Regulation of gene expression by SPARC during angiogenesis in vitro. Changes in fibronectin, thrombospondin-1, and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1

Timothy F Lane, M. L. Iruela-Arispe, E. H. Sage*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


Angiogenesis in vitro, the formation of capillary-like structures by cultured endothelial cells, is associated with changes in the expression of several extracellular matrix proteins. The expression of SPARC, a secreted collagen-binding glycoprotein, has been shown to increase significantly during this process. We now show that addition of purified SPARC protein, or an N-terminal synthetic peptide (SPARC4-23), to strains of bovine aortic endothelial cells undergoing angiogenesis in vitro resulted in a dose- dependent decrease in the synthesis of fibronectin and thrombospondin-1 and an increase in the synthesis of type 1-plasminogen activator inhibitor. SPARC decreased fibronectin mRNA by 75% over 48 h, an effect that was inhibited by anti-SPARC immunoglobulins. Levels of thrombospondin-1 mRNA were diminished by 80%. Over a similar time course, both mRNA and protein levels of type 1- plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) were enhanced by SPARC and the SPARC4-23 peptide. The effects were dose-dependent with concentrations of SPARC between 1 and 30 μg/ml. In contrast, no changes were observed in the levels of either type I collagen mRNA or secreted gelatinases. Half-maximal induction of PAI-1 mRNA or inhibition of fibronectin and thrombospondin mRNAs occurred with 2-5 μg/ml SPARC and approximately 0.05 mM SPARC4-23. Strains of endothelial cells that did not form cords and tubes in vitro had reduced or undetectable responses to SPARC under identical conditions. These results demonstrate that SPARC modulates the synthesis of a subset of secreted proteins and identify an N-terminal acidic sequence as a region of the protein that provides an active site. SPARC might therefore function, in part, to achieve an optimal ratio among different components of the extracellular matrix. This activity would be consistent with known effects of SPARC on cellular morphology and proliferation that might contribute to the regulation of angiogenesis in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16736-16745
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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