Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) is a potent angiogenic factor. In this report, we describe for the first time that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mediated induction of the ctgf/ccn2 gene was a post-transcriptional event that was inhibited by a novel angiogenic inhibitor, DN-9693, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Steady-state mRNA levels of ctgf/ccn2 were remarkably increased by VEGF in a concentration-dependent manner, whereas the activity of the ctgf/ccn2 promoter was not responsive to VEGF as confirmed by a reporter gene assay and quantitative real-time PCR analysis. By employing a RNA degradation assay, we eventually found that the observed increase in the ctgf/ccn2 mRNA level was due to an increased stability of the mRNA induced by VEGF. DN-9693 at a dose of 0.1 to 2 ng/mL did not affect basal levels of ctgf/ccn2 mRNA; however, enhancement of ctgf/ccn2 mRNA expression by VEGF was specifically inhibited by DN-9693. Of importance, the inhibitory effects could be also ascribed to post-transcriptional regulation, because the VEGF-mediated increase in stability of ctgf/ccn2 mRNA was suppressed by DN-9693. Furthermore, we investigated the effects of DN-9693 on VEGF-induced activation of three subgroups of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways and found that DN-9693 blocked the activation of these pathways by VEGF. These results suggest that VEGF increases ctgf/ccn2 mRNA stability through mitogen-activated protein kinase-mediated intracellular signaling cascade(s), which can be inhibited posttranscriptionally by a novel angiogenic inhibitor, DN-9693, in human umbilical vein endothelial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research