Inhibition of HUVEC tube formation via suppression of NFκB suggests an anti-angiogenic role for SLURP1 in the transparent cornea

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Previously, we have reported that the Secreted Ly6/uPAR related protein-1 (SLURP1) serves an important immunomodulatory function in the ocular surface. Here, we examine the involvement of SLURP1 in regulating corneal angiogenic privilege. Slurp1 expression detected by QPCR, immunoblots and immunofluorescent stain, was significantly decreased in mouse corneas subjected to alkali burn-induced corneal neovascularization (CNV). Addition of exogenous SLURP1 (6XHis-tagged, E. coli expressed and partially purified using Ni-ion columns) significantly suppressed the tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α)-stimulated human umbilical cord vascular endothelial cell (HUVEC) tube formation. SLURP1 suppressed the HUVEC tube length, tube area and number of branch points, without affecting their viability and/or proliferation. Exogenous SLURP1 in HUVEC also suppressed the TNF-α-induced (i) interleukin-8 (IL-8) and TNF-α production, (ii) adhesion to different components of the extracellular matrix, (iii) migration, and (iv) nuclear localization of NFκB. Together, these results demonstrate that SLURP1 suppresses HUVEC tube formation by blocking nuclear translocation of NFκB, and suggest a potential role for SLURP1 in promoting corneal angiogenic privilege.

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