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FASEB J. 2006 Jul;20(9):1462-72.

Functional interaction of VEGF-C and VEGF-D with neuropilin receptors.

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Molecular/Cancer Biology Laboratory and Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Biomedicum Helsinki, P.O.B. 63, FI-00014 University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


Lymphatic vascular development is regulated by vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-3 (VEGFR-3), which is activated by its ligands VEGF-C and VEGF-D. Neuropilin-2 (NP2), known to be involved in neuronal development, has also been implicated to play a role in lymphangiogenesis. We aimed to elucidate the mechanism by which NP2 is involved in lymphatic endothelial cell signaling. By in vitro binding studies we found that both VEGF-C and VEGF-D interact with NP2, VEGF-C in a heparin-independent and VEGF-D in a heparin-dependent manner. We also mapped the domains of VEGF-C and NP2 required for their binding. The functional importance of the interaction of NP2 with the lymphangiogenic growth factors was demonstrated by cointernalization of NP2 along with VEGFR-3 in endocytic vesicles of lymphatic endothelial cells upon stimulation with VEGF-C or VEGF-D. NP2 also interacted with VEGFR-3 in coprecipitation studies. Our results show that NP2 is directly involved in an active signaling complex with the key regulators of lymphangiogenesis and thus suggest a mechanism by which NP2 functions in the development of the lymphatic vasculature.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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