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Biochem Pharmacol. 2000 Oct 15;60(8):1171-8.

Signaling angiogenesis via p42/p44 MAP kinase and hypoxia.

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Institute of Signaling, Developmental Biology, and Cancer Research, CNRS UMR 6543, Centre Antoine Lacassagne, 06189 Nice, France.


Angiogenesis is associated with a number of pathological situations. In this study, we have focused our attention on the role of p42/p44 MAP (mitogen-activated protein) kinases and hypoxia in the control of angiogenesis. We demonstrate that p42/p44 MAP kinases play a pivotal role in angiogenesis by exerting a determinant action at three levels: i) persistent activation of p42/p44 MAP kinases abrogates apoptosis; ii) p42/p44 MAP kinase activity is critical for controlling proliferation and growth arrest of confluent endothelial cells; and iii) p42/p44 MAP kinases promote VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor) expression by activating its transcription via recruitment of the AP-2/Sp1 (activator protein-2) complex on the proximal region (-88/-66) of the VEGF promoter and by direct phosphorylation of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha). HIF-1 alpha plays a crucial role in the control of HIF-1 activity, which mediates hypoxia-induced VEGF expression. We show that oxygen-regulated HIF-1 alpha protein levels are not affected by intracellular localization (nucleus versus cytoplasm). Finally, we propose a model which suggests an autoregulatory feedback mechanism controlling HIF-1 alpha and therefore HIF-1-dependent gene expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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