Comparative integromics on VEGF family members

Yuriko Katoh, Masaru Katoh
International Journal of Oncology 2006, 28 (6): 1585-9
VEGF, Hedgehog, FGF, Notch, and WNT signaling pathways network together for vascular remodeling during embryogenesis, tissue regeneration, and carcinogenesis. VEGFA (VEGF), VEGFB, VEGFC, VEGFD (FIGF) and PGF (PlGF) are VEGF family ligands for receptor tyrosine kinases, including VEGFR1 (FLT1), VEGFR2 (KDR) and VEGFR3 (FLT4). Bevacizumab (Avastin), Sunitinib (Sutent) and Sorafenib (Nexavar) are anti-cancer drugs targeted to VEGF signaling pathway. TCF/LEF binding sites within the promoter region of human VEGF family members were searched for by using bioinformatics and human intelligence (Humint). Because four TCF/LEF-binding sites were identified within the 5'-promoter region of human VEGFD gene within AC095351.5 genome sequence, comparative genomics analyses on VEGFD orthologs were further performed. ASB9-ASB11-VEGFD locus at human chromosome Xp22.2 and ASB5-VEGFC locus at human chromosome 4q34 were paralogous regions within the human genome. Human VEGFD mRNA was expressed in lung, small intestine, uterus, breast, neural tissues, and neuroblastoma. Mouse Vegfd mRNA was expressed in kidney, pregnant oviduct, and neural tissues. Chimpanzee VEGFD promoter, cow Vegfd promoter, mouse Vegfd promoter and rat Vegfd promoter were identified within NW_121675.1, AC161065.2, AL732475.6 and AC130036.3 genome sequences, respectively. Three out of four TCF/LEF-binding sites within human VEGFD promoter were conserved in chimpanzee VEGFD promoter, and one in cow Vegfd promoter. TCF/LEF-binding site, not conserved in human VEGFD promoter, occurred in cow, mouse and rat Vegfd promoters. At least five out of six bHLH-binding sites within human VEGFD proximal promoter region were conserved in chimpanzee VEGFD proximal promoter region, while only one in cow Vegfd proximal promoter region. Together these facts indicate that relatively significant promoter evolution occurred among mammalian VEGFD orthologs. Human VEGFD was characterized as a potent target gene of WNT/beta-catenin signaling pathway. VEGFD, implicated in angiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis, is a pharmacogenomics target in the field of oncology.

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