Endothelial Grb2-Associated Binder 1 Is Crucial for Postnatal Angiogenesis
Objective—Grb2-associated binder 1 (Gab1), a scaffolding adaptor protein, plays an important role in transmitting key signals that control cell growth, differentiation, and function from multiple tyrosine kinase receptors. The study was designed to investigate the role of endothelial Gab1 in angiogenesis and its underlying molecular mechanisms.
Methods and Results—Using cre-loxp technology, we generated endothelial-specific Gab1 knockout (Gab1-ecKO) mice. Gab1-ecKO mice are viable and showed no obvious developmental defects in the vascular system. To analyze the role of Gab1 in postnatal angiogenesis, we used hindlimb ischemia and Matrigel plug models. We found that loss of endothelial Gab1 in mice dramatically impaired postnatal angiogenesis. Gab1-ecKO mice had impaired ischemia-initiated blood flow recovery, exhibited reduced angiogenesis, and were associated with marked limb necrosis. We further observed significant endothelial cell (EC) death in the ischemic hindlimb of Gab1-ecKO mice. Matrigel plug assay showed that hepatocyte growth factor (HGF)–mediated angiogenesis was inhibited in Gab1-ecKO mice. In vitro studies showed that Gab1 was required for HGF-induced EC migration, tube formation, and microvessel sprouting. Mechanistically, HGF stimulated Gab1 tyrosine phosphorylation in ECs, leading to activation of ERK1/2 and Akt, which are angiogenic and survival signaling.
Conclusion—Gab1 is essential for postnatal angiogenesis through mediating angiogenic and survival signaling.
- Received January 27, 2011.
- Accepted February 15, 2011.
- © 2011 American Heart Association, Inc.