The majority of human tumors are angiogenesis dependent. Understanding the specific mechanisms that contribute to angiogenesis may offer the best approach to develop therapies to inhibit angiogenesis in cancer. Endothelial monocyte activating polypeptide-II (EMAP-II) is an anti-angiogenic cytokine with potent effects on endothelial cells (ECs). It inhibits EC proliferation and cord formation, and it suppresses primary and metastatic tumor growth in-vivo. However, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms behind the anti-angiogenic activity of EMAP-II. In the present study, we explored the molecular mechanism behind the anti-angiogenic activity exerted by this protein on ECs. Our results demonstrate that EMAP-II binds to the cell surface α5β1 integrin receptor. The cell surface binding of EMAP-II results in its internalization into the cytoplasmic compartment where it interacts with its cytoplasmic partner PSMA7, a component of the proteasome degradation pathway. This interaction increases hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha (HIF-1α) degradation under hypoxic conditions. The degradation results in the inhibition of HIF-1α mediated transcriptional activity as well as HIF-1α mediated angiogenic sprouting of ECs. HIF-1α plays a critical role in angiogenesis by activating a variety of angiogenic growth factors. Our results suggest that one of the major anti-angiogenic functions of EMAP-II is exerted through its inhibition of the HIF-1α activities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cell Biology
- Integrin receptor