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Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 26;9(1):12352. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-48854-2.

Constitutive Active Mutant TIE2 Induces Enlarged Vascular Lumen Formation with Loss of Apico-basal Polarity and Pericyte Recruitment.

Author information

1
Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
3
Department of Molecular Pharmacology and Physiology, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL, USA.
4
Division of Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA. elisa.boscolo@cchmc.org.
5
Department of Pediatrics, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH, USA. elisa.boscolo@cchmc.org.

Abstract

Abnormalities in controlling key aspects of angiogenesis including vascular cell migration, lumen formation and vessel maturation are hallmarks of vascular anomalies including venous malformation (VM). Gain-of-function mutations in the tyrosine kinase receptor TIE2 can cause VM and induce a ligand-independent hyperactivation of TIE2. Despite these important findings, the TIE2-dependent mechanisms triggering enlarged vascular lesions are not well understood. Herein we studied TIE2 p.L914F, the most frequent mutation identified in VM patients. We report that endothelial cells harboring a TIE2-L914F mutation display abnormal cell migration due to a loss of front-rear polarity as demonstrated by a non-polarized Golgi apparatus. Utilizing a three-dimensional fibrin-matrix based model we show that TIE2-L914F mutant cells form enlarged lumens mimicking vascular lesions present in VM patients, independently of exogenous growth factors. Moreover, these abnormal vascular channels demonstrate a dysregulated expression pattern of apico-basal polarity markers Podocalyxin and Collagen IV. Furthermore, in this system we recapitulated another pathological feature of VM, the paucity of pericytes around ectatic veins. The presented data emphasize the value of this in vitro model as a powerful tool for the discovery of cellular and molecular signals contributing to abnormal vascular development and subsequent identification of novel therapeutic approaches.

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