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J Biol Chem. 2007 Aug 17;282(33):24049-56. Epub 2007 Jun 16.

Neuropilin-1 binds to VEGF121 and regulates endothelial cell migration and sprouting.

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Department of Tumor Biology, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, California 94080, USA.


Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) was first described as a receptor for the axon guidance molecule, Semaphorin3A, regulating the development of the nervous system. It was later shown that NRP1 is an isoform-specific receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), specifically VEGF(165). Much interest has been placed on the role of the various VEGF isoforms in vascular biology. Here we report that blocking NRP1 function, using a recently described antibody that inhibits VEGF(165) binding to NRP1, surprisingly reduces VEGF(121)-induced migration and sprout formation of endothelial cells. Intrigued by this observation, direct binding studies of NRP1 to various VEGF isoforms were performed. We show that VEGF(121) binds directly to NRP1; however, unlike VEGF(165), VEGF(121) is not sufficient to bridge the NRP1.VEGFR2 complex. Additionally, we show that VEGFR2 enhances VEGF(165), but not VEGF(121) binding to NRP1. We propose a new model for NRP1 interactions with various VEGF isoforms.

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