A role for sialyl Lewis-X/A glycoconjugates in capillary morphogenesis.
To identify cell adhesion molecules required for angiogenesis, we used an in vitro model in which bovine capillary endothelial cells can be induced to form capillary-like tubes. Monoclonal antibodies directed against the carbohydrate epitopes sialyl Lewis-X and sialyl Lewis-A inhibited capillary formation. We postulated that a member of the selectin family of adhesion molecules may be involved in capillary formation because these proteins bind to sialyl Lewis-X/A-containing ligands. We isolated a 2.8-kilobase complementary DNA from a bovine capillary endothelial cell cDNA library which encodes a polypeptide with 71% identity to human E-selectin. We report here that antibody directed against the bovine E-selectin inhibited capillary formation, suggesting that in addition to its role in leukocyte adhesion to endothelium, a form of E-selectin is involved in capillary morphogenesis.