Heterotrimeric Gαq/Gα11 proteins function upstream of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2 (KDR) phosphorylation in vascular permeability factor/VEGF signaling

Huiyan Zeng, Dezheng Zhao, Suping Yang, Kaustubh Datta, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay

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60 Scopus citations


Vascular permeability factor/vascular endothelial growth factor (VPF/VEGF) functions by activating two receptor-tyrosine kinases, Flt-1 (VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1) and KDR (VEGFR-2), both of which are selectively expressed on primary vascular endothelium. KDR is responsible for VPF/VEGF-stimulated endothelial cell proliferation and migration, whereas Flt-1 down-modulates KDR-mediated endothelial cell proliferation. Our most recent works show that pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins and Gβγ subunits are required for Flt-1-mediated down-regulation of human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation and that Gq/11 proteins are required for KDR-mediated RhoA activation and HUVEC migration. In this study, we demonstrate that Gq/11 proteins are also required for VPF/ VEGF-stimulated HUVEC proliferation. Our results further indicate that Gq/11 proteins specifically mediate KDR signaling such as intracellular Ca2+ mobilization rather than Flt-1-induced CDC42 activation and that a Gq/11 antisense oligonucleotide completely inhibits MAPK phosphorylation induced by KDR but has no effect on Flt-1-induced MAPK activation. More importantly, we demonstrate that Gq/11 proteins interact with KDR in vivo, and the interaction of Gq/11 proteins with KDR does not require KDR tyrosine phosphorylation. Surprisingly, the Gq/11 antisense oligonucleotide completely inhibits VPF/VEGF-stimulated KDR phosphorylation. Expression of a constitutively active mutant of G11 but not Gq can cause phosphorylation of KDR and MAPK. In addition, a Gβγ minigene, hβARK1(495), inhibits VPF/VEGF-stimulated HUVEC proliferation, MAPK phosphorylation, and intracellular Ca2+ mobilization but has no effect on KDR phosphorylation. Taken together, this study demonstrates that Gq/11 proteins mediate KDR tyrosine phosphorylation and KDR-mediated HUVEC proliferation through interaction with KDR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20738-20745
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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