Guo-Hua Fong

University of Connecticut, Сторс, Connecticut, United States

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Publications (42)270.82 Total impact

  • Vivienne C Ho · Guo-Hua Fong
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1)/Flt-1 is a transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptor for VEGF-A, VEGF-B, and placental growth factor (PlGF). VEGFR-1 is an enigmatic molecule whose precise role in postnatal angiogenesis remains controversial. Although many postnatal and adult studies have been performed by manipulating VEGFR-1 ligands, including competitive binding by truncated VEGFR-1 protein, neutralization by antibodies, or specific ligand overexpression or knockout, much less is known at the level of the receptor per se, especially in vivo. Perplexingly, while VEGFR-1 negatively regulates endothelial cell differentiation during development, it has been implied in promoting angiogenesis under certain conditions in adult tissues, especially in tumors and ischemic tissues. Additionally, it is unclear how VEGFR-1 is involved in vascular maturation and maintenance of vascular quiescence in adult tissues. To facilitate further investigation, we generated a conditional knockout mouse line for VEGFR-1 and characterized angiogenesis in postnatal and adult mice, including angiogenesis in ischemic myocardium. These methods are briefly outlined in this chapter. We also discuss these findings in the context of the interplay between VEGF family members and their receptors, and summarize various mouse models in the VEGF pathway.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.)
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    ABSTRACT: Prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs) control cellular adaptation to hypoxia. PHDs are found involved in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD); however, the exact role of PHD3, a member of PHD family, in IBD remains unknown. We show here that PHD3 plays a critical role in maintaining intestinal epithelial barrier function. We found that genetic ablation of Phd3 in intestinal epithelial cells led to spontaneous colitis in mice. Deletion of PHD3 decreases the level of tight junction protein occludin, leading to a failure of intestinal epithelial barrier function. Further studies indicate that PHD3 stabilizes occludin through preventing the interaction between the E3 ligase Itch and occludin, in a hydroxylase-independent manner. Examination of biopsy of human ulcerative colitis patients indicates that PHD3 is decreased with disease severity, indicating that PHD3 downregulation is associated with progression of this disease. We show that PHD3 protects intestinal epithelial barrier function, and reveal a hydroxylase-independent function of PHD3 in stabilizing occludin. These findings may help open avenues for developing therapeutic strategy of IBD. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (Epo) is produced by renal Epo-producing cells (REPs) in a hypoxia-inducible manner. The conversion of REPs into myofibroblasts and coincident loss of Epo-producing ability are the major cause of renal fibrosis and anemia. However, the hypoxic response of these transformed myofibroblasts remains unclear. Here, we used complementary in vivo transgenic and live imaging approaches to better understand the importance of hypoxia signaling in Epo production. Live imaging of REPs in transgenic mice expressing green fluorescent protein from a modified Epo-gene locus revealed that healthy REPs tightly associated with endothelium by wrapping processes around capillaries. However, this association was hampered in states of renal injury-induced inflammation previously shown to correlate with the transition to myofibroblast-transformed renal Epo-producing cells (MF-REPs). Furthermore, activation of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) by genetic inactivation of HIF-prolyl hydroxylases (PHD1, PHD2, and PHD3) selectively in Epo-producing cells reactivated Epo production in MF-REPs. Loss of PHD2 in REPs restored Epo-gene expression in injured kidneys but caused polycythemia. Notably, combined deletions of PHD1 and PHD3 prevented loss of Epo expression without provoking polycythemia. Mice with PHD-deficient REPs also showed resistance to LPS-induced Epo repression in kidneys, suggesting that augmented HIF signaling counterbalances inflammatory stimuli in regulation of Epo production. Thus, augmentation of HIF signaling may be an attractive therapeutic strategy for treating renal anemia by reactivating Epo synthesis in MF-REPs. Copyright © 2015 by the American Society of Nephrology.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
  • Guo-Hua Fong
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    ABSTRACT: Injury of arterial endothelium by abnormal shear stress and other insults induces migration and proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs), which in turn leads to intimal thickening, hypoxia, and vasa vasorum angiogenesis. The resultant new blood vessels extend from the tunica media into the outer intima, allowing blood-borne oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL) particles to accumulate in outer intimal tissues by extravasation through local capillaries. In response to oxLDL accumulation, monocytes infiltrate into arterial wall tissues, where they differentiate into macrophages and subsequently evolve into foam cells by uptaking large quantities of oxLDL particles, the latter process being stimulated by hypoxia. Increased oxygen demand due to expanding macrophage and foam cell populations contributes to persistent hypoxia in plaque lesions, whereas hypoxia further promotes plaque growth by stimulating angiogenesis, monocyte infiltration, and oxLDL uptake into macrophages. Molecularly, the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-1α and the expression of its target genes mediate many of the hypoxia-induced processes during plaque initiation and growth. It is hoped that further understanding of the underlying mechanisms may lead to novel therapies for effective intervention of atherosclerosis.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Current Atherosclerosis Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Erythropoietin (Epo) is produced in the kidney and liver in a hypoxia-inducible manner via the activation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs) to maintain oxygen homeostasis. Accelerating Epo production in hepatocytes is one plausible therapeutic strategy for treating anemia caused by kidney diseases. To elucidate the regulatory mechanisms of hepatic Epo production, we analyzed mouse lines harboring liver-specific deletions of genes encoding HIF-prolyl-hydroxylase isoforms (PHD1/PHD2/PHD3) that mediate the inactivation of HIF1α and HIF2α under normal oxygen conditions. The loss of all PHD isoforms results in both polycythemia, which is caused by Epo overproduction, and fatty livers. We found that deleting any combination of two PHD isoforms induces polycythemia without steatosis complications, whereas the deletion of a single isoform induces no apparent phenotype. Polycythemia is prevented by the loss of either HIF2α or the hepatocyte-specific Epo gene enhancer (EpoHE). Chromatin analyses show that the histones around EpoHE dissociate from the nucleosome structure after HIF2α activation. HIF2α also induces the expression of HIF3α, which is involved in the attenuation of Epo production. These results demonstrate that the total amount of PHD activity is more important than the specific function of each isoform for hepatic Epo expression regulated by a PHD-HIF2α-EpoHE cascade in vivo. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Molecular and Cellular Biology
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    ABSTRACT: There is an emerging focus on investigating innovative therapeutic molecules that can potentially augment neovascularization in order to treat peripheral arterial disease (PAD). Although prolyl hydroxylase domain proteins 1 and 3 (PHD1 and PHD3) may modulate angiogenesis via regulation of hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), there has been no study directly addressing their roles in ischemia-induced vascular growth. We hypothesize that PHD1(-/-) or PHD3(-/-) deficiency might promote angiogenesis in the murine hind-limb ischemia (HLI) model. Wild type (WT), PHD1(-/-) and PHD3(-/-) male mice aged 8-12weeks underwent right femoral artery ligation. Post-procedurally, motor function assessment and laser Doppler imaging were periodically performed. The mice were euthanized after 28days and muscles were harvested. Immunohistochemical analysis was performed to determine the extent of angiogenesis by measuring capillary and arteriolar density. VEGF expression was quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Bcl-2 and HIF-1α were analyzed by immunofluorescence. Fibrosis was measured by picrosirius red staining. PHD1(-/-) and PHD3(-/-) mice showed significantly improved recovery of perfusion and motor function score when compared to WT after femoral artery ligation. These mice also exhibited increased capillary and arteriolar density, capillary/myocyte ratio along with decreased fibrosis compared to WT. VEGF, Bcl-2 and HIF-1α expression increased in PHD1(-/-) and PHD3(-/-) mice compared to WT. Taken together these results suggest that PHD1 and PHD3 deletions promote angiogenesis in ischemia-injured tissue, and may present a promising therapeutic strategy in treating PAD. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Microvascular Research
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    ABSTRACT: CD13 is a multifunctional cell surface molecule that regulates inflammatory and angiogenic mechanisms in vitro, but its contribution to these processes in vivo or potential roles in stem cell biology remains unexplored. We investigated the impact of loss of CD13 on a model of ischemic skeletal muscle injury that involves angiogenesis, inflammation and stem cell mobilization. Consistent with its role as an inflammatory adhesion molecule, lack of CD13 altered myeloid trafficking in the injured muscle, resulting in cytokine profiles skewed toward a pro-healing environment. Despite this healing-favorable context, CD13(KO) animals showed significantly impaired limb perfusion with increased necrosis, fibrosis and lipid accumulation. Capillary density was correspondingly decreased, implicating CD13 in skeletal muscle angiogenesis. The number of CD45-/Sca1-/α7-integrin+/β1-integrin+ satellite cells was markedly diminished in injured CD13(KO) muscles and adhesion of isolated CD13(KO) satellite cells was impaired while their differentiation was accelerated. Bone marrow transplantation studies showed contributions from both host and donor cells to wound healing. Importantly, CD13 was co-expressed with Pax7 on isolated muscle-resident satellite cells. Finally, phosphorylated-FAK and ERK levels were reduced in injured CD13(KO) muscles, consistent with CD13 regulating satellite cell adhesion, potentially contributing to the maintenance and renewal of the satellite stem cell pool and facilitating skeletal muscle regeneration. Stem Cells 2013.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Stem Cells
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    Li-Juan Duan · Kotaro Takeda · Guo-Hua Fong
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    ABSTRACT: Prolyl hydroxylase domain (PHD) proteins catalyze oxygen-dependent prolyl hydroxylation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α, tagging them for pVHL-dependent polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. In this study, albumin Cre (Alb(Cre))-mediated, hepatocyte-specific triple disruption of Phd1, Phd2, and Phd3 (Phd(1/2/3)hKO) promoted liver erythropoietin (EPO) expression 1246-fold, whereas renal EPO was down-regulated to 6.7% of normal levels. In Phd(1/2/3)hKO mice, hematocrit levels reached 82.4%, accompanied by severe vascular malformation and steatosis in the liver. In mice double-deficient for hepatic PHD2 and PHD3 (Phd(2/3)hKO), liver EPO increase and renal EPO loss both occurred but were much less dramatic than in Phd(1/2/3)hKO mice. Hematocrit levels, vascular organization, and liver lipid contents all appeared normal in Phd(2/3)hKO mice. In a chronic renal failure model, Phd(2/3)hKO mice maintained normal hematocrit levels throughout the 8-week time course, whereas floxed controls developed severe anemia. Maintenance of normal hematocrit levels in Phd(2/3)hKO mice was accomplished by sensitized induction of liver EPO expression. Consistent with such a mechanism, liver HIF-2α accumulated to higher levels in Phd(2/3)hKO mice in response to conditions causing modest systemic hypoxia. Besides promoting erythropoiesis, EPO is also known to modulate retinal vascular integrity and neovascularization. In Phd(1/2/3)hKO mice, however, neonatal retinas remained sensitive to oxygen-induced retinopathy, suggesting that local EPO may be more important than hepatic and/or renal EPO in mediating protective effects in the retina.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · American Journal Of Pathology
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    Li-Juan Duan · Kotaro Takeda · Guo-Hua Fong
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    ABSTRACT: Here we investigate the role of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF)-2α in coordinating the development of retinal astrocytic and vascular networks. Three Cre mouse lines were used to disrupt floxed Hif-2α, including Rosa26(CreERT2), Tie2(Cre), and GFAP(Cre). Global Hif-2α disruption by Rosa26(CreERT2) led to reduced astrocytic and vascular development in neonatal retinas, whereas endothelial disruption by Tie2(Cre) had no apparent effects. Hif-2α deletion in astrocyte progenitors by GFAP(Cre) significantly interfered with the development of astrocytic networks, which failed to reach the retinal periphery and were incapable of supporting vascular development. Perplexingly, the abundance of strongly GFAP(+) mature astrocytes transiently increased at P0 before they began to lag behind the normal controls by P3. Pax2(+) and PDGFRα(+) astrocytic progenitors and immature astrocytes were dramatically diminished at all stages examined. Despite decreased number of astrocyte progenitors, their proliferation index or apoptosis was not altered. The above data can be reconciled by proposing that HIF-2α is required for maintaining the supply of astrocyte progenitors by slowing down their differentiation into non-proliferative mature astrocytes. HIF-2α deficiency in astrocyte progenitors may accelerate their differentiation into astrocytes, a change which greatly interferes with the replenishment of astrocyte progenitors due to insufficient time for proliferation. Rapidly declining progenitor supply may lead to premature cessation of astrocyte development. Given that HIF-2α protein undergoes oxygen dependent degradation, an interesting possibility is that retinal blood vessels may regulate astrocyte differentiation through their oxygen delivery function. While our findings support the consensus that retinal astrocytic template guides vascular development, they also raise the possibility that astrocytic and vascular networks may mutually regulate each other's development, mediated at least in part by HIF-2α.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    Kotaro Takeda · Li-Juan Duan · Hiromi Takeda · Guo-Hua Fong
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    ABSTRACT: Deficiencies in prolyl hydroxylase domain proteins (PHDs) may lead to the accumulation of hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF)-α proteins, the latter of which activate local angiogenic responses by paracrine mechanisms. Here, we investigate whether a keratinocyte-specific PHD deficiency may promote vascular survival and growth in a distantly located ischemic tissue by a remote signaling mechanism. We generated mice that carry a keratinocyte-specific Phd2 knockout (kPhd2KO) and performed femoral artery ligation. Relative to wild-type controls, kPhd2KO mice displayed improved vascular survival and arteriogenesis in ischemic hind limbs, leading to the accelerated recovery of hindlimb perfusion and superior muscle regeneration. Similar protective effects were also seen in type 1 and type 2 diabetic mice. Molecularly, both abundance of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α protein and expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A were increased in epidermal tissues of kPhd2KO mice, accompanied by increased plasma concentration of vascular endothelial growth factor-A. Contrary to kPhd2KO mice, which are PHD2 deficient in all skin tissues, localized kPhd2KO in hindlimb skin tissues did not have similar effects, excluding paracrine signaling as a major mechanism. Confirming the existence of remote effects, hepatocyte-specific Phd2 knockout also protected hind limbs from ischemia injury. These data indicate that vascular survival and growth in ischemia-injured tissue may be stimulated by suppressing PHD2 in a remotely located tissue and may provide highly effective angiogenesis therapies without the need for directly accessing target tissues.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · American Journal Of Pathology
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    ABSTRACT: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent, tissue-resident cells that can facilitate tissue regeneration and thus show great promise as potential therapeutic agents. Functional MSCs have been isolated and characterized from a wide array of adult tissues and are universally identified by the shared expression of a core panel of MSCs markers. One of these markers is the multifunctional cell surface peptidase CD13 that has been shown to be expressed on human and murine MSCs from many tissues. To investigate whether this universal expression indicates a functional role for CD13 in MSC biology we isolated, expanded and characterized MSCs from bone marrow of wild type (WT) and CD13KO mice. Characterization of these cells demonstrated that both WT and CD13KO MSCs expressed the full complement of MSC markers (CD29, CD44, CD49e, CD105, Sca1), showed comparable proliferation rates and were capable of differentiating toward the adipogenic and osteogenic lineages. However, MSCs lacking CD13 were unable to differentiate into vascular cells, consistent with our previous characterization of CD13 as an angiogenic regulator. Compared to WT MSCs, adhesion and migration on various extracellular matrices of CD13KO MSCs were significantly impaired, which correlated with decreased phospho-FAK levels and cytoskeletal alterations. Crosslinking human MSCs with activating CD13 antibodies increased cell adhesion to endothelial monolayers and induced FAK activation in a time dependent manner. In agreement with these in vitro data, intramuscular injection of CD13KO MSCs in a model of severe ischemic limb injury resulted in significantly poorer perfusion, decreased ambulation, increased necrosis and impaired vascularization compared to those receiving WT MSCs. This study suggests that CD13 regulates FAK activation to promote MSC adhesion and migration, thus contributing to MSC-mediated tissue repair. CD13 may present a viable target to enhance the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell therapies.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Frontiers in Physiology
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    ABSTRACT: Hypoxia promotes angiogenesis, proliferation, invasion and metastasis of pancreatic cancer. Essentially all studies of the hypoxia pathway in pancreatic cancer research to date have focused on fully malignant tumors or cancer cell lines, but the potential role of HIFs in the progression of pre-malignant lesions has not been critically examined. Here, we show that HIF2α is expressed early in pancreatic lesions both in human and in a mouse model of pancreatic cancer. HIF2α is a potent oncogenic stimulus but its role in Kras-induced pancreatic neoplasia has not been discerned. We used the Ptf1aCre transgene to activate KrasG12D and delete Hif2α solely within the pancreas. Surprisingly, loss of Hif2α in this model led to not reduced but rather markedly higher number of mPanIN lesions. These low-grade mPanIN lesions, however, failed to progress to high-grade mPanINs, associated with exclusive loss of β-catenin and SMAD4. The concomitant loss of HIF2α as well as β-catenin and Smad4 was further confirmed in vitro, whereby silencing of Hif2α resulted in reduced β-catenin and Smad4 transcription. Thus, with oncogenic Ras expressed in the pancreas, HIF2α modulates Wnt-signaling during mPanIN progression, by maintaining appropriate levels of both Smad4 and β-catenin.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Cancer Research
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Recent studies suggest that the oxygen-sensing pathway consisting of transcription factor hypoxia-inducible factor and prolyl hydroxylase domain proteins (PHDs) plays a critical role in glucose metabolism. However, the role of adipocyte PHD in the development of obesity has not been clarified. We examined whether deletion of PHD2, the main oxygen sensor, in adipocytes affects diet-induced obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities. Methods and results: To delete PHD2 in adipocyte, PHD2-floxed mice were crossed with aP2-Cre transgenic mice (Phd2(f/f)/aP2-Cre). Phd2(f/f)/aP2-Cre mice were resistant to high-fat diet-induced obesity (36.7±1.7 versus 44.3±2.0 g in control; P<0.01) and showed better glucose tolerance and homeostasis model assessment-insulin resistance index than control mice (3.6±1.0 versus 11.1±2.1; P<0.01). The weight of white adipose tissue was lighter (epididymal fat, 758±35 versus 1208±507 mg in control; P<0.01) with a reduction in adipocyte size. Macrophage infiltration into white adipose tissue was also alleviated in Phd2(f/f)/aP2-Cre mice. Target genes of hypoxia-inducible factor, including glycolytic enzymes and adiponectin, were upregulated in adipocytes of Phd2(f/f)/aP2-Cre mice. Lipid content was decreased and uncoupling protein-1 expression was increased in brown adipose tissue of Phd2(f/f)/aP2-Cre mice. Knockdown of PHD2 in 3T3L1 adipocytes induced a decrease in the glucose level and an increase in the lactate level in the supernatant with upregulation of glycolytic enzymes and reduced lipid accumulation. Conclusions: PHD2 in adipose tissue plays a critical role in the development of diet-induced obesity and glucose intolerance. PHD2 might be a novel target molecule for the treatment of obesity and associated metabolic abnormalities.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2013 · Circulation
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    ABSTRACT: Hypertension induces cardiovascular hypertrophy and fibrosis. Infiltrated macrophages are critically involved in this process. We recently reported that inhibition of prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2 (PHD2), which hydroxylates the proline residues of hypoxia-inducible factor-α (HIF-α) and thereby induces HIF-α degradation, suppressed inflammatory responses in macrophages. We examined whether myeloid-specific Phd2 deletion affects hypertension-induced cardiovascular remodeling. Myeloid-specific PHD2-deficient mice (MyPHD2KO) were generated by crossing Phd2-floxed mice with LysM-Cre transgenic mice, resulting in the accumulation of HIF-1α and HIF-2α in macrophage. Eight- to ten-week-old mice were given N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, and Angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion. L-NAME/Ang II comparably increased systolic blood pressure in control and MyPHD2KO mice. However, MyPHD2KO mice showed less aortic medial and adventitial thickening, and macrophage infiltration. Cardiac interstitial fibrosis and myocyte hypertrophy were also significantly ameliorated in MyPHD2KO mice. Transforming growth factor-β and collagen expression were decreased in the aorta and heart from MyPHD2KO mice. Echocardiographic analysis showed that left ventricular hypertrophy and reduced ejection fraction induced by L-NAME/Ang II treatment in control mice were not observed in MyPHD2KO mice. Administration of digoxin that inhibits HIF-α synthesis to L-NAME/Ang II-treated MyPHD2KO mice reversed these beneficial features. Phd2 deletion in myeloid lineage attenuates hypertensive cardiovascular hypertrophy and fibrosis, which may be mediated by decreased inflammation- and fibrosis-associated gene expression in macrophages. PHD2 in myeloid lineage plays a critical role in hypertensive cardiovascular remodeling.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Journal of the American Heart Association
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: NADPH oxidase (Nox) 2 and Nox4 are major components of the Nox family which purposefully produce reactive oxidative species, namely O2(-) and H2O2, in the heart. The isoform-specific contribution of Nox2 and Nox4 to ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury is poorly understood. Objective: We investigated the role of Nox2 and Nox4 in mediating oxidative stress and myocardial injury during I/R using loss-of-function mouse models. Methods and results: Systemic (s) Nox2 knockout (KO), sNox4 KO, and cardiac-specific (c) Nox4 KO mice were subjected to I/R (30 minutes/24 hours, respectively). Both myocardial infarct size/area at risk and O2(-) production were lower in sNox2 KO, sNox4 KO, and cNox4 KO than in wild-type mice. Unexpectedly, however, the myocardial infarct size/area at risk was greater, despite less O2(-) production, in sNox2 KO+cNox4 KO (double-KO) mice and transgenic mice (Tg) with cardiac-specific expression of dominant-negative Nox, which suppresses both Nox2 and Nox4, than in wild-type or single KO mice. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α was downregulated whereas peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α was upregulated in Tg-dominant-negative Nox mice. A cross with mice deficient in prolyl hydroxylase 2, which hydroxylates hypoxia-inducible factor-1α, rescued the I/R injury and prevented upregulation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α in Tg-dominant-negative Nox mice. A cross with peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α KO mice also attenuated the injury in Tg- dominant-negative Nox mice. Conclusions: Both Nox2 and Nox4 contribute to the increase in reactive oxidative species and injury by I/R. However, low levels of reactive oxidative species produced by either Nox2 or Nox4 regulate hypoxia-inducible factor-1α and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-α, thereby protecting the heart against I/R, suggesting that Noxs also act as a physiological sensor for myocardial adaptation.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2013 · Circulation Research
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    ABSTRACT: Erythropoiesis must be tightly balanced in order to guarantee adequate oxygen delivery to all tissues in the body. This process relies predominantly on the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) and its transcription factor hypoxia inducible factor (HIF). Accumulating evidence suggests that oxygen-sensitive prolyl hydroxylases (PHDs) are important regulators of this entire system. Here, we describe a novel mouse line with conditional PHD2 inactivation (cKO P2) in renal EPO producing cells, neurons and astrocytes that displayed excessive erythrocytosis due to severe over-production of EPO, exclusively driven by HIF-2α. In contrast, HIF-1α served as a protective factor, ensuring survival of cKO P2 mice with hematocrit values up to 86%. Using different genetic approaches, we show that simultaneous inactivation of PHD2 and HIF-1α resulted in a drastic PHD3 reduction with consequent overexpression of HIF-2α-related genes, neurodegeneration and lethality. Taken together, our results demonstrate for the first time that conditional loss of PHD2 in mice leads to HIF-2α-dependent erythrocytosis, whereas HIF-1α protects these mice, providing a platform for developing new treatments of EPO-related disorders like anemia.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Blood
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant growth of blood vessels in the eye forms the basis of many incapacitating diseases and currently the majority of patients respond to anti-angiogenic therapies based on blocking the principal angiogenic growth factor, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). While highly successful, new therapeutic targets are critical for the increasing number of individuals susceptible to retina-related pathologies in our increasingly aging population. Prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is a cell surface peptidase that is absent on normal tissue vasculature but is highly expressed on the neovasculature of most solid tumors, where we have previously shown to regulate angiogenic endothelial cell invasion. Because pathologic angiogenic responses are often triggered by distinct signals, we sought to determine if PSMA also contributes to the pathologic angiogenesis provoked by hypoxia of the retina, which underlies many debilitating retinopathies. Using a mouse model of oxygen-induced retinopathy, we found that while developmental angiogenesis is normal in PSMA null mice, hypoxic challenge resulted in decreased retinal vascular pathology when compared to wild type mice as assessed by avascular area and numbers of vascular tufts/glomeruli. The vessels formed in the PSMA null mice were more organized and highly perfused, suggesting a more 'normal' phenotype. Importantly, the decrease in angiogenesis was not due to an impaired hypoxic response as levels of pro-angiogenic factors are comparable; indicating that PSMA regulation of angiogenesis is independent of VEGF. Furthermore, both systemic and intravitreal administration of a PSMA inhibitor in wild type mice undergoing OIR mimicked the PSMA null phenotype resulting in improved retinal vasculature. Our data indicate that PSMA plays a VEGF-independent role in retinal angiogenesis and that the lack of or inhibition of PSMA may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for treatment of angiogenesis-based ocular diseases.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1/Flt-1) is a potential therapeutic target for cardiovascular diseases, but its role in angiogenesis remains controversial. Whereas germline Vegfr-1(-/-) embryos die of abnormal vascular development in association with excessive endothelial differentiation, mice lacking only the kinase domain appear healthy. We performed Cre-loxP-mediated knockout to abrogate the expression of all known VEGFR-1 functional domains in neonatal and adult mice and analyzed developmental, pathophysiological, and molecular consequences. VEGFR-1 deficiency promoted tip cell formation and endothelial cell proliferation and facilitated angiogenesis of blood vessels that matured and perfused properly. Vascular permeability was normal at the basal level but elevated in response to high doses of exogenous VEGF-A. In the postinfarct ischemic cardiomyopathy model, VEGFR-1 deficiency supported robust angiogenesis and protected against myocardial infarction. VEGFR-1 knockout led to abundant accumulation of VEGFR-2 at the protein level, increased VEGFR-2 tyrosine phosphorylation transiently, and enhanced serine phosphorylation of Akt and ERK. Interestingly, increased angiogenesis, tip cell formation, vascular permeability, VEGFR-2 accumulation, and Akt phosphorylation could be partially rescued or suppressed by one or more of the following manipulations, including injection of the VEGFR-2 selective inhibitor SU1498, anti-VEGF-A, or introduction of Vegfr-2(+/-) heterozygosity into Vegfr-1 somatic knockout mice. Upregulation of VEGFR-2 abundance at the protein level contributes in part to increased angiogenesis in VEGFR-1-deficient mice.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2012 · Circulation

  • No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of the American College of Surgeons
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    Li-Juan Duan · Kotaro Takeda · Guo-Hua Fong
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    ABSTRACT: Retinopathy of prematurity is a major side effect of oxygen therapy for preterm infants, and is a leading cause of blindness in children. To date, it remains unclear whether the initial microvascular obliteration is triggered by degradation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) α proteins or by other mechanisms such as oxidative stress. Here we show that prolyl hydroxylase domain protein 2 (PHD2), an enzyme mostly responsible for oxygen-induced degradation of HIF-α proteins, plays a major role in oxygen-induced retinopathy in mice. In neonatal mice expressing normal amounts of PHD2, exposure to 75% oxygen caused significant degradation of retinal HIF-α proteins, accompanied by massive losses of retinal microvessels. PHD2 deficiency significantly stabilized HIF-1α, and to some extent HIF-2α, in neonatal retinal tissues, and protected retinal microvessels from oxygen-induced obliteration. After hyperoxia-treated neonatal mice were returned to ambient room air, retinal vasculature in PHD2-deficient mice remained mostly intact and showed very little neoangiogenesis. These findings demonstrate a close association between PHD2-dependent HIF-α degradation and oxygen-induced retinal microvascular obliteration, and imply that PHD2 may be a promising therapeutic target to prevent oxygen-induced retinopathy.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2011 · American Journal Of Pathology

Publication Stats

1k Citations
270.82 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008-2015
    • University of Connecticut
      Сторс, Connecticut, United States
  • 2006
    • Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada