Hepatoma-derived growth factor-related protein-3 (Hdgfrp3 or HRP-3) was recently reported as a neurotrophic factor and is upregulated in hepatocellular carcinoma to promote cancer cell survival. Here we identified HRP-3 as a new endothelial ligand and characterized its in vitro and in vivo functional roles and molecular signaling. We combined open reading frame phage display with multi-round in vivo binding selection to enrich retinal endothelial ligands, which were systematically identified by next generation DNA sequencing. One of the identified endothelial ligands was HRP-3. HRP-3 expression in the retina and brain was characterized by Western blot and immunohistochemistry. Cell proliferation assay showed that HRP-3 stimulated the growth of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). HRP-3 induced tube formation of HUVECs in culture. Wound healing assay indicated that HRP-3 promoted endothelial cell migration. HRP-3 was further confirmed for its in vitro angiogenic activity by spheroid sprouting assay. HRP-3 extrinsically activated the extracellular-signal-regulated kinase 1/2(ERK1/2) pathway in endothelial cells. The angiogenic activity of HRP-3 was independently verified by mouse cornea pocket assay. Furthermore, in vivo Matrigel plug assay corroborated HRP-3 activity to promote new blood vessel formation. These results demonstrated that HRP-3 is a novel angiogenic factor.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)