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J Biol Chem. 2001 Feb 16;276(7):5281-6. Epub 2000 Oct 31.

Vascular endothelial growth factor KDR receptor signaling potentiates tumor necrosis factor-induced tissue factor expression in endothelial cells.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacokinetics and Metabolism, Genentech, Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) have been shown to synergistically increase tissue factor (TF) expression in endothelial cells; however, the role of the VEGF receptors (KDR, Flt-1, and neuropilin) in this process is unclear. Here we report that VEGF binding to the KDR receptor is necessary and sufficient for the potentiation of TNF-induced TF expression in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. TF expression was evaluated by Western blot analysis and fluorescence-activated cell sorting. In the absence of TNF-alpha, wild-type VEGF- or KDR receptor-selective variants induced an approximate 7-fold increase in total TF expression. Treatment with TNF alone produced an approximate 110-fold increase in total TF expression, whereas coincubation of TNF-alpha with wild-type VEGF- or KDR-selective variants resulted in an approximate 250-fold increase in TF expression. VEGF lacking the heparin binding domain was also able to potentiate TF expression, indicating that heparin-sulfate proteoglycan or neuropilin binding is not required for TF up-regulation. Neither placental growth factor nor an Flt-1-selective variant was capable of inducing TF expression in the presence or absence of TNF. Inhibition of protein-tyrosine kinase or protein kinase C activity significantly blocked the TNF/VEGF potentiation of TF up-regulation, whereas phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a protein kinase C activator, increased TF expression. These data demonstrate that KDR receptor signaling governs both VEGF-induced TF expression and the potentiation of TNF-induced up-regulation of TF.

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