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      Two functional forms of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2/Flk-1 mRNA are expressed in normal rat retina.

      The Journal of Biological Chemistry

      Polymerase Chain Reaction, Animals, Calcium, metabolism, Cloning, Molecular, DNA, Complementary, chemistry, Humans, In Situ Hybridization, Mice, Molecular Sequence Data, Amino Acid Sequence, RNA, Messenger, Rats, Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, genetics, Receptors, Growth Factor, Receptors, Mitogen, Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, Retina, Sequence Alignment

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          Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is an important mediator of ocular neovascularization by exerting its endothelial specific mitogenic effects through high affinity tyrosine kinase receptors. By screening a rat retina cDNA library, we have isolated a clone encoding the full-length prototypic form of the rat VEGF receptor-2/Flk-1, as well as a short form of the mRNA that encodes the complete seven N-terminal immunoglobulin-like extracellular ligand-binding domains, transmembrane region, NH2-terminal half of the intracellular kinase domain, and kinase insert domain but does not encode the COOH-terminal half of the intracellular kinase domain and carboxyl-terminal region. Both forms of mRNA are detected in rat retina, although the short form is expressed at a lower level. VEGF induced a biphasic increase of cytoplasmic calcium with both forms in HK 293 transfected cells, indicating that both forms of the VEGF receptor-2/Flk-1 are functional and that the COOH-terminal half of the intracellular kinase domain and carboxyl region of VEGF receptor-2/Flk-1 are not strictly necessary for either ligand binding or this biological activity.

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