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Characterization of indolinones which preferentially inhibit VEGF-C- and VEGF-D-induced activation of VEGFR-3 rather than VEGFR-2.

Kirkin V., Mazitschek R., Krishnan J., Steffen A., Waltenberger J., Pepper M.S., Giannis A., Sleeman J.P.

VEGF-C and VEGF-D are lymphangiogenic factors that bind to and activate VEGFR-3, a fms-like tyrosine kinase receptor whose expression is limited almost exclusively to lymphatic endothelium in the adult. Processed forms of VEGF-C and VEGF-D can also activate VEGFR-2, a key player in the regulation of angiogenesis. There is increasing evidence to show that these receptor-ligand interactions play a pivotal role in a number of pathological situations. Inhibition of receptor activation by VEGF-C and VEGF-D could therefore be pharmaceutically useful. Furthermore, to understand the different roles of VEGF-C, VEGF-D, VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3 in pathological situations it will be necessary to dissect the complex interactions of these ligands and their receptors. To facilitate such studies we cloned, sequenced and characterized the expression of rat VEGF-C and VEGF-D. We showed that Cys152-->Ser mutants of processed rat VEGF-C can activate VEGFR-3 but not VEGFR-2, while the corresponding mutation in rat VEGF-D inhibits its ability to activate both VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3. We also synthesized and characterized indolinones that differentially block VEGF-C- and VEGF-D-induced VEGFR-3 kinase activity compared to that of VEGFR-2. These tools should be useful in analysing the different activities and roles of VEGF-C, VEGF-D and their ligands, and in blocking VEGFR-3-mediated lymphangiogenesis.

Eur. J. Biochem. 268:5530-5540(2001) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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