VEGF-induced neoangiogenesis is mediated by NAADP and two-pore channel-2 -dependent ca2+signaling

Annarita Faviaa, Marianna Desiderib, Guido Gambaraa, Alessio D'Alessioa, Margarida Ruas, Bianca Esposito, Donatella Del Bufalo, John Parrington, Elio Ziparoa, Fioretta Palombia, Antony Galioned, Antonio Filippini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors VEGFR1/ VEGFR2 play major roles in controlling angiogenesis, including vascularization of solid tumors. Here we describe a specific Ca2+ signaling pathway linked to the VEGFR2 receptor subtype, controlling the critical angiogenic responses of endothelial cells (ECs) to VEGF. Key steps of this pathway are the involvement of the potent Ca2+ mobilizing messenger, nicotinic acid adenine-dinucleotide phosphate (NAADP), and the specific engagement of the two-pore channel TPC2 subtype on acidic intracellular Ca2+ stores, resulting in Ca2+ release and angiogenic responses. Targeting this intracellular pathway pharmacologically using the NAADP antagonist Ned-19 or genetically using Tpcn2-/- mice was found to inhibit angiogenic responses to VEGF in vitro and in vivo. In human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) Ned-19 abolished VEGFinduced Ca2+ release, impairing phosphorylation of ERK1/2, Akt, eNOS, JNK, cell proliferation, cell migration, and capillary-like tube formation. Interestingly, Tpcn2 shRNA treatment abolished VEGFinduced Ca2+ release and capillary-like tube formation. Importantly, in vivo VEGF-induced vessel formation in matrigel plugs in mice was abolished by Ned-19, most notably, failed to occur in Tpcn2-/ - mice, but was unaffected in Tpcn1-/- animals. These results demonstrate that a VEGFR2/NAADP/TPC2/Ca2+ signaling pathway is critical for VEGF-induced angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo. Given that VEGF can elicit both pro- and antiangiogenic responses depending upon the balance of signal transduction pathways activated, targeting specific VEGFR2 downstream signaling pathways could modify this balance, potentially leading to more finely tailored therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4706-4715
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number44
Publication statusPublished - Nov 4 2014


  • Antiangiogenic strategies |
  • Calcium signaling |
  • Endothelial cells |
  • Naadp receptors |
  • TPC2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Medicine(all)


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