The Journal of Biological Chemistry 1998 May 22;273(21):13313-6
Vascular endothelial growth factor induces expression of the antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and A1 in vascular endothelial cells
H P Gerber, V Dixit, N Ferrara
We examined the role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in preventing apoptosis in primary human umbilical vein endothelial (HUVE) cells. VEGF was capable of preventing serum starvation-induced apoptosis at concentrations between 10 and 100 ng/ml. The addition of VEGF to serum-starved HUVE cells led to a 5. 2-fold induction of Bcl-2 after 36 h and to a transient, 2.4-fold induction of A1 after a 7-h incubation, as quantitated by real time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis. Western blot analysis demonstrated a 2-3-fold induction of Bcl-2 protein after 18-36 h of exposure to VEGF and a transient induction of A1 after 7 h of VEGF stimulation. Moreover, overexpression of Bcl-2 by means of transient biolistic transfection experiments of HUVE cells was sufficient to prevent endothelial cells from apoptotic cell death in the absence of VEGF. These findings indicate that Bcl-2 plays an important role in mediating the survival activity of VEGF on endothelial cells.