VEGFR-3 signaling is regulated by a G-protein activator, activator of G-protein signaling 8, in lymphatic endothelial cells

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Vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) and its cognate receptor VEGFR-3 play a key role in lymphangiogenesis. We previously reported that an ischemia-inducible Gβγ signal regulator, activator of G-protein signaling 8 (AGS8), regulated the subcellular distribution of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-2 (VEGFR-2) and influenced VEGFA-induced signaling in vascular endothelial cells. Here, we report that AGS8 regulates VEGFR-3, which is another subtype of the VEGF receptor family, and mediates VEGFC signaling in human dermal lymphatic endothelial cells (HDLECs). VEGFC stimulated the proliferation of HDLECs and tube formation by HDLECs, which were inhibited by knocking down AGS8 by small interfering RNA (siRNA). AGS8 siRNA inhibited VEGFC-mediated phosphorylation of VEGFR-3 and its downstream molecules, including ERK1/2 and AKT. Analysis of fluorescence-activated cell sorting and immunofluorescence staining demonstrated that AGS8 knockdown was associated with a reduction of VEGFR-3 at the cell surface. Endocytosis inhibitors did not rescue the decrease of cell-surface VEGFR-3, suggesting that AGS8 regulated the trafficking of VEGFR-3 to the plasma membrane. An immunoprecipitation assay indicated that VEGFR-3 formed a complex including AGS8 and Gβγ in cells. These data suggest the novel regulation of VEGFC-VEGFR-3 by AGS8 in HDLECs and a potential role for AGS8 in lymphangiogenesis.

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