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Circ Res. 2000 Jan 7-21;86(1):24-9.

Angiopoietin-1 regulates endothelial cell survival through the phosphatidylinositol 3'-Kinase/Akt signal transduction pathway.

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  • 1National Creative Research Initiatives Center for Cardiac Regeneration and Institute of Cardiovascular Research, Woosuk University, Chonju, Korea.


Angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) is a strong apoptosis survival factor for endothelial cells. In this study, the receptor/second messenger signal transduction pathway for the antiapoptotic effect of Ang1 on human umbilical vein endothelial cells was examined. Pretreatment with soluble Tie2 receptor, but not Tie1 receptor, blocked the Ang1-induced antiapoptotic effect. Ang1 induced phosphorylation of Tie2 and the p85 subunit of phosphatidylinositol 3'-kinase (PI 3'-kinase) and increased PI 3'-kinase activity in a dose-dependent manner. The PI 3'-kinase-specific inhibitors wortmannin and LY294002 blocked the Ang1-induced antiapoptotic effect. Ang1 induced phosphorylation of the serine-threonine kinase Akt at Ser473 in a PI 3'-kinase-dependent manner. Expression of a dominant-negative form of Akt reversed the Ang1-induced antiapoptotic effect. Ang1 mRNA and protein were present in vascular smooth muscle cells but not in endothelial cells. Cultured vascular smooth muscle cells, but not human umbilical vein endothelial cells, secreted Ang1. These findings indicate that the Tie2 receptor, PI 3'-kinase, and Akt are crucial elements in the signal transduction pathway leading to endothelial cell survival induced by the paracrine activity of Ang1.

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