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Blood. 2009 Nov 12;114(20):4592-600. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-04-217042. Epub 2009 Aug 26.

A novel interplay between Epac/Rap1 and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 5/extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5 (MEK5/ERK5) regulates thrombospondin to control angiogenesis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, IL, USA.


Tumors depend upon angiogenesis for growth and metastasis. It is therefore critical to understand the inhibitory signaling mechanisms in endothelial cells that control angiogenesis. Epac is a cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate-activated guanine nucleotide exchange factor for Rap1. In this study, we show that activation of Epac or Rap1 leads to potent inhibition of angiogenesis in vivo. Epac/Rap1 activation down-regulates inhibitor of differentiation 1 (Id1), which negatively regulates thrombospondin-1 (TSP1), an inhibitor of angiogenesis. Consistent with this mechanism, activation of Epac/Rap 1 induces expression of TSP1; conversely, depletion of Epac reduces TSP1 levels in endothelial cells. Blockade of TSP1 binding to its receptor, CD36, rescues inhibition of chemotaxis or angiogenesis by activated Epac/Rap1. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 5, a downstream mediator of vascular endothelial growth factor, antagonizes the effects of Epac/Rap1 by inducing Id1 and suppressing TSP1 expression. Finally, TSP1 is also secreted by fibroblasts in response to Epac/Rap1 activation. These results identify Epac and Rap1 as inhibitory regulators of the angiogenic process, implicate Id1 and TSP1 as downstream mediators of Epac/Rap1, and highlight a novel interplay between pro- and antiangiogenic signaling cascades involving multiple cell types within the angiogenic microenvironment.

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