Angiogenesis involves proliferation of capillary endothelial cells and formation of lumen-containing tube-like structures. A recently established murine brain capillary endothelial cell line, IBE, can either proliferate or form tube-like structures (i.e., differentiate) in response to fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), dependent on the culture conditions. The 4N1K peptide (KRFYVVMWKK), which is derived from the C-terminal cell-binding domain of thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), inhibited tube formation, but not proliferation of IBE cells. Polyclonal antibodies against 4N1K blocked TSP-1-induced inhibition of tube formation by IBE cells. 4N1K inhibited tyrosine phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase and FGF-2-stimulated tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-gamma in tube-forming, but not proliferating, IBE cells. The peptide also inhibited FGF-2-induced neovascularization in mouse cornea. Our results indicate that TSP-1 may exert its inhibitory effects on angiogenesis via the C-terminal cell-binding domain containing the 4N1K sequence by inhibiting tube formation by endothelial cells.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.