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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2006 Oct 6;348(4):1288-95. Epub 2006 Aug 7.

PEDF induces apoptosis in human endothelial cells by activating p38 MAP kinase dependent cleavage of multiple caspases.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University School of Medicine, 330 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.


We examined how pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF), an effective endogenous antiangiogenic protein, decreases survival of primary cultures of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) in a low serum environment supplemented with the endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF). We provide evidence that induction of apoptosis by PEDF is associated with activation of p38 followed by cleavage of caspases 3, 8, and 9 by treatment with PEDF, and PEDF's actions are caspase dependent. A key mediator in the executioner effects of PEDF is p38 since the inhibition of p38 activity blocked apoptosis and prevented cleavage of caspases 3, 8, and 9. Although PEDF-induced phosphorylation of JNK1, the inhibition of JNK1 had no effect on apoptosis, even though it prevented phosphorylation of JNK1 by PEDF. Based on these findings, we propose that the antiangiogenic action of PEDF is dependent on activation of p38 MAPkinase which regulates cleavage of multiple caspases cascades.

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