Karin Aase

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Sweden, Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden

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Publications (18)116.63 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B), a member of the VEGF/PDGF family, is highly expressed in many tissues with two differentially spliced transcripts generating two secreted isoforms, VEGF-B167 and VEGF-B186. In this work, we have investigated the expression of VEGF-B in tissues and cell lines using techniques that can distinguish the two isoforms. The results showed that the VEGF-B167 isoform was predominantly expressed in most tissues, accounting for more than 80% of the total VEGF-B transcripts. The VEGF-B186 isoform was expressed at lower levels and only in a limited number of tissues. Moreover, the VEGF-B186 isoform was up-regulated in mouse and human tumor cell lines and primary tumors compared with their corresponding normal tissues. Taken together, our data suggest a fme genetic control of the expression of the two isoforms of VEGF-B, implying tissue- and cell-specific roles of the two VEGF-B isoforms.
    Growth Factors 07/2009; 19(1):49-59. DOI:10.3109/08977190109001075 · 3.09 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Controlled regulation of Rho GTPase activity is an essential component mediating growth factor-stimulated migration. We have previously shown that angiomotin (Amot), a membrane-associated scaffold protein, plays a critical role during vascular patterning and endothelial migration during embryogenesis. However, the signaling pathways by which Amot controls directional migration are not known. Here we have used peptide pull-down and yeast 2-hybrid (Y2H) screening to identify proteins that interact with the C-terminal PDZ-binding motifs of Amot and its related proteins AmotL1 and 2. We report that Amot and its related proteins bind to the RhoA GTPase exchange factor (RhoGEF) protein Syx. We show that Amot forms a ternary complex together with Patj (or its paralogue Mupp1) and Syx. Using FRET analysis, we provide evidence that Amot controls targeting of RhoA activity to lamellipodia in vitro. We also report that, similar to Amot, morpholino knockdown of Syx in zebrafish results in inhibition of migration of intersegmental arteries. Taken together, our results indicate that the directional migration of capillaries in the embryo is governed by the Amot:Patj/Mupp1:Syx signaling that controls local GTPase activity.
    Blood 10/2008; 113(1):244-53. DOI:10.1182/blood-2008-04-153874 · 9.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that angiomotin (Amot) plays an important role in growth factor-induced migration of endothelial cells in vitro. Genetic knock-down of Amot in zebrafish also results in inhibition of migration of intersegmental vessels in vivo. Amot is expressed as two different isoforms, p80-Amot and p130-Amot. Here we have analyzed the expression of the two Amot isoforms during retinal angiogenesis in vivo and demonstrate that p80-Amot is expressed during the migratory phase. In contrast, p130-Amot is expressed during the period of blood vessel stabilization and maturation. We also show that the N-terminal domain of p130-Amot serves as a targeting domain responsible for localization of p130-Amot to actin and tight junctions. We further show that the relative expression levels of p80-Amot and p130-Amot regulate a switch between a migratory and a non-migratory cell phenotype where the migratory function of p80-Amot is dominant over the stabilization and maturation function of p130-Amot. Our data indicates that homo-oligomerization of p80-Amot and hetero-oligomerization of both isoforms are critical for this regulation.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2008; 1783(3):429-37. DOI:10.1016/j.bbamcr.2007.11.018 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The development of the embryonic vascular system into a highly ordered network requires precise control over the migration and branching of endothelial cells (ECs). We have previously identified angiomotin (Amot) as a receptor for the angiogenesis inhibitor angiostatin. Furthermore, DNA vaccination targeting Amot inhibits angiogenesis and tumor growth. However, little is known regarding the role of Amot in physiological angiogenesis. We therefore investigated the role of Amot in embryonic neovascularization during zebrafish and mouse embryogenesis. Here we report that knockdown of Amot in zebrafish reduced the number of filopodia of endothelial tip cells and severely impaired the migration of intersegmental vessels. We further show that 75% of Amot knockout mice die between embryonic day 11 (E11) and E11.5 and exhibit severe vascular insufficiency in the intersomitic region as well as dilated vessels in the brain. Furthermore, using ECs differentiated from embryonic stem (ES) cells, we demonstrate that Amot-deficient cells have intact response to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in regard to differentiation and proliferation. However, the chemotactic response to VEGF was abolished in Amot-deficient cells. We provide evidence that Amot is important for endothelial polarization during migration and that Amot controls Rac1 activity in endothelial and epithelial cells. Our data demonstrate a critical role for Amot during vascular patterning and endothelial polarization.
    Genes & Development 09/2007; 21(16):2055-68. DOI:10.1101/gad.432007 · 12.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiomotin, an 80 kDa protein expressed in endothelial cells, promotes cell migration and invasion, and stabilizes tube formation in vitro. Angiomotin belongs to a new protein family with two additional members, Amotl-1 and Amotl-2, which are characterized by conserved coiled-coil domains and C-terminal PDZ binding motifs. Here, we report the identification of a 130 kDa splice isoform of angiomotin that is expressed in different cell types including vascular endothelial cells, as well as cytotrophoblasts of the placenta. p130-Angiomotin consists of a cytoplasmic N-terminal extension that mediates its association with F-actin. Transfection of p130-angiomotin into endothelial cells induces actin fiber formation and changes cell shape. The p130-angiomotin protein remained associated with actin after destabilization of actin fibers with cytochalasin B. In contrast to p80-angiomotin, p130-angiomotin does not promote cell migration and did not respond to angiostatin. We propose that p80- and p130-angiomotin play coordinating roles in tube formation by affecting cell migration and cell shape, respectively.
    FEBS Journal 06/2006; 273(9):2000-11. DOI:10.1111/j.1742-4658.2006.05216.x · 3.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have previously identified angiomotin by its ability to bind to and mediate the anti-angiogenic properties of angiostatin. In vivo and in vitro data indicate an essential role of angiomotin in endothelial cell motility. Here we show that angiostatin binds angiomotin on the cell surface and provide evidence for a transmembrane model for the topology of both p80 and p130 angiomotin isoforms. Immunofluorescence analysis shows that angiomotin co-localized with ZO-1 in cell-cell contacts in endothelial cells in vitro and in angiogenic blood vessels of the postnatal mouse retina in vivo. Transfection of p80 as well as p130 angiomotin in Chinese hamster ovary cells resulted in junctional localization of both isoforms. Furthermore, p130 angiomotin could recruit ZO-1 to actin stress fibers. The p130 but not p80 isoform could be coprecipitated with MAGI-1b, a component of endothelial tight junctions. Paracellular permeability, as measured by diffusion of fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextran, was reduced by p80 and p130 angiomotin expression with 70 and 88%, respectively, compared with control. Angiostatin did not have any effect on cell permeability but inhibited the migration of angiomotin-expressing cells in the Boyden chamber assay. We conclude that angiomotin, in addition to controlling cell motility, may play a role in the assembly of endothelial cell-cell junctions.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2005; 280(41):34859-69. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M503915200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently identified a novel protein, named angiomotin, by its ability to bind the angiogenesis inhibitor angiostatin in the yeast two-hybrid system. Angiomotin belongs to a family with two other members, AmotL-1 and -2 characterized by coiled-coil and C-terminal PDZ binding domains. Here we show that the putative PDZ binding motif of angiomotin serves as a protein recognition site and that deletion of three amino acids in this site results in inhibition of chemotaxis. Furthermore, endothelial cells expressing mutant angiomotin failed to migrate and form tubes in an in vitro tube formation assay. To study the effect of angiomotin on embryonic angiogenesis, we generated transgenic mice expressing wild-type angiomotin and the C-terminal deletion mutant driven by the endothelial cell-specific receptor tyrosine kinase (TIE) promoter. Expression of mutant angiomotin in endothelial cells inhibited migration into the neuroectoderm and intersomitic regions resulting in death at embryonic day 9.5. In contrast, mice expressing wild-type angiomotin developed normally and were fertile. These results suggest that the putative PDZ binding motif of angiomotin plays a critical role in regulating the responsiveness of endothelial cells to chemotactic cues.
    Journal of Cell Science 10/2003; 116(Pt 18):3803-10. DOI:10.1242/jcs.00694 · 5.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The platelet-derived growth factors are implicated in development of fibrotic reactions and disease in several organs. We have overexpressed platelet-derived growth factor-C in the heart using the alpha-myosin heavy chain promoter and created a transgenic mouse that exhibits cardiac fibrosis followed by hypertrophy with sex-dependent phenotypes. The transgenic mice developed several pathological changes including cardiac fibroblast proliferation and deposition of collagen, hypertrophy, vascular defects, and the presence of Anitschkow cells in the adult myocardium. Male mice developed a hypertrophic phenotype, whereas female mice were more severely affected and developed dilated cardiomyopathy, leading to heart failure and sudden death. The vascular defects initially included dilation of microvessels and vascular leakage. Subsequently, a marked loss of microvessels, formation of large vascular sac-like structures, and an increased density of smooth muscle-coated vessels were observed in the myocardium. In part, the observed vascular changes may be because of an up-regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor in cardiac fibroblasts of the transgenic hearts. This unique animal model reveals that a potent mitogen for cardiac fibroblasts result in an expansion of the interstitium that induce a secondary sex-dependent hypertrophic response in the cardiomyocytes.
    American Journal Of Pathology 09/2003; 163(2):673-82. DOI:10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63694-2 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Gene 05/2003; 310:221-221. DOI:10.1016/S0378-1119(03)00524-9 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Angiomotin has previously been identified in a yeast two-hybrid screen by its ability to bind to angiostatin, an inhibitor of novel formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis). Angiomotin mediates the inhibitory effect of angiostatin on endothelial cell migration and tube formation in vitro. Here we report that two human protein sequences, of which one is novel and one has been cloned previously, are similar to angiomotin and are members of a novel protein family, which we propose to call motins. These two genes have been named angiomotin-like 1 (amotl1) and angiomotin-like 2 (amotl2). We have cloned mouse angiomotin and identified amotl1 and amotl2 homologs in mice. The alignment of the amino acid sequences encoded by these six sequences spans 455 residues of which 64% was conserved in all six proteins. Sequence analysis showed that these sequences all share putative coiled-coil domains and PDZ-binding motifs. Sequence information from GenBank indicate that motins can be found in several species including the frog Xenopus laevis, the pufferfish Fugu rubripes and the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Further phylogenetic analysis indicates that amotl2 is an evolutionary outgroup in relation to angiomotin and amotl1. Northern blot analysis shows distinct expression patterns for each motin in various mouse tissues.
    Gene 10/2002; 298(1):69-77. DOI:10.1016/S0378-1119(02)00928-9 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelet-derived growth factor-C (PDGF-C) is a new member of the PDGF family. Its expression in normal and diseased kidney is unknown. Rabbit antisera were generated against human full-length, core domain, and mouse PDGF-C, and their specificity was confirmed by Western blot analyses. Renal PDGF-C expression was analyzed by immunohistochemistry in normal rats (n = 8), mesangioproliferative anti-Thy 1.1 nephritis (n = 4 each at days 1, 4, 6, and 85), passive Heymann nephritis (PHN, n = 4), puromycin nephrosis (PAN, n = 2), Milan normotensive rats (MN, n = 2), and obese Zucker rats (n = 3). PDGF-C expression was also studied in anti-Thy 1.1 rats treated with PDGF-B aptamer antagonists (n = 5) or irrelevant control aptamers (n = 5). PDGF-C was constitutively expressed in arterial smooth muscle cells and collecting duct epithelial cells. Mesangial PDGF-C was markedly upregulated in anti-Thy 1.1 nephritis in parallel with the peak mesangial cell proliferation. Furthermore, PDGF-CC acted as a potent growth factor for mesangial cells in vitro. Inhibition of PDGF-B via specific aptamers reduced the injury in anti-Thy 1.1 nephritis but did not affect the glomerular PDGF-C overexpression or the mitogenicity of PDGF-CC in vitro. In PHN, PAN, and obese Zucker rats, glomeruli remained negative for PDGF-C despite severe glomerular injury. PDGF-C localized to podocytes at sites of focal and segmental sclerosis in MN. Interstitial PDGF-C expression was increased at sites of fibrosing injury in obese Zucker rats. The use of the different antisera resulted in virtually identical findings. It is concluded that PDGF-C is a novel mesangial cell mitogen that is constitutively expressed in the kidney and specifically upregulated in mesangial, visceral epithelial, and interstitial cells after predominant injury to these cells. PDGF-C may therefore be involved in the pathogenesis of renal scarring.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 05/2002; 13(4):910-7. · 9.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: There are four members of the platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) family; PDGF-A, PDGF-B, PDGF-C and PDGF-D. Their biological effects are mediated via two tyrosine kinase receptors, PDGFR-alpha and PDGFR-beta, and PDGF-mediated signaling is critical for development of many organ systems. Analysis in adult tissues showed that PDGF-C was mainly expressed in kidney, testis, liver, heart and brain. During development, PDGF-C expression was widespread and dynamic, and found in somites and their derivatives, in kidney, lung, brain, and in several other tissues, particularly at sites of developing epidermal openings. PDGF-C may therefore have unique functions during tissue development and maintenance.
    Mechanisms of Development 02/2002; 110(1-2):187-91. DOI:10.1016/S0925-4773(01)00560-3 · 2.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) and their receptors are essential regulators of vasculogenesis and angiogenesis in both embryos and adults. One of the factors with a still unknown physiological function is VEGF-B, which is expressed in many tissues, including the heart. Mice carrying a targeted deletion in the VEGF-B gene were developed. In VEGF-B(-/-) animals, no gross abnormalities were observed in organs that normally show high expression of VEGF-B, such as the heart, muscle, and kidney. Analysis of heart function by ECG showed that adult VEGF-B(-/-) mice have an atrial conduction abnormality characterized by a prolonged PQ interval. VEGF- or basic fibroblast growth factor-induced corneal angiogenesis was similar in normal and VEGF-B(-/-) mice. VEGF-B seems to be required for normal heart function in adult animals but is not required for proper development of the cardiovascular system either during development or for angiogenesis in adults.
    Circulation 08/2001; 104(3):358-64. DOI:10.1161/01.CIR.104.3.358 · 14.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Platelet-derived growth factors (PDGFs) are important in many types of mesenchymal cell. Here we identify a new PDGF, PDGF-C, which binds to and activates the PDGF alpha-receptor. PDGF-C is activated by proteolysis and induces proliferation of fibroblasts when overexpressed in transgenic mice. In situ hybridization analysis in the murine embryonic kidney shows preferential expression of PDGF-C messenger RNA in the metanephric mesenchyme during epithelial conversion. Analysis of kidneys lacking the PDGF alpha-receptor shows selective loss of mesenchymal cells adjacent to sites of expression of PDGF-C mRNA; this is not found in kidneys from animals lacking PDGF-A or both PDGF-A and PDGF-B, indicating that PDGF-C may have a unique function.
    Nature Cell Biology 06/2000; 2(5):302-9. DOI:10.1038/35010579 · 20.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) is structurally closely related to VEGF and binds one of its receptors, VEGFR-1. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry were used to localize VEGF-B mRNA and protein in embryonic mouse tissues. In 8.5-17.5 day embryos, VEGF-B was most prominently expressed in the developing myocardium, but not in the cardiac cushion tissue. The strong expression in the heart persisted at later developmental stages, while weaker signals were obtained from several other tissues, including developing muscle, bone, pancreas, adrenal gland, and from the smooth muscle cell layer of several larger vessels, but not from endothelial cells. VEGF-B is likely to act in a paracrine fashion, as its receptor is almost exclusively present in endothelial cells. VEGF-B may have a role in vascularization of the heart, skeletal muscles and developing bones, and in paracrine interactions between endothelial and surrounding muscle cells.
    Developmental Dynamics 05/1999; 215(1):12-25. DOI:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0177(199905)215:1<12::AID-DVDY3>3.0.CO;2-N · 2.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family has recently expanded by the identification and cloning of three additional members, namely VEGF-B, VEGF-C, and VEGF-D. In this study we demonstrate that VEGF-B binds selectively to VEGF receptor-1/Flt-1. This binding can be blocked by excess VEGF, indicating that the interaction sites on the receptor are at least partially overlapping. Mutating the putative VEGF receptor-1/Flt-1 binding determinants Asp63, Asp64, and Glu67 to alanine residues in VEGF-B reduced the affinity to VEGF receptor-1 but did not abolish binding. Mutational analysis of conserved cysteines contributing to VEGF-B dimer formation suggest a structural conservation with VEGF and platelet-derived growth factor. Proteolytic processing of the 60-kDa VEGF-B186 dimer results in a 34-kDa dimer containing the receptor-binding epitopes. The binding of VEGF-B to its receptor on endothelial cells leads to increased expression and activity of urokinase type plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, suggesting a role for VEGF-B in the regulation of extracellular matrix degradation, cell adhesion, and migration.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/1998; 95(20):11709-11714. DOI:10.1073/pnas.95.20.11709 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The growth of solid tumors is dependent on angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a secreted endothelial-cell-specific mitogen. We have recently characterized two novel endothelial growth factors with structural homology to VEGF and named them VEGF-B and VEGF-C. To further define the roles of VEGF-B and VEGF-C, we have studied their expression in a variety of human tumors, both malignant and benign. VEGF-B mRNA was detected in most of the tumor samples studied, and the mRNA and the protein product were localized to tumor cells. Endothelial cells of tumor vessels were also immunoreactive for VEGF-B, probably representing the binding sites of the VEGF-B polypeptide secreted by adjacent tumor cells. VEGF-C mRNA was detected in approximately one-half of the cancers analyzed. Via in situ hybridization, VEGF-C mRNA was also localized to tumor cells. All lymphomas studied contained low levels of VEGF-C mRNA, possibly reflecting the cell-specific pattern of expression of the VEGF-C gene in the corresponding normal cells. The expression of VEGF-C is associated with the development of lymphatic vessels, and VEGF-C could be an important factor regulating the mutual paracrine relationships between tumor cells and lymphatic endothelial cells. Furthermore, VEGF-C and VEGF-B can, similarly to VEGF, be involved in tumor angiogenesis.
    American Journal Of Pathology 08/1998; 153(1):103-8. DOI:10.1016/S0002-9440(10)65550-2 · 4.60 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
116.63 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1998–2009
    • Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research Sweden
      Uppsala, Uppsala, Sweden
  • 2005–2008
    • Karolinska University Hospital
      • Cancer Center Karolinska (CCK)
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2002–2008
    • Karolinska Institutet
      • Department of Oncology-Pathology
      Solna, Stockholm, Sweden
    • University of Gothenburg
      Goeteborg, Västra Götaland, Sweden
  • 2003
    • Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research
      La Jolla, California, United States
  • 2000
    • University of Helsinki
      • Molecular/Cancer Biology Laboratory
      Helsinki, Uusimaa, Finland