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Am J Pathol. 2008 Jan;172(1):37-49. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Regulation of endothelial cell cytoskeletal reorganization by a secreted frizzled-related protein-1 and frizzled 4- and frizzled 7-dependent pathway: role in neovessel formation.

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INSERM U828, Av du haut lévèque, 33600 Pessac, France.


Consistent with findings of Wnt pathway members involved in vascular cells, a role for Wnt/Frizzled signaling has recently emerged in vascular cell development. Among the few Wnt family members implicated in vessel formation in adult, Wnt7b and Frizzled 4 have been shown as involved in vessel formation in the lung and in the retina, respectively. Our previous work has shown a role for secreted Frizzled-related protein-1 (sFRP-1), a proposed Wnt signaling inhibitor, in neovascularization after an ischemic event and demonstrated its role as a potent angiogenic factor. However the mechanisms involved have not been investigated. Here, we show that sFRP-1 treatment increases endothelial cell spreading on extracellular matrix as revealed by actin stress fiber reorganization in an integrin-dependent manner. We demonstrate that sFRP-1 can interact with Wnt receptors Frizzled 4 and 7 on endothelial cells to transduce downstream to cellular machineries requiring Rac-1 activity in cooperation with GSK-3beta. sFRP-1 overexpression in endothelium specifically reversed the inactivation of GSK-3 beta and increased neovascularization in ischemia-induced angiogenesis in mouse hindlimb. This study illustrates a regulated pathway by sFRP-1 involving GSK-3beta and Rac-1 in endothelial cell cytoskeletal reorganization and in neovessel formation.

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