Research Summary: Apolipoprotein(a) Inhibits In Vitro Tube Formation in Endothelial Cells: Identification of Roles for Kringle V and the Plasminogen Activation System


Elevated plasma concentrations of lipoprotein(a) are associated with increased risk for atherothrombotic diseases. Apolipoprotein(a), the unique glycoprotein component of lipoprotein(a), is characterized by the presence of multiple kringle domains, and shares a high degree of sequence homology with the serine protease zymogen plasminogen. It has been shown that angiostatin, a proteolytic fragment of plasminogen containing kringles 1–4, can effectively inhibit angiogenesis. Moreover, proteolytic fragments of plasminogen containing kringle 5 are even more potent inhibitors of angiogenesis than angiostatin. Despite its strong similarity with plasminogen, the role of apolipoprotein(a) in angiogenesis remains controversial, with both pro- and anti-angiogenic effects reported. In the current study, we evaluated the ability of apolipoprotein(a) to inhibit VEGF- and angiopoietin-induced tube formation in human umbilical cord endothelial cells. A 17 kringle-containing form of recombinant apo(a) (17K), corresponding to a well-characterized, physiologically-relevant form of the molecule, effectively inhibited tube formation induced by either VEGF or angiopoietin-1. Using additional recombinant apolipoprotein(a) (r-apo(a)) variants, we demonstrated that this effect was dependent on the presence of an intact lysine-binding site in kringle V domain of apo(a), but not on the presence of the functional lysine-binding site in apo(a) kringle IV type 10; sequences within in the amino-terminal half of the molecule were also not required for the inhibitory effects of apo(a). We also showed that the apo(a)-mediated inhibition tube formation could be reversed, in part by the addition of plasmin or urokinase plasminogen activator, or by removal of plasminogen from the system. Further, we demonstrated that apo(a) treated with glycosidases to remove sialic acid was significantly less effective in inhibiting tube formation. This is the first report of a functional role for the glycosylation of apo(a) although the mechanisms underlying this observation remain to be determined in the context of angiogenesis.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 11-January-2013

Author(s): Liu L., Boffa M., Koschinsky M.


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