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Response gene to complement 32, a novel hypoxia-regulated angiogenic inhibitor.

An X., Jin Y., Guo H., Foo S.Y., Cully B.L., Wu J., Zeng H., Rosenzweig A., Li J.


Response gene to complement 32 (RGC-32) is induced by activation of complement and regulates cell proliferation. To determine the mechanism of RGC-32 in angiogenesis, we examined the role of RGC-32 in hypoxia-related endothelial cell function.

Methods and results

Hypoxia/ischemia is able to stimulate both angiogenesis and apoptosis. Hypoxia-inducible factor-1/vascular endothelial growth factor is a key transcriptional regulatory pathway for angiogenesis during hypoxia. We demonstrated that the increased RGC-32 expression by hypoxia was via hypoxia-inducible factor-1/vascular endothelial growth factor induction in cultured endothelial cells. However, overexpression of RGC-32 reduced the proliferation and migration and destabilized vascular structure formation in vitro and inhibited angiogenesis in Matrigel assays in vivo. Silencing RGC-32 had an opposing, stimulatory effect. RGC-32 also stimulated apoptosis as shown by the increased apoptotic cells and caspase-3 cleavage. Mechanistic studies revealed that the effect of RGC-32 on the antiangiogenic response was via attenuating fibroblast growth factor 2 expression and further inhibiting expression of cyclin E without affecting vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor 2 signaling in endothelial cells. In the mouse hind-limb ischemia model, RGC-32 inhibited capillary density with a significant attenuation in blood flow. Additionally, treatment with RGC-32 in the xenograft tumor model resulted in reduced growth of blood vessels that is consistent with reduced colon tumor size.


We provide the first direct evidence for RGC-32 as a hypoxia-inducible gene and antiangiogenic factor in endothelial cells. These data suggest that RGC-32 plays an important homeostatic role in that it contributes to differentiating the pathways for vascular endothelial growth factor and fibroblast growth factor 2 in angiogenesis and provides a new target for ischemic disorder and tumor therapies.

Circulation 120:617-627(2009) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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