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Angiogenesis. 2001;4(4):277-88.

Effect of glycation on basic fibroblast growth factor induced angiogenesis and activation of associated signal transduction pathways in vascular endothelial cells: possible relevance to wound healing in diabetes.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St, Manchester M1 5GD, UK.


Ineffectual wound healing in hyperglycaemic patients suffering from diabetes mellitus is characterised by a reduction in capillary reformation (angiogenesis). Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) is secreted by fibroblasts, macrophages and in particular endothelial cells (EC) in response to tissue injury and is important in promotion of neovascularisation. Recently, glycation of FGF-2 has been shown to significantly reduce its activity in vitro. We have examined the kinetics of FGF-2 glycation and compared its ability with that of native FGF-2 to activate mitogenesis, capillary formation and associated signal transduction in bovine aortic EC (BAEC). FGF-2 was exposed to 0.25 M glucose-6-phosphate (G-6-P) for 24-72 h and the degree of glycation determined by matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation mass spectrometry. Native FGF-2 was heterogeneous with Mw in the range 15,153.6-17,903 Da. After 24 h incubation with G-6-P there was evidence of glycation, and the mass increase corresponded to addition of 2.7 mol of G-6-P residues; after 48 h, 4 mol sugar was added and this increased to 8.7 after 72 h. Dimerisation of FGF-2 was observed after 72 h of treatment. Induction of mitogenesis in BAEC was significantly reduced by 25%-40% after treatment for 48-96 h with glycated (24 h) FGF-2 (gFGF-2; 100 pg/ml-5 ng/ml; P < 0.05), whilst capillary tubule formation was significantly reduced by between 60% and 90% (100 pg/ml-1 ng/ml; P < 0.05) after 5 days compared to native FGF-2. Subsequent investigation of the signal transduction molecules associated with mitogenesis showed a reduction in FGF-2 induced tyrosine phosphorylated proteins of approximate Mw 20-150 kDa between 10 min and 24 h, in particular, mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK)/early response kinase (ERK-1, ERK-2), after glycation. To determine the reason for reduced angiogenic activity of gFGF-2, we compared its binding characteristics to that of native FGF-2. Total binding of gFGF-2 to the cell surface was significantly reduced in BAEC analysed by FACS compared to native FGF-2 (P < 0.05). Further investigation using 125I-labelled differentially washed samples, demonstrated a significant reduction in gFGF-2 binding to the high affinity tyrosine kinase receptor (46%) compared to native FGF-2. In summary, glycation of FGF-2 in vitro occurs rapidly within 24 h in the presence of elevated levels of G-6-P. Glycation caused a significant reduction in the ability of FGF-2 to bind to the tyrosine kinase receptor and activate signal transduction pathways responsible for both mitogenesis and capillary formation in BAEC. These results could help to explain the mechanism behind impaired wound healing in patients with diabetes mellitus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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