DICAM inhibits angiogenesis via suppression of AKT and p38 MAP kinase signalling

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Abstract

Aims

Dual Ig domain-containing adhesion molecule (DICAM), a protein with homology to the junctional adhesion molecule family, has been demonstrated to interact with integrin αVβ3 that plays a critical role in angiogenesis. Here, we determined the role of DICAM during angiogenesis and the molecular mechanisms involved in the inhibition of angiogenesis.

Methods and results

DICAM was expressed on the endothelial cells of large vessels to small capillaries. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), DICAM was up-regulated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) through the MEK/ERK and PI3K/AKT pathways. Furthermore, the exogenous expression of DICAM in HUVECs suppressed angiogenesis in vitro Matrigel and in vivo plug assays, and conversely, DICAM knockdown enhanced angiogenesis. In addition, DICAM inhibited HUVEC migration and accelerated apoptosis via down-regulation of Bcl-2, but did not affect viability or proliferation of HUVEC. Mechanistically, the exogenous expression of DICAM suppressed VEGF-induced phosphorylarion of AKT and p38 MAP kinase. When integrin signalling was activated by vitronectin, a forced expression of DICAM attenuated integrin β3/FAK signalling and downstream AKT and p38 MAP kinase signalling in HUVECs.

Conclusion

Collectively, DICAM suppressed angiogenesis by attenuating AKT and p38 MAP kinase signalling, which suggests that DICAM may be a novel negative regulator of angiogenesis.

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