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Am J Pathol. 2000 Mar;156(3):911-23.

Endoglin expression is reduced in normal vessels but still detectable in arteriovenous malformations of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1.

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Blood and Cancer Research Program, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Endoglin is predominantly expressed on endothelium and is mutated in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) type 1 (HHT1). We report the analysis of endoglin in tissues of a newborn (family 2), who died of a cerebral arteriovenous malformation (CAVM), and in a lung specimen surgically resected from a 78-year-old patient (family 5), with a pulmonary AVM (PAVM). The clinically affected father of the newborn revealed a novel mutation that was absent in his parents and was identified as a duplication of exons 3 to 8, by quantitative multiplex polymerase chain reaction. The corresponding mutant protein (116-kd monomer) and the missense mutant protein (80-kd monomer) present in family 5 were detected only as transient intracellular species and were unreactive by Western blot analysis and immunostaining. Normal endoglin (90-kd monomer) was reduced by 50% on peripheral blood-activated monocytes of the HHT1 patients. When analyzed by immunostaining and densitometry, presumed normal blood vessels of the newborn lung and brain and vessels adjacent to the adult PAVM showed a 50% reduction in the endoglin/PECAM-1 ratio. A similar ratio was observed in the CAVM and PAVM, suggesting that all blood vessels of HHT1 patients express reduced endoglin in situ and that AVMs are not attributed to a focal loss of endoglin.

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