ABSTRACT: The endothelial ETS transcription factor Erg plays an important role in homeostasis and angiogenesis by regulating many endothelial functions including survival and junction stability. Here we show that Erg regulates endothelial cell (EC) migration. Transcriptome profiling of Erg-deficient ECs identified ∼ 80 genes involved in cell migration as candidate Erg targets, including many regulators of Rho- GTPases. Inhibition of Erg expression in HUVECs resulted in decreased migration in vitro, while Erg overexpression using adenovirus caused increased migration. Live-cell imaging of Erg-deficient HUVECs showed a reduction in lamellipodia, in line with decreased motility. Both actin and tubulin cytoskeletons were disrupted in Erg-deficient ECs, with a dramatic increase in tubulin acetylation. Among the most significant microarray hits was the cytosolic histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6), a regulator of cell migration. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) and transactivation studies demonstrated that Erg regulates HDAC6 expression. Rescue experiments confirmed that HDAC6 mediates the Erg-dependent regulation of tubulin acetylation and actin localization. In vivo, inhibition of Erg expression in angiogenic ECs resulted in decreased HDAC6 expression with increased tubulin acetylation. Thus, we have identified a novel function for the transcription factor Erg in regulating HDAC6 and multiple pathways essential for EC migration and angiogenesis.
Blood 11/2011; 119(3):894-903. · 9.90 Impact Factor