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J Biol Chem. 2004 Nov 26;279(48):50537-54. Epub 2004 Sep 23.

Vascular endothelial growth factor- and thrombin-induced termination factor, Down syndrome critical region-1, attenuates endothelial cell proliferation and angiogenesis.

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The Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, the University of Tokyo, Tokyo 153-8904, Japan.


Activation and dysfunction of the endothelium underlie many vascular disorders including atherosclerosis, tumor growth, and inflammation. Endothelial cell activation is mediated by many different extra-cellular signals, which result in overlapping yet distinct patterns of gene expression. Here we show, in DNA microarray analyses, that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and thrombin result in dramatic and rapid upregulation of Down syndrome critical region (DSCR)-1 gene encoding exons 4-7, a negative feedback regulator of calcium-calcineurin-NF-AT signaling. VEGF- and thrombin-mediated induction of DSCR-1 involves the cooperative binding of NF-ATc and GATA-2/3 to neighboring consensus motifs in the upstream promoter. Constitutive expression of DSCR-1 in endothelial cells markedly impaired NF-ATc nuclear localization, proliferation, and tube formation. Under in vivo conditions, overexpression of DSCR-1 reduced vascular density in matrigel plugs and melanoma tumor growth in mice. Taken together, these findings support a model in which VEGF- and thrombin-mediated induction of endothelial cell proliferation triggers a negative feedback loop consisting of DSCR-1 gene induction and secondary inhibition of NF-AT signaling. As a natural brake in the angiogenic process, this negative pathway may lend itself to therapeutic manipulation in pathological states.

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