Regulation of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor Function in Angiogenesis by Numb and Numb-Like
Objective—Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling is a major regulator of physiological and pathological angiogenesis. VEGF receptor activity is strongly controlled by endocytosis, which can terminate or enhance signal transduction in the angiogenic endothelium, but the exact molecular regulation of these processes remains incompletely understood. We have therefore examined the function of Numb family clathrin-associated sorting proteins in angiogenesis.
Approach and Results—We show that Numb proteins are expressed by endothelial cells during retinal angiogenesis in mice. Inducible inactivation of the Numb/Numbl genes in the postnatal endothelium led to impaired vessel growth, reduced endothelial proliferation and sprouting, and decreased VEGF receptor activation. Biochemistry and cell biology experiments established that Numb can interact with VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 and controls VEGF receptor activation in response to ligand stimulation. Experiments in cultured endothelial cells showed that Numb proteins counteract VEGF receptor degradation and promote VEGFR2 recycling back to the plasma membrane.
Conclusions—Numb proteins control VEGF receptor endocytosis, signaling, and recycling in endothelial cells, which promotes the angiogenic growth of blood vessels.
- endothelial cell
- endothelial cell sprouting and proliferation
- VEGF signaling
- Received February 9, 2015.
- Accepted May 31, 2015.
- © 2015 American Heart Association, Inc.