[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Growth and remodeling of lymphatic vasculature occur during development and during various pathologic states. A major stimulus for this process is the unique lymphatic vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C). Other endothelial growth factors, such as fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) or VEGF-A, may also contribute. Heparan sulfate is a linear sulfated polysaccharide that facilitates binding and action of some vascular growth factors such as FGF-2 and VEGF-A. However, a direct role for heparan sulfate in lymphatic endothelial growth and sprouting responses, including those mediated by VEGF-C, remains to be examined. We demonstrate that VEGF-C binds to heparan sulfate purified from primary lymphatic endothelia, and activation of lymphatic endothelial Erk1/2 in response to VEGF-C is reduced by interference with heparin or pretreatment of cells with heparinase, which destroys heparan sulfate. Such treatment also inhibited phosphorylation of the major VEGF-C receptor VEGFR-3 upon VEGF-C stimulation. Silencing lymphatic heparan sulfate chain biosynthesis inhibited VEGF-C-mediated Erk1/2 activation and abrogated VEGFR-3 receptor-dependent binding of VEGF-C to the lymphatic endothelial surface. These findings prompted targeting of lymphatic N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase-1 (Ndst1), a major sulfate-modifying heparan sulfate biosynthetic enzyme. VEGF-C-mediated Erk1/2 phosphorylation was inhibited in Ndst1-silenced lymphatic endothelia, and scratch-assay responses to VEGF-C and FGF-2 were reduced in Ndst1-deficient cells. In addition, lymphatic Ndst1 deficiency abrogated cell-based growth and proliferation responses to VEGF-C. In other studies, lymphatic endothelia cultured ex vivo from Ndst1 gene-targeted mice demonstrated reduced VEGF-C- and FGF-2-mediated sprouting in collagen matrix. Lymphatic heparan sulfate may represent a novel molecular target for therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the role of endothelial heparan sulfate during angiogenesis, we generated mice bearing an endothelial-targeted deletion in the biosynthetic enzyme N-acetylglucosamine N-deacetylase/N-sulfotransferase 1 (Ndst1). Physiological angiogenesis during cutaneous wound repair was unaffected, as was growth and reproductive capacity of the mice. In contrast, pathological angiogenesis in experimental tumors was altered, resulting in smaller tumors and reduced microvascular density and branching. To simulate the angiogenic environment of the tumor, endothelial cells were isolated and propagated in vitro with proangiogenic growth factors. Binding of FGF-2 and VEGF(164) to cells and to purified heparan sulfate was dramatically reduced. Mutant endothelial cells also exhibited altered sprouting responses to FGF-2 and VEGF(164), reduced Erk phosphorylation, and an increase in apoptosis in branching assays. Corresponding changes in growth factor binding to tumor endothelium and apoptosis were also observed in vivo. These findings demonstrate a cell-autonomous effect of heparan sulfate on endothelial cell growth in the context of tumor angiogenesis.
The Journal of Cell Biology 06/2007; 177(3):539-49. DOI:10.1083/jcb.200610086 · 9.83 Impact Factor