formed a denser and more persistent tubular network as compared with their parental 2 f/1 f-ECs. Interestingly, the response to BMP-9 on SMAD1/5 phosphorylation was impaired in both 2 f/1 f- and 1 f/1 f-ECs at a comparable manner, suggesting that other factors in addition to SMADs may play a crucial role for enhanced angiogenic activity in 1 f/1 f-ECs. We also demonstrated in vivo that Alk1-deficient ECs exhibited high migratory and invasive properties. Taken together, these data suggest that enhanced responses to angiogenic cues in ALK1-deficient ECs underlie the pathogenesis of HHT2.
    PLoS ONE 05/2013; 8(5):e63138. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063138 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    • "Endoglin and ALK1, a TGFβ family type I receptor, show high affinity for BMP9 and BMP10, and are both associated with the inherited vascular disorder Hereditary Haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) [28], [29], [30]. Thus, loss of Tgfbr2 does not appear to be involved in the development of arteriovenous malformations during organogenesis, in agreement with a previous report [31]. However, it remains an open question whether TGFβ signalling contributes to the formation of arteriovenous malformations and haemorrhage of the brain resulting from injury [32]. "
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    ABSTRACT: TGFβ signalling in endothelial cells is important for angiogenesis in early embryonic development, but little is known about its role in early postnatal life. To address this we used a tamoxifen inducible Cre-LoxP strategy in neonatal mice to deplete the TypeII TGFβ receptor (Tgfbr2) specifically in endothelial cells. This resulted in multiple micro-haemorrhages, and glomeruloid-like vascular tufts throughout the cerebral cortices and hypothalamus of the brain as well as in retinal tissues. A detailed examination of the retinal defects in these mutants revealed that endothelial adherens and tight junctions were in place, pericytes were recruited and there was no failure of vascular smooth muscle differentiation. However, the deeper retinal plexus failed to form in these mutants and the angiogenic sprouts stalled in their progress towards the inner nuclear layer. Instead the leading endothelial cells formed glomerular tufts with associated smooth muscle cells. This evidence suggests that TGFβ signalling is not required for vessel maturation, but is essential for the organised migration of endothelial cells as they begin to enter the deeper layers of the retina. Thus, TGFβ signalling is essential in vascular endothelial cells for maintaining vascular integrity at the angiogenic front as it migrates into developing neural tissues in early postnatal life.
    PLoS ONE 09/2012; 7(6):e39336. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0039336 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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