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J Biol Chem. 2007 May 18;282(20):15187-96. Epub 2007 Mar 14.

Integrin alpha9beta1 directly binds to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A and contributes to VEGF-A-induced angiogenesis.

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  • 1Lung Biology Center, University of California, San Francisco, California 94143-2922, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) is a potent inducer of angiogenesis. We now show that VEGF-A-induced adhesion and migration of human endothelial cells are dependent on the integrin alpha9beta1 and that VEGF-A is a direct ligand for this integrin. Adhesion and migration of these cells on the 165 and 121 isoforms of VEGF-A depend on cooperative input from alpha9beta1 and the cognate receptor for VEGF-A, VEGF receptor 2 (VEGF-R2). Unlike alpha3beta1or alphavbeta3 integrins, alpha9beta1 was also found to bind the 121 isoform of VEGF-A. This interaction appears to be biologically significant, because alpha9beta1-blocking antibody dramatically and specifically inhibited angiogenesis induced by VEGF-A165 or -121. Together with our previous findings that alpha9beta1 directly binds to VEGF-C and -D and contributes to lymphangiogenesis, these results identify the integrin alpha9beta1 as a potential pharmacotherapeutic target for inhibition of pathogenic angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis.

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