Notoginsenoside Ft1 promotes angiogenesis via HIF-1α mediated VEGF secretion and the regulation of PI3K/AKT and Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathways

Kaikai Shen, Lili Ji, Chenyuan Gong, Yibo Ma, Li Yang, Yi Fan, Maoqi Hou, Zhengtao Wang
Biochemical Pharmacology 2012 September 15, 84 (6): 784-92
Notoginsenoside Ft1 (Ft1) is a saponin isolated from Panax notoginseng, which has been used traditionally for the treatment of trauma injuries in East Asia. Here we show that Ft1 is a novel stimulator of angiogenesis. The results show that Ft1 induces proliferation, migration, and tube formation in cultured human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Ft1 increases translocalization of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) from cytoplasm to nuclei, where it binds to the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promoter, increasing the expression of VEGF mRNA and the subsequent secretion of the growth factor. Ft1 induces the activation of PI3K/AKT and Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathways. Pharmacological inhibition with LY294002, wortmanin or PD98059 reduces Ft1-induced angiogenesis, indicating the important role played by these pathways. In addition, Ft1 induces phosphorylation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and siRNA-mediated mTOR knockdown decreases tube formation, proliferation, transport of HIF-1α into nuclei and VEGF mRNA expression in response to Ft1. Finally, in vivo, Ft1 promotes the formation of blood vessels in Matrigel plug and wound healing in mice. Taken together, the present results reveal that Ft1 stimulates angiogenesis via HIF-1α-mediated VEGF expression, with PI3K/AKT and Raf/MEK/ERK signaling cascades concurrently participating in the process.

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