Epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 protects endothelial cells from hyperoxia-induced cell death

Dong Xu*, Ricardo E. Perez, Ikechukwu I. Ekekezie, Angels Navarro, William E. Truog

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Hyperoxia is one of the major contributors to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a chronic lung disease in premature infants. Emerging evidence suggests that the arrested lung development of BPD is associated with pulmonary endothelial cell death and vascular dysfunction resulting from hyperoxia-induced lung injury. A better understanding of the mechanism of hyperoxia-induced endothelial cell death will provide critical information for the pathogenesis and therapeutic development of BPD. Epidermal growth factor-like domain 7 (EGFL7) is a protein secreted from endothelial cells. It plays an important role in vascular tubulogenesis. In the present study, we found that Egfl7 gene expression was significantly decreased in the neonatal rat lungs after hyperoxic exposure. The Egfl7 expression was returned to near normal level 2 wk after discounting oxygen exposure during recovery period. In cultured human endothelial cells, hyperoxia also significantly reduced Egfl7 expression. These observations suggest that diminished levels of Egfl7 expression might be associated with hyperoxia-induced endothelial cell death and lung injury. When we overexpressed human Egfl7 (hEgfl7) in EA.hy926 human endothelial cell line, we found that hEgfl7 overexpression could partially block cytochrome c release from mitochondria and decrease caspase-3 activation. Further Western blotting analyses showed that hEgfl7 overexpression could reduce expression of a proapoptotic protein, Bax, and increase expression of an antiapoptotic protein, Bcl-xL. Theses findings indicate that hEGFL7 may protect endothelial cell from hyperoxia-induced apoptosis by inhibition of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)L17-L23
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Apoptosis
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Lung injury
  • Necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology


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