PEDF is an endogenous inhibitor of VEGF-R2 angiogenesis signaling in endothelial cells

Mingliang Zhang, Joyce Tombran-Tink, Songyang Yang, Xiaomin Zhang, Xiaorong Li, Colin J. Barnstable

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Pigment epithelium derived factor (PEDF), an endogenous inhibitor of angiogenesis, targets the growth of aberrant blood vessels in many tissues, including the eye. In this study we show that PEDF prevented early mitogenic signals of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A) in primate retinal endothelial cells, blocking proliferation, migration and tube formation. PEDF inhibited the phosphorylation and activation of five major downstream VEGF-A signaling partners, namely phosphoinositide-3-OH Kinase (PI3K), AKT, FAK, Src (Y416), and PLC-γ. It did so by binding to the extracellular domain of VEGF-R2, blocking VEGF-A-induced tyrosine phosphorylation (Tyr 951 and Tyr 1175), and inhibiting VEGF-R2 receptor kinase activity. PEDF had no effect on the transcription or translation of VEGF-R2 in cultured HUVECs. PEDF also bound to the extracellular domain of VEGF-R1. We conclude that PEDF blocks the growth of new blood vessels, in part, by reducing VEGF-A activation of its key mitogenic receptor, VEGF-R2, and by preventing its downstream signals in endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108828
JournalExperimental Eye Research
StatePublished - Dec 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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