Comparative ligandomics implicates secretogranin III as a disease-restricted angiogenic factor in laser-induced choroidal neovascularization

Liyang Ji, Prabuddha Waduge, Wencui Wan, Hong Tian, Jin Li, Jinsong Zhang, Rui Chen, Wei Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) is a leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. All approved anti-angiogenic drug therapies for CNV target vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) but confer limited efficacy. Identification of other CNV-related angiogenic factors will facilitate the development of VEGF-independent alternative therapies. Here, we applied comparative ligandomics to live mice with or without laser-induced CNV for global mapping of CNV-selective endothelial ligands. Secretogranin III (Scg3) previously identified by the same approach as a diabetes-restricted angiogenic factor was mapped with a more than 935-fold increase in binding to CNV vessels compared to healthy choriocapillaris. A novel in vivo ligand binding assay independently confirmed a marked increase in Scg3 binding to CNV vessels, whereas VEGF showed no increase in CNV-selective binding. A new technique of functional immunohistochemistry allowed the visualization and confirmed the increase in in vivo Scg3 binding to CNV vasculatures, including CNV microcapillaries with detailed vascular structures, which was blocked by anti-Scg3 humanized antibody Fab fragment (hFab). The hFab effectively alleviated laser-induced CNV with an efficacy similar to the anti-VEGF drug aflibercept. Homozygous deletion of the Scg3 gene in mice significantly reduced the severity of CNV. Furthermore, the therapeutic activity of anti-Scg3 hFab, but not aflibercept, was abolished in Scg3−/− mice, suggesting the Scg3-dependent nature of the hFab-mediated therapy. These findings suggest that Scg3 plays an important role in CNV pathogenesis and is a promising disease-restricted angiogenic factor for ligand-guided disease-targeted anti-angiogenic therapy of CNV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFEBS Journal
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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