Murine endothelial differentiation-related factor (mEDF-1) encodes a basic intracellular protein of 148 amino acids which is highly homologous to the human and rat polypeptides. mEDF-1 is expressed in most murine tissues tested and is evolutionary conserved. mEDF-1 expression is modulated in mouse development, since its expression is high early in development and decreases thereafter. Because EDF-1 has been isolated as a gene differentially expressed by exposure of endothelial cells to the Tat protein of HIV, we evaluated mEDF-1 expression in different cell lines derived from tumors which spontaneously develop in Tat transgenic mice. Cells isolated from adenocarcinomas and leiomyosarcomas express very high amounts of EDF-1, independently from their capability to secrete Tat. Tat transgenic mice also develop skin lesions which closely resemble human Kaposi's sarcoma. Since Kaposi spindle cells, which are the proliferative component of the sarcoma, differentiate from an endothelial precursor, it is noteworthy that spindle cells derived from Kaposi-like lesions of the Tat transgenic mice downregulate EDF-1 when compared to microvascular endothelial cells isolated from the same tissue.
- Kaposi-like spindle cells
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