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Biochem J. 2010 Mar 15;427(1):29-40. doi: 10.1042/BJ20091512.

Neuropilin-1 regulates platelet-derived growth factor receptor signalling in mesenchymal stem cells.

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  • 1Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell-Matrix Research, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester M139PT, U.K.


Using human MSCs (mesenchymal stem cells) lacking VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) receptors, we show that the pro-angiogenic receptor neuropilin-1 associates with phosphorylated PDGFRs [PDGF (platelet-derived growth factor) receptors], thereby regulating cell signalling, migration, proliferation and network assembly. Neuropilin-1 co-immunoprecipitated and co-localized with phosphorylated PDGFRs in the presence of growth factors. Neuropilin-1 knockdown blocked PDGF-AA-induced PDGFRalpha phosphorylation and migration, reduced PDGF-BB-induced PDGFRbeta activation and migration, blocked VEGF-A activation of both PDGFRs, and attenuated proliferation. Neuropilin-1 prominently co-localized with both PDGFRs within MSC networks assembled in Matrigel and in the chorioallantoic membrane vasculature microenvironment, and its knockdown grossly disrupted network assembly and decreased PDGFR signalling. Thus neuropilin-1 regulates MSCs by forming ligand-specific receptor complexes that direct PDGFR signalling, especially the PDGFRalpha homodimer. This receptor cross-talk may control the mobilization of MSCs in neovascularization and tissue remodelling.

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