Interferon-α (IFN-α) comprises a family of 13 cytokines involved in the modulation of antiviral, immune, and anticancer responses by orchestrating a complex transcriptional network. The activation of IFN-α signaling pathway in endothelial cells results in decreased proliferation and migration, ultimately leading to suppression of angiogenesis. In this study, we knocked-down the expression of seven established or candidate modulators of IFN-α response in endothelial cells to reconstruct a gene regulatory network and to investigate the antiangiogenic activity of IFN-α. This genetic perturbation approach, along with the analysis of interferon-induced gene expression dynamics, highlighted a complex and highly interconnected network, in which the angiostatic chemokine C-X-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 10 (CXCL10) was a central node targeted by multiple modulators. IFN-α-induced secretion of CXCL10 protein by endothelial cells was blunted by the silencing of Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) and of Interferon Regulatory Factor 1 (IRF1) and it was exacerbated by the silencing of Ubiquitin Specific Peptidase 18 (USP18). In vitro sprouting assay, which mimics in vivo angiogenesis, confirmed STAT1 as a positive modulator and USP18 as a negative modulator of IFN-α-mediated sprouting suppression. Our data reveal an unprecedented physiological regulation of angiogenesis in endothelial cells through a tonic IFN-α signaling, whose enhancement could represent a viable strategy to suppress tumor neoangiogenesis.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2 2020|