EphB4 forward signalling mediates angiogenesis caused by CCM3/PDCD10-ablation
CCM3, also named as PDCD10, is a ubiquitous protein expressed in nearly all tissues and in various types of cells. It is essential for vascular development and post-natal vessel maturation. Loss-of-function mutation of CCM3 predisposes for the familial form of cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM). We have previously shown that knock-down of CCM3 stimulated endothelial angiogenesis via impairing DLL4-Notch signalling; moreover, loss of endothelial CCM3 stimulated tumour angiogenesis and promoted tumour growth. The present study was designed to further elucidate the inside signalling pathway involved in CCM3-ablation-mediated angiogenesis. Here we report for the first time that silencing endothelial CCM3 led to a significant up-regulation of EphB4 mRNA and protein expression and to an increased kinase activity of EphB4, concomitantly accompanied by an activation of Erk1/2, which was reversed by treatment with the specific EphB4 kinase inhibitor NVP-BHG712 (NVP), indicating that silencing CCM3 activates EphB4 kinase forward signalling. Furthermore, treatment with NVP rescued the hyper-angiogenic phenotype induced by knock-down of endothelial CCM3 in vitro and in vivo. Additional study demonstrated that the activation of EphB4 forward signalling in endothelial cells under basal condition and after CCM3-silence was modulated by DLL4/Notch signalling, relying EphB4 at downstream of DLL4/Notch signalling. We conclude that angiogenesis induced by CCM3-silence is mediated by the activation of EphB4 forward signalling. The identified endothelial signalling pathway of CCM3-DLL4/Notch-EphB4-Erk1/2 may provide an insight into mechanism of CCM3-ablation-mediated angiogenesis and could potentially contribute to novel therapeutic concepts for disrupting aberrant angiogenesis in CCM and in hyper-vascularized tumours.
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