Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2009 Sep 11;284(37):25135-48. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.013292. Epub 2009 Jul 18.

Dioxin receptor deficiency impairs angiogenesis by a mechanism involving VEGF-A depletion in the endothelium and transforming growth factor-beta overexpression in the stroma.

Author information

Departamento de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Extremadura, 06071 Badajoz, Spain.


Angiogenesis has key roles in development and in the progression of human diseases such as cancer. Consequently, identifying the novel markers and regulators of angiogenesis is a critical task. The dioxin receptor (AhR) contributes to vascular homeostasis and to the endothelial response to toxins, although the mechanisms involved are largely uncharacterized. Here, we show that AhR-null mice (AhR(-/-)) have impaired angiogenesis in vivo that compromises tumor xenograft growth. Aortic rings emigration experiments and RNA interference indicated that AhR(-/-) endothelial cells failed to branch and to form tube-like structures. Such a phenotype was found to be vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-dependent, as AhR(-/-) aortic endothelial cells (MAECs) secreted lower amounts of active VEGF-A and their treatment with VEGF-A rescued angiogenesis in culture and in vivo. Further, the addition of anti-VEGF antibody to AhR(+/+) MAECs reduced angiogenesis. Treatment under hypoxic conditions with 2-methoxyestradiol suggested that HIF-1alpha modulates endothelial VEGF expression in an AhR-dependent manner. Importantly, AhR-null stromal myofibroblasts produced increased transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) activity, which inhibited angiogenesis in human endothelial cells (HMECs) and AhR(-/-) mice, whereas the co-culture of HMECs with AhR(-/-) myofibroblasts or with their conditioned medium inhibited branching, which was restored by an anti-TGFbeta antibody. Moreover, VEGF and TGFbeta activities cooperated in modulating angiogenesis, as the addition of TGFbeta to AhR(-/-) MAECs further reduced their low basal VEGF-A activity. Thus, AhR modulates angiogenesis through a mechanism requiring VEGF activation in the endothelium and TGFbeta inactivation in the stroma. These data highlight the role of AhR in cardiovascular homeostasis and suggest that this receptor can be a novel regulator of angiogenesis during tumor development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center