We investigated the effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1). Treatment of HMEC-1 with VEGF resulted in a dose- and time-dependent up-regulation of COX-2 mRNA and protein levels. This up-regulation was accompanied by a 1.6-fold increase in PGE2 synthesis. Pretreatment of HMEC-1 with a selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, abolished VEGF-induced PGE2 synthesis, suggesting specific up-regulation of COX-2 activity by VEGF in HMEC-1. Transient transfection assays using deletion mutants of the human COX-2 promoter fused to the luciferase reporter gene indicated critical requirement of a regulatory region spanning -828/-123 bp for VEGF induction of COX-2 promoter activity in HMEC-1. Site-directed mutation analysis demonstrated that a GATA cis-acting element at -685/-680 bp was essential for VEGF-induced COX-2 promoter activity in HMEC-1. These observations are of particular importance given the recent demonstrations of critical requirement of COX-2 isoenzyme for tumor growth and angiogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical