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  • 1
    Keywords: ACTIN REORGANIZATION, ACTIVATION, ALPHA, analysis, ANGIOGENESIS, ARCHITECTURE, ASSOCIATION, BTB-kelc
    Abstract: Sprouting and invasive migration of endothelial cells are important steps of the angiogenic cascade. Vascular endothelial growth factor ( VEGF) induces angiogenesis by activating intracellular signal transduction cascades, which regulate endothelial cell morphology and function. BTB-kelch proteins are intracellular proteins that control cellular architecture and cellular functions. The BTB-kelch protein KLEIP has been characterized as an actin-binding protein that interacts with the nucleotide exchange factor ECT2. We report that KLEIP is preferentially expressed in endothelial cells, suggesting that it may play a critical role in controlling the functions of migrating, proliferating, and invading endothelial cells during angiogenesis. KLEIP mRNA level in endothelial cells is strongly regulated by hypoxia which is controlled by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 alpha. Functional analysis of KLEIP in endothelial cells revealed that it acts as an essential downstream regulator of VEGF- and basic fibroblast growth factor-induced migration and in-gel sprouting angiogenesis. Yet, it is not involved in controlling VEGF- or basic fibroblast growth factor-mediated proliferative responses. The depletion of KLEIP in endothelial cells blunted the VEGF- induced activation of the monomeric GTPase RhoA but did not alter the VEGF- stimulated activation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2. Moreover, VEGF induced a physical association of KLEIP with the guanine nucleotide-exchange factor ECT2, the depletion of which also blunted VEGF- induced sprouting. We conclude that the BTB-kelch protein KLEIP is a novel regulator of endothelial function during angiogenesis that controls the VEGF- induced activation of Rho GTPases
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 17395875
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  • 2
    Keywords: ANGIOGENESIS, APOPTOSIS, ASSAY, BACILLARY ANGIOMATOSIS, BIOLOGY, CELL, cell culture, CONTRAST, ENDOT
    Abstract: The zoonotic pathogen Bartonella henselae (Bh) can lead to vasoproliferative tumour lesions in the skin and inner organs known as bacillary angiomatosis and bacillary peliosis. The knowledge on the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in this pathogen-triggered angiogenic process is confined by the lack of a suitable animal model and a physiologically relevant cell culture model of angiogenesis. Here we employed a three-dimensional in vitro angiogenesis assay of collagen gel-embedded endothelial cell (EC) spheroids to study the angiogenic properties of Bh. Spheroids generated from Bh-infected ECs displayed a high capacity to form sprouts, which represent capillary-like projections into the collagen gel. The VirB/VirD4 type IV secretion system and a subset of its translocated Bartonella effector proteins (Beps) were found to profoundly modulate this Bh-induced sprouting activity. BepA, known to protect ECs from apoptosis, strongly promoted sprout formation. In contrast, BepG, triggering cytoskeletal rearrangements, potently inhibited sprouting. Hence, the here established in vitro model of Bartonella- induced angiogenesis revealed distinct and opposing activities of type IV secretion system effector proteins, which together with a VirB/VirD4-independent effect may control the angiogenic activity of Bh during chronic infection of the vasculature
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19416269
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  • 3
    Abstract: Multiple cell-cell interactions control bone morphogenesis and vascularization. We have employed a spheroidal coculture system of endothelial cells (EC) and osteoblasts (OB) to study cell contact-dependent gene regulation between these two cell types that may play a role in regulating OB differentiation and EC angiogenic properties. Coculture spheroids differentiate spontaneously to organize into a core of OB and a surface layer of endothelial cells. Individual spheroid culture of EC or OB leads to significant alterations in gene expression compared to standard monolayer culture (upregulation of Tie-2 in EC; upregulation of angiopoietin-2 in osteoblasts). More importantly, spheroidal coculture of endothelial cells and osteoblasts leads to significant changes of gene expression in both cell populations (upregulation of VEGFR-2 in EC; downregulation of VEGF, and upregulation of alkaline phosphatase in osteoblasts). These changes are dependent on cell-cell contact and are not seen in stimulation experiments with conditioned supernatants. Collectively, the data demonstrate complex bi-directional gene regulation mechanisms between EC and OB that are likely to play a critical role during OB differentiation and in controlling the properties of angiogenic EC.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 15325284
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  • 4
    Abstract: One of the major challenges in tissue engineering of bone substitutes remains vascularization of the transplant. We have developed a three-dimensional collagen-based coculture system to assess interactions between human endothelial cells (hECs) and human osteoblasts (hOBs) in vitro. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were grown as three-dimensional multicellular spheroids and seeded in a collagen matrix to assess sprouting of the spheroids, that is, formation of tubelike structures resembling early capillaries. Direct cell contact between hOBs and HUVECs was established by incorporating hOBs into the EC spheroids, thus forming heterogeneous cospheroids. Spatial organization of cospheroids and sprout configuration were assessed by immunohistochemical wholemount staining techniques and confocal laser microscopy. Cumulative sprout length of spheroids was quantitatively analyzed by digital imaging planimetry. In this model HUVECs and hOBs formed heterogeneous cospheroids with distinct spatial organization. The ability of HUVEC spheroids to form tubelike structures on angiogenic stimulation with vascular endothelial growth factor and basic fibroblast growth factor was suppressed in heterogeneous HUVEC/hOB cospheroids. The model system introduced in this study may be useful to assess the mechanisms involved in regulating angiogenesis during bone formation and to further investigate the mechanisms by which heterotypic cell-cell interactions inhibit endothelial tube formation for applications in bone tissue engineering.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 15588413
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  • 5
    Keywords: CELLS ; GROWTH ; BLOOD ; GENE ; MATURATION ; DISRUPTION ; EXPRESSION ANALYSIS ; TUMOR ANGIOGENESIS ; MORPHOGENESIS ; neuropilin-1
    Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To characterize the role of a vascular-expressed class 3 semaphorin (semaphorin 3G [Sema3G]). METHODS AND RESULTS: Semaphorins have been identified as axon guidance molecules. Yet, they have more recently also been characterized as attractive and repulsive regulators of angiogenesis. Through a transcriptomic screen, we identified Sema3G as a molecule of angiogenic endothelial cells. Sema3G-deficient mice are viable and exhibit no overt vascular phenotype. Yet, LacZ expression in the Sema3G locus revealed intense arterial vascular staining in the angiogenic vasculature, starting at E9.5, which was detectable throughout adolescence and downregulated in adult vasculature. Sema3G is expressed as a full-length 100-kDa secreted molecule that is processed by furin proteases to yield 95- and a 65-kDa Sema domain-containing subunits. Full-length Sema3G binds to NP2, whereas processed Sema3G binds to NP1 and NP2. Expression profiling and cellular experiments identified autocrine effects of Sema3G on endothelial cells and paracrine effects on smooth muscle cells. CONCLUSIONS: Although the mouse knockout phenotype suggests compensatory mechanisms, the experiments identify Sema3G as a primarily endothelial cell-expressed class 3 semaphorin that controls endothelial and smooth muscle cell functions in autocrine and paracrine manners, respectively.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 20947821
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  • 6
    Keywords: RECEPTOR ; EXPRESSION ; MODELS ; PROTEIN ; DIFFERENTIATION ; DOMAIN ; MIGRATION ; CD34 ; INHIBITS SPROUTING ANGIOGENESIS ; EXHIBIT
    Abstract: Given the need for robust and cost-efficient in vitro models to study angiogenesis and reproducibly analyze potential pro- and antiangiogenic compounds in preclinical studies, we developed a 3-dimensional in vitro angiogenesis assay that is based on collagen gel-embedded, size-defined spheroids generated from cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Despite its wide distribution, limitations, sensitivity, robustness, and improvements, the capacity of this assay for functional screening purposes has not been elucidated thus far. By using time-lapse video microscopy, we show that tip cells lead the formation of capillary-like and partially lumenized sprouts originating from the spheroids. Angiogenic sprouting from spheroids generated from 5 different primary cultured human endothelial cell types was induced by physiologic concentrations of vascular endothelial cell growth factor 165. Based on this assay system, we determined the capacity of 880 approved drugs to interfere with or boost angiogenic sprouting, thereby assessing their putative angiogenesis-related side effects or novel applications. However, although this assay allowed for a rapid and reproducible determination of functional IC50 values of individual compounds, the sprouting results were partially affected by the HUVEC passage number and donor variability. To overcome this limitation, immortalized HUVECs (iHUVECs) showing a more homogenous response in terms of proliferation and sprouting over multiple population doublings were used in the course of this study. Collectively, the spheroid-based angiogenesis assay provides a sensitive and versatile tool to study the impact of pro- and antiangiogenic determinants on multiple steps of the angiogenic cascade. It is compatible with different endothelial cell types and allows use of iHUVECs to improve its overall robustness.-Heiss, M., Hellstrom, M., Kalen, M., May, T., Weber, H., Hecker, M., Augustin, H. G., Korff, T. Endothelial cell spheroids as a versatile tool to study angiogenesis in vitro.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 25857554
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  • 7
    Keywords: ANGIOGENESIS ; CELLS ; ENDOTHELIAL-CELLS ; GROWTH-FACTOR ; CELL ; Germany ; human ; IN-VIVO ; DISTINCT ; DIFFERENTIATION ; TISSUE ; MICE ; COMPLEX ; cytokines ; MOUSE ; ASSAY ; IMMUNODEFICIENT MICE ; EMBRYONIC STEM-CELLS ; RE ; BLOOD-VESSELS ; analysis ; methods ; ASSAYS ; progenitor ; ENGLAND ; modification ; three-dimensional ; LIMITS
    Abstract: The complexity of the angiogenic cascade limits cellular approaches to studying angiogenic endothelial cells (ECs). In turn, in vivo assays do not allow the analysis of the distinct cellular behavior of ECs during angiogenesis. Here we show that ECs can be grafted as spheroids into a matrix to give rise to a complex three-dimensional network of human neovessels in mice. The grafted vasculature matures and is connected to the mouse circulation. The assay is highly versatile and facilitates numerous applications including studies of the effects of different cytokines on angiogenesis. Modifications make it possible to study human lymphangiogenic processes in vivo. EC spheroids can also be coimplanted with other cell types for tissue engineering purposes
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 18391960
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  • 8
    Keywords: RECEPTOR ; ANGIOGENESIS ; CELLS ; EXPRESSION ; IN-VITRO ; BLOOD ; CELL ; human ; IN-VIVO ; MODEL ; THERAPY ; VITRO ; VIVO ; SITE ; PROTEIN ; transcription ; TISSUE ; MICE ; NF-KAPPA-B ; ACTIVATION ; MECHANISM ; TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR ; mechanisms ; BINDING ; MOLECULE ; MOUSE ; REPAIR ; ADHESION ; MIGRATION ; RECRUITMENT ; TISSUE FACTOR ; KAPPA-B ; pathology ; INFECTIONS ; ADHESION MOLECULE ; INTEGRINS ; function ; INTERCELLULAR-ADHESION ; COMPOUND ; in vivo ; ANTIINFLAMMATORY FACTOR ; CAPILLARIES ; CLOSURE ; ENDOTHELIAL-CELL ; inflammatory cells ; INHIBIT ; wound
    Abstract: Staphylococcus aureus is a major human pathogen interfering with host-cell functions. Impaired wound healing is often observed in S aureus-infected wounds, yet, the underlying mechanisms are poorly defined. Here, we identify the extracellular adherence protein (Eap) of S aureus to be responsible for impaired wound healing. In a mouse wound-healing model wound closure was inhibited in the presence of wild-type S aureus and this effect was reversible when the wounds were incubated with an isogenic Eap-deficient strain. Isolated Eap also delayed wound closure. In the presence of Eap, recruitment of inflammatory cells to the wound site as well as neovascularization of the wound were prevented. In vitro, Eap significantly reduced intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1)-dependent leukocyte-endothelial interactions and diminished the consequent activation of the proinflammatory transcription factor nuclear factor kappa B (NF kappa B) in leukocytes associated with a decrease in expression of tissue factor. Moreover, Eap blocked alpha(v)-integrin-mediated endothelial-cell migration and capillary tube formation, and neovascularization in matrigels in vivo. Collectively, the potent anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties of Eap provide an underlying mechanism that may explain the impaired wound healing in S aureus-infected wounds. Eap may also serve as a lead compound for new antiinflammatory and antiangiogenic therapies in several pathologies
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 16317095
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  • 9
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    German Medical Science; Düsseldorf, Köln
    In:  Patientenbeteiligung bei medizinischen Entscheidungen; 2. Tagung des Förderschwerpunktes "Der Patient als Partner im medizinischen Entscheidungsprozess"; 20040325-20040327; Freiburg; DOC04pat35 /20040615/
    Publication Date: 2004-06-15
    Keywords: ddc: 610
    Language: German
    Type: conferenceObject
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  • 10
    Abstract: We combined reverse and chemical genetics to identify targets and compounds modulating blood vessel development. Through transcript profiling in mice, we identified 150 potentially druggable microvessel-enriched gene products. Orthologs of 50 of these were knocked down in a reverse genetic screen in zebrafish, demonstrating that 16 were necessary for developmental angiogenesis. In parallel, 1280 pharmacologically active compounds were screened in a human cell-based assay, identifying 28 compounds selectively inhibiting endothelial sprouting. Several links were revealed between the results of the reverse and chemical genetic screens, including the serine/threonine (S/T) phosphatases ppp1ca, ppp1cc, and ppp4c and an inhibitor of this gene family; Endothall. Our results suggest that the combination of reverse and chemical genetic screens, in vertebrates, is an efficient strategy for the identification of drug targets and compounds that modulate complex biological systems, such as angiogenesis.
    Type of Publication: Journal article published
    PubMed ID: 19389629
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