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The zinc-finger transcription factor, early growth response 3, mediates VEGF-induced angiogenesis.

Liu D., Evans I., Britton G., Zachary I.

Early growth response 3 (Egr3) is a member of a zinc-finger transcription factor subfamily, which we previously found to be strongly upregulated by vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-A in an oligonucleotide microarray screen of endothelial cells. Here, we show that Egr3 is the predominant Egr family member upregulated by VEGF in endothelial cells at 45 min, and that VEGF induced a rapid increase in Egr-dependent transcriptional activation mediated via its major signalling receptor, VEGFR2/KDR, and the protein kinase C (PKC) pathway. VEGF-induced Egr3 gene expression was also mediated in part via a PKC-dependent activation of protein kinase D. Inhibition of Egr3 gene expression by RNA interference was effective in inhibiting basal and VEGF-induced Egr3 gene expression, and it also inhibited VEGF-mediated endothelial cell proliferation, migration and tubulogenesis. These findings indicate that Egr3 has an essential downstream role in VEGF-mediated endothelial functions leading to angiogenesis and may have particular relevance for adult angiogenic processes involved in vascular repair and neovascular disease.

Oncogene 27:2989-2998(2008) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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