Identification of an angiogenic factor that when mutated causes susceptibility to Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome

Tian XL, Kadaba R, You SA, Liu M, Timur AA, Yang L, Chen Q, Szafranski P, Rao S, Wu L, Housman DE, DiCorleto PE, Driscoll DJ, Borrow J and Wang Q
Source: Nature
Publication Date: (2004)
Issue: 427: 640-645
Research Area:
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) were nucleofected with a VG5Q coding plasmid. Metabolic labeling with [S35] methionine/ [S35] cysteine revealed that VG5Q is secreted as vessel formation is initiated.
Angiogenic factors are critical to the initiation of angiogenesis and maintenance of the vascular network. Here we use human genetics as an approach to identify an angiogenic factor, VG5Q, and further define two genetic defects of VG5Q in patients with the vascular disease Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS). One mutation is chromosomal translocation t(5;11), which increases VG5Q transcription. The second is mutation E133K identified in five KTS patients, but not in 200 matched controls. VG5Q protein acts as a potent angiogenic factor in promoting angiogenesis, and suppression of VG5Q expression inhibits vessel formation. E133K is a functional mutation that substantially enhances the angiogenic effect of VG5Q. VG5Q shows strong expression in blood vessels and is secreted as vessel formation is initiated. VG5Q can bind to endothelial cells and promote cell proliferation, suggesting that it may act in an autocrine fashion. We also demonstrate a direct interaction of VG5Q with another secreted angiogenic factor, TWEAK (also known as TNFSF12). These results define VG5Q as an angiogenic factor, establish VG5Q as a susceptibility gene for KTS, and show that increased angiogenesis is a molecular pathogenic mechanism of KTS.