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Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2009 Feb 1;73(2):506-13. doi: 10.1016/j.ijrobp.2008.09.052.

Ionizing radiation shifts the PAI-1/ID-1 balance and activates notch signaling in endothelial cells.

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Department of Experimental Therapy, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and Notch signaling pathways are important regulators of vascular homeostasis and vessel remodeling; mutations in these pathways can lead to vascular disorders. Similar vascular phenotypes develop in the normal tissues of cancer patients as a long-term effect of radiotherapy. Irradiation most severely affects the capillaries, which become leaky and dilated and might eventually rupture. To investigate the mechanism of such capillary damage, we studied the effect of TGF-beta and Notch signaling in microvascular endothelial cells.


Human microvascular endothelial cells were irradiated with 5 or 10 Gy and activation of TGF-beta and Notch signaling pathways was assessed by biochemical methods and a cell migration assay.


Ionizing radiation induced Smad2 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation and increased mRNA and protein expression of the activin-like kinase 5 (ALK5) target gene plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). At the same time, we observed diminished Smad1/5/8 activation and downregulation of the ALK1 downstream target, inhibitor of DNA binding-1 (ID-1). We also measured an upregulation of the Notch ligand Jagged-1 and the target gene Hey1. Decreased inhibitor of DNA binding-1 levels coincided with a reduced ability of the cells to migrate.


Ionizing radiation shifts the balance from ALK1 to ALK5 signaling and activates the Notch pathway in endothelial cells. This combination of anti-angiogenic signals contributes to reduced cell migration after irradiation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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