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      Simultaneous in vivo Quantitation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor mRNA Splice Variants

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          Abstract

          Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important regulator of angiogenesis. In vivo expression of four different VEGF isoforms, consisting of 121, 165, 189 or 206 amino acids, has been found in the human organism, with all isoforms arising from a single gene by alternative mRNA splicing. We developed an assay for simultaneous quantitation of VEGF isoform expression using competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RNA was isolated from cells, reverse transcribed to cDNA and coamplified with a synthetical competitor DNA using VEGF specific primers. Amplification products were analyzed electrophoretically and concentration of VEGF transcripts calculated. Concentration of housekeeping gene glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) transcripts was quantitated as above, VEGF gene activity is presented as ratio VEGF mRNA to GAPDH mRNA. Using this assay, we were able to detect and quantitate in vivo expression of VEGF121, VEGF165 and VEGF189 by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). These are the first quantitative data of in vivo VEGF expression by PBMC, suggesting a role for them in the maintenance of the vasculature.

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          Most cited references 4

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          Vascular permeability factor: a tumor-derived polypeptide that induces endothelial cell and monocyte procoagulant activity, and promotes monocyte migration

           J Brett,  F Wang,  M Clauss (1990)
          Systemic infusion of low concentrations of tumor necrosis factor/cachectin (TNF) into mice that bear TNF-sensitive tumors leads to activation of coagulation, fibrin formation, and occlusive thrombosis exclusively within the tumor vascular bed. To identify mechanisms underlying the localization of this vascular procoagulant response, a tumor-derived polypeptide has been purified to homogeneity from supernatants of murine methylcholanthrene A-induced fibrosarcomas that induces endothelial tissue factor synthesis and expression (half- maximal response at approximately 300 pM), and augments the procoagulant response to TNF in a synergistic fashion. This tumor- derived polypeptide was identified as the murine homologue of vascular permeability factor (VPF) based on similar mobility on SDS-PAGE, an homologous NH2-terminal amino acid sequence, and recognition by a monospecific antibody to guinea pig VPF. In addition, VPF was shown to induce monocyte activation, as evidenced by expression of tissue factor. Finally, VPF was shown to induce monocyte chemotaxis across collagen membranes and endothelial cell monolayers. Taken together, these results indicate that VPF can modulate the coagulant properties of endothelium and monocytes, and can promote monocyte migration into the tumor bed. This suggests one mechanism through which tumor-derived mediators can alter properties of the vessel wall.
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            Post-transcriptional regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor by hypoxia.

            The major control point for the hypoxic induction of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene is the regulation of the steady-state level of the mRNA. We previously demonstrated a discrepancy between the transcription rate and the steady-state mRNA level induced by hypoxia. This led us to examine the post-transcriptional regulation of VEGF expression. Actinomycin D experiments revealed that hypoxia increased VEGF mRNA half-life from 43 +/- 6 min to 106 +/- 9 min. Using an in vitro mRNA degradation assay, the half-life of VEGF mRNA 3'-untranslated region (UTR) transcripts were also found to be increased when incubated with hypoxic versus normoxic extracts. Both cis-regulatory elements involved in VEGF mRNA degradation under normoxic conditions and in increased stabilization under hypoxic conditions were mapped using this degradation assay. A hypoxia-induced protein(s) was found that bound to the sequences in the VEGF 3'-UTR which mediated increased stability in the degradation assay. Furthermore, genistein, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, blocked the hypoxia-induced stabilization of VEGF 3'-UTR transcripts and inhibited hypoxia-induced protein binding to the VEGF 3'-UTR. These findings demonstrate a significant post-transcriptional component to the regulation of VEGF.
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              VEGF145, a secreted vascular endothelial growth factor isoform that binds to extracellular matrix.

              A vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) mRNA species containing exons 1-6 and 8 of the VEGF gene was found to be expressed as a major VEGF mRNA form in several cell lines derived from carcinomas of the female reproductive system. This mRNA is predicted to encode a VEGF form of 145 amino acids (VEGF145). Recombinant VEGF145 induced the proliferation of vascular endothelial cells and promoted angiogenesis in vivo. VEGF145 was compared with previously characterized VEGF species with respect to interaction with heparin-like molecules, cellular distribution, VEGF receptor recognition, and extracellular matrix (ECM) binding ability. VEGF145 shares with VEGF165 the ability to bind to the KDR/flk-1 receptor of endothelial cells. It also binds to heparin with an affinity similar to that of VEGF165. However, VEGF145 does not bind to two additional endothelial cell surface receptors that are recognized by VEGF165 but not by VEGF121. VEGF145 is secreted from producing cells as are VEGF121 and VEGF165. However, VEGF121 and VEGF165 do not bind to the ECM produced by corneal endothelial cells, whereas VEGF145 binds efficiently to this ECM. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF)-depleted ECM containing bound VEGF145 induces proliferation of endothelial cells, indicating that the bound VEGF145 is active. The mechanism by which VEGF145 binds to the ECM differs from that of bFGF. Digestion of the ECM by heparinase inhibited the binding of bFGF to the ECM and released prebound bFGF, whereas the binding of VEGF145 was not affected by heparinase digestion. It therefore seems that VEGF145 possesses a unique combination of biological properties distinct from those of previously characterized VEGF species.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                JVR
                J Vasc Res
                10.1159/issn.1018-1172
                Journal of Vascular Research
                S. Karger AG
                1018-1172
                1423-0135
                1999
                April 1999
                22 April 1999
                : 36
                : 2
                : 133-138
                Affiliations
                Klinische Abteilung für Angiologie, Medizinische Universitätsklinik Graz, Österreich
                Article
                25636 J Vasc Res 1999;36:133–138
                10.1159/000025636
                10213909
                © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

                Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 2, References: 26, Pages: 6
                Categories
                Research Paper

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