Identification of ligand-induced proteolytic cleavage and ectodomain shedding of VEGFR-1/FLT1 in leukemic cancer cells

, , and . Cancer Res. 69 (6): 2607-2614 (2009)


Vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1/fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (VEGFR-1/FLT1) is expressed as a membrane-bound receptor tyrosine kinase and as an alternatively spliced soluble protein (sVEGFR-1) containing the 1-6 IgG-like domain of its ectodomain. sVEGFR-1 is known as a naturally occurring inhibitor of angiogenesis and as a surrogate marker for cancer progression; it is also linked to pregnancy-induced hypertension called preeclampsia and to avascularity of normal cornea. It remains an open question whether alternative mRNA splicing is the only mechanism by which sVEGFR-1 is generated. In this study, we show that in leukemic cancer cells, PlGF and VEGF-A both induce tyrosine phosphorylation of VEGFR-1 and render it susceptible to ectodomain shedding, resulting in the generation of sVEGFR-1 and an intracellular cytoplasmic fragment. Activation of protein kinase C and tumor necrosis factor-alpha-converting enzyme family metalloproteases are critically required for the occur

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