Insulin-like growth factor II (IGF-II), highly expressed in a number of human tumours, has been recently known to promote neovascularization in vivo. Yet, the detailed mechanism by which IGF-II induces angiogenesis has not been well defined. In the present study, we explored an angiogenic activity of IGF-II in in vitro angiogenesis model. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with IGF-II rapidly aligned and formed a capillary-like network on Matrigel. In chemotaxis assay, IGF-II remarkably increased migration of HUVECs. A rapid and transient activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38 MARK) and p125 focal adhesion kinase (p125(FAK)) phosphorylation was detected in HUVECs exposed to IGF-II. IGF-II also stimulated invasion of HUVECs through a polycarbonate filter coated with Matrigel. Quantitative gelatin-based zymography identified that matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) activity generated from HUVECs was increased by IGF-II. This induction of MMP-2 activity was correlated with Northern blot analysis, showing in HUVECs that IGF-II increased the expression of MMP-2 mRNA, while it did not affect that of TIMP-2, a tissue inhibitor of MMP-2. These results provide the evidence that IGF-II directly induces angiogenesis by stimulating migration and morphological differentiation of endothelial cells, and suggest that IGF-II may play a crucial role in the progression of tumorigenesis by promoting the deleterious neovascularization.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We are grateful to Dr M Seiki for providing MMP-2 and TIMP-2 cDNA probes. This research was supported by the Hallym Academy of Sciences, Hallym University, and the National Research Laboratory fund, the Ministry of Science and Technology, Korea
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research