LRP5 regulates development of lung microvessels and alveoli through the angiopoietin-Tie2 pathway.
ABSTRACT: Angiogenesis is crucial for lung development. Although there has been considerable exploration, the mechanism by which lung vascular and alveolar formation is controlled is still not completely understood. Here we show that low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), a component of the Wnt ligand-receptor complex, regulates angiogenesis and alveolar formation in the lung by modulating expression of the angiopoietin (Ang) receptor, Tie2, in vascular endothelial cells (ECs). Vascular development in whole mouse lungs and in cultured ECs is controlled by LRP5 signaling, which is, in turn, governed by a balance between the activities of the antagonistic Tie2 ligands, Ang1 and Ang2. Under physiological conditions when Ang1 is dominant, LRP5 knockdown decreases Tie2 expression and thereby, inhibits vascular and alveolar development in the lung. Conversely, when Ang2 dominates under hyperoxia treatment in neonatal mice, high LRP5 and Tie2 expression suppress angiogenesis and lung development. These findings suggest that the LRP5-Tie2-Ang signaling axis plays a central role in control of both angiogenesis and alveolarization during postnatal lung development, and that deregulation of this signaling mechanism might lead to developmental abnormalities of the lung, such as are observed in bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Project description:The endothelial TIE1 and TIE2 receptor tyrosine kinases form a distinct subfamily characterized by their unique extracellular domains. Together with the angiopoietin growth factors (ANGPT1, ANGPT2, ANGPT4, also abbreviated as ANG), the TIE receptors form an endothelial specific signaling pathway with important functions in the regulation of lymphatic and cardiovascular development and vascular homeostasis. Angiopoietins exist in multimeric forms that activate the TIE receptors via unique mechanism. In endothelial cell–cell contacts, angiopoietins induce the formation of homomeric in trans TIE receptor complexes extending across the cell junctions, whereas matrix-bound angiopoietin-1 (ANG1) activates the TIE receptors in a cis configuration. In comparison to the vascular endothelial growth factor receptors, the TIE receptors undergo little ubiquitin-mediated degradation after activation, whereas TIE2 signaling is negatively regulated by the vascular endothelial protein tyrosine phosphatase, VE-PTP. ANG1 activation of TIE2 supports vascular stabilization, whereas angiopoietin-2 (ANG2), a context-dependent weak TIE2 agonist/antagonist, promotes pathological tumor angiogenesis, vascular permeability, and inflammation. Recently, ANG2 has been found to mediate some of its vascular destabilizing and angiogenic functions via integrin signalling. The circulating levels of ANG2 are increased in cancer, and in several human diseases associated with inflammation and vascular leak, for example, in sepsis. Blocking of ANG2 has emerged as a potential novel therapeutic strategy for these diseases. In addition, preclinical results demonstrate that genetic TIE1 deletion in mice inhibits the vascularization and growth of tumor isografts and protects from atherosclerosis, with little effect on normal vascular homeostasis in adult mice. The ability of the ANG-TIE pathway to control vessel stability and angiogenesis makes it an interesting vascular target for the treatment of the various diseases.
Project description:Angiopoietins regulate vascular homeostasis via the endothelial Tie receptor tyrosine kinases. Angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) supports endothelial stabilization via Tie2 activation. Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2) functions as a context-dependent Tie2 agonist/antagonist promoting pathological angiogenesis, vascular permeability and inflammation. Elucidating Ang2-dependent mechanisms of vascular destablization is critical for rational design of angiopoietin antagonists that have demonstrated therapeutic efficacy in cancer trials. Here, we report that Ang2, but not Ang1, activates ?1-integrin, leading to endothelial destablization. Autocrine Ang2 signalling upon Tie2 silencing, or in Ang2 transgenic mice, promotes ?1-integrin-positive elongated matrix adhesions and actin stress fibres, regulating vascular endothelial-cadherin-containing cell-cell junctions. The Tie2-silenced monolayer integrity is rescued by ?1-integrin, phosphoinositide-3 kinase or Rho kinase inhibition, and by re-expression of a membrane-bound Tie2 ectodomain. Furthermore, Tie2 silencing increases, whereas Ang2 blocking inhibits transendothelial tumour cell migration in vitro. These results establish Ang2-mediated ?1-integrin activation as a promoter of endothelial destablization, explaining the controversial vascular functions of Ang1 and Ang2.
Project description:AMG 386 is an investigational first-in-class peptide-Fc fusion protein (peptibody) that inhibits angiogenesis by preventing the interaction of angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and Ang2 with their receptor, Tie2. Although the therapeutic value of blocking Ang2 has been shown in several models of tumorigenesis and angiogenesis, the potential benefit of Ang1 antagonism is less clear. To investigate the consequences of Ang1 neutralization, we have developed potent and selective peptibodies that inhibit the interaction between Ang1 and its receptor, Tie2. Although selective Ang1 antagonism has no independent effect in models of angiogenesis-associated diseases (cancer and diabetic retinopathy), it induces ovarian atrophy in normal juvenile rats and inhibits ovarian follicular angiogenesis in a hormone-induced ovulation model. Surprisingly, the activity of Ang1 inhibitors seems to be unmasked in some disease models when combined with Ang2 inhibitors, even in the context of concurrent vascular endothelial growth factor inhibition. Dual inhibition of Ang1 and Ang2 using AMG 386 or a combination of Ang1- and Ang2-selective peptibodies cooperatively suppresses tumor xenograft growth and ovarian follicular angiogenesis; however, Ang1 inhibition fails to augment the suppressive effect of Ang2 inhibition on tumor endothelial cell proliferation, corneal angiogenesis, and oxygen-induced retinal angiogenesis. In no case was Ang1 inhibition shown to (a) confer superior activity to Ang2 inhibition or dual Ang1/2 inhibition or (b) antagonize the efficacy of Ang2 inhibition. These results imply that Ang1 plays a context-dependent role in promoting postnatal angiogenesis and that dual Ang1/2 inhibition is superior to selective Ang2 inhibition for suppression of angiogenesis in some postnatal settings.
Project description:Aging is associated with impaired angiogenesis and lung alveolar regeneration, which contributes to the increased susceptibility to chronic lung diseases (CLD). We have reported that the Wnt ligand co-receptor, low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 (LRP5), stimulates angiogenesis and lung alveolar regeneration. However, the role of LRP5 in age-related decline in vascular and alveolar morphogenesis remains unclear. In this report, we have demonstrated that vascular and alveolar structures are disrupted in the 24-month (24M) old mouse lungs. The expression of LRP5 and the major angiogenic factors, VEGFR2 and Tie2, is lower in endothelial cells (ECs) isolated from 24M old mouse lungs compared to those from 2M old mouse lungs. Vascular and alveolar formation is attenuated in the hydrogel implanted on the 24M old mouse lungs, while overexpression of LRP5, which restores angiogenic factor expression, reverses vascular and alveolar morphogenesis in the gel. Compensatory lung growth after unilateral pneumonectomy is inhibited in 24M old mice, which is reversed by overexpression of LRP5. These results suggest that LRP5 mediates age-related inhibition of angiogenesis and alveolar morphogenesis. Modulation of LRP5 may be a novel intervention to rejuvenate regenerative ability in aged lung and will lead to the development of efficient strategies for aging-associated CLD.
Project description:Tight regulation of vascular permeability is necessary for normal development and deregulated vascular barrier function contributes to the pathogenesis of various diseases, including acute respiratory distress syndrome, cancer and inflammation. The angiopoietin (Ang)-Tie2 pathway is known to control vascular permeability. However, the mechanism by which the expression of Tie2 is regulated to control vascular permeability has not been fully elucidated. Here we show that transcription factor Twist1 modulates pulmonary vascular leakage by altering the expression of Tie2 in a context-dependent way. Twist1 knockdown in cultured human lung microvascular endothelial cells decreases Tie2 expression and phosphorylation and increases RhoA activity, which disrupts cell-cell junctional integrity and increases vascular permeability in vitro. In physiological conditions, where Ang1 is dominant, pulmonary vascular permeability is elevated in the Tie2-specific Twist1 knockout mice. However, depletion of Twist1 and resultant suppression of Tie2 expression prevent increase in vascular permeability in an endotoxin-induced lung injury model, where the balance of Angs shifts toward Ang2. These results suggest that Twist1-Tie2-Angs signaling is important for controlling vascular permeability and modulation of this mechanism may lead to the development of new therapeutic approaches for pulmonary edema and other diseases caused by abnormal vascular permeability.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Increased activity of the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2 has been implicated in the promotion of pathological angiogenesis. This activity is mainly mediated through angiopoietin (Ang)1- and Ang2-dependent activation of integrins by Tie2, rendering the Ang/Tie2/integrin axis an attractive putative target for cancer therapeutics. RESULTS:To target this axis, we developed single domain, non-immunoglobulin high-affinity bi-specific protein inhibitors against both Tie2 and αvβ3 integrin. We have previously engineered the Ang2-binding domain of Tie2 (Ang2-BD) as a Tie2 inhibitor. Here, we engineered an exposed loop in Ang2-BD to generate variants that include an integrin-binding Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif and used flow cytometry screening of a yeast-displayed Ang2-BD RGD loop library to identify the integrin antagonists. The bi-specific antagonists targeting both Tie2 and αvβ3 integrin inhibited adhesion and proliferation of endothelial cells cultured together with the αvβ3 integrin ligand vitronectin, as well as endothelial cell invasion and tube formation. The bi-specific reagents inhibited downstream signaling by Tie2 intracellularly in response to its agonist Ang1 more effectively than the wild-type Ang2 BD that binds Tie2 alone. CONCLUSIONS:Collectively, this study-the first to describe inhibitors targeting all the known functions resulting from Tie2/integrin αvβ3 cross-talk-has created new tools for studying Tie2- and integrin αvβ3-dependent molecular pathways and provides the basis for the rational and combinatorial engineering of ligand-Tie2 and ligand-integrin αvβ3 receptor interactions. Given the roles of these pathways in cancer angiogenesis and metastasis, this proof of principle study paves the route to create novel Tie2/integrin αvβ3-targeting proteins for clinical use as imaging and therapeutic agents.
Project description:Angiogenesis is a complex cellular process involving multiple regulatory growth factors and growth factor receptors. Among them, the ligands for the endothelial-specific tunica intima endothelial receptor tyrosine kinase 2 (Tie2) receptor kinase, angiopoietin-1 (Ang1) and Ang2, play essential roles in balancing vessel stability and regression during both developmental and tumor-induced angiogenesis. Despite possessing a high degree of sequence identity, Ang1 and Ang2 have distinct functional roles and cell-signaling characteristics. Here, we present the crystal structures of Ang1 both unbound and in complex with the Tie2 ectodomain. Comparison of the Ang1-containing structures with their Ang2-containing counterparts provide insight into the mechanism of receptor activation and reveal molecular surfaces important for interactions with Tie2 coreceptors and associated signaling proteins. Using structure-based mutagenesis, we identify a loop within the angiopoietin P domain, adjacent to the receptor-binding interface, which confers the specific agonist/antagonist properties of the molecule. We demonstrate using cell-based assays that an Ang2 chimera containing the Ang1 loop sequence behaves functionally similarly to Ang1 as a constitutive Tie2 agonist, able to efficiently dissociate the inhibitory Tie1/Tie2 complex and elicit Tie2 clustering and downstream signaling.
Project description:Angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) regulates blood vessel remodeling in many pathological conditions through differential effects on Tie2 signaling. While ANG2 competes with ANG1 to inhibit Tie2, it can paradoxically also promote Tie2 phosphorylation (p-Tie2). A related paradox is that both inactivation and overactivation of Tie2 can result in vascular remodeling. Here, we reconciled these opposing actions of ANG2 by manipulating conditions that govern its actions in the vasculature. ANG2 drove vascular remodeling during Mycoplasma pulmonis infection by acting as a Tie2 antagonist, which led to p-Tie2 suppression, forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) activation, increased ANG2 expression, and vessel leakiness. These changes were exaggerated by anti-Tie2 antibody, inhibition of PI3K signaling, or ANG2 overexpression and were reduced by anti-ANG2 antibody or exogenous ANG1. In contrast, under pathogen-free conditions, ANG2 drove vascular remodeling by acting as an agonist, promoting high p-Tie2, low FOXO1 activation, and no leakage. Tie1 activation was strong under pathogen-free conditions, but infection or TNF-? led to Tie1 inactivation by ectodomain cleavage and promoted the Tie2 antagonist action of ANG2. Together, these data indicate that ANG2 activation of Tie2 supports stable enlargement of normal nonleaky vessels, but reduction of Tie1 in inflammation leads to ANG2 antagonism of Tie2 and initiates a positive feedback loop wherein FOXO1-driven ANG2 expression promotes vascular remodeling and leakage.
Project description:Phase III clinical trials evaluating bevacizumab (an antibody to the angiogenic ligand, VEGF-A) in breast cancer have found improved responses in the presurgical neoadjuvant setting but no benefits in the postsurgical adjuvant setting. The objective of this study was to evaluate alternative antiangiogenic therapies, which target multiple VEGF family members or differentially modulate the Angiopoietin/Tie2 pathway, in a mouse model of resectable triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Neoadjuvant therapy experiments involved treating established orthotopic xenografts of an aggressive metastatic variant of the MDA-MB-231 human TNBC cell line, LM2-4. Adjuvant therapies were given after primary tumor resections to treat postsurgical regrowths and distant metastases. Aflibercept ('VEGF Trap', which neutralizes VEGF-A, VEGF-B and PlGF) showed greater efficacy than nesvacumab (an anti-Ang2 antibody) as an add-on to neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapy. Concurrent inhibition of Ang1 and Ang2 signaling (through an antagonistic anti-Tie2 antibody) was not more efficacious than selective Ang2 inhibition. In contrast, short-term perioperative BowAng1 (a recombinant Ang1 variant) improved the efficacy of adjuvant chemotherapy. In conclusion, concurrent VEGF pathway inhibition is more likely than Ang/Tie2 pathway inhibition (e.g., anti-Ang2, anti-Ang2/Ang1, anti-Tie2) to improve neoadjuvant/adjuvant chemotherapies for TNBC. Short-term perioperative Ang1 supplementation may also have therapeutic potential in conjunction with adjuvant chemotherapy for TNBC.
Project description:Angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) was originally shown to be a competitive antagonist for Ang1 of the receptor tyrosine kinase Tie2 in endothelial cells (ECs). Since then, reports have conflicted on whether Ang2 is an agonist or antagonist of Tie2. Here we show that Ang2 functions as an agonist when Ang1 is absent but as a dose-dependent antagonist when Ang1 is present. Exogenous Ang2 activates Tie2 and the promigratory, prosurvival PI3K/Akt pathway in ECs but with less potency and lower affinity than exogenous Ang1. ECs produce Ang2 but not Ang1. This endogenous Ang2 maintains Tie2, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, and Akt activities, and it promotes EC survival, migration, and tube formation. However, when ECs are stimulated with Ang1 and Ang2, Ang2 dose-dependently inhibits Ang1-induced Tie2 phosphorylation, Akt activation, and EC survival. We conclude that Ang2 is both an agonist and an antagonist of Tie2. Although Ang2 is a weaker agonist than Ang1, endogenous Ang2 maintains a level of Tie2 activation that is critical to a spectrum of EC functions. These findings may reconcile disparate reports of Ang2's effect on Tie2, impact our understanding of endogenous receptor tyrosine kinase signal transduction mechanisms, and affect how Ang2 and Tie2 are targeted under conditions such as sepsis and cancer.