Identification of a peptide blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mediated angiogenesis

EMBO J. 2000 Apr 3;19(7):1525-33. doi: 10.1093/emboj/19.7.1525.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) binding to the kinase domain receptor (KDR/FLK1 or VEGFR-2) mediates vascularization and tumor-induced angiogenesis. Since there is evidence that KDR plays an important role in tumor angiogenesis, we sought to identify peptides able to block the VEGF-KDR interaction. A phage epitope library was screened by affinity for membrane-expressed KDR or for an anti-VEGF neutralizing monoclonal antibody. Both strategies led to the isolation of peptides binding KDR specifically, but those isolated by KDR binding tended to display lower reactivities. Of the synthetic peptides corresponding to selected clones tested to determine their inhibitory activity, ATWLPPR completely abolished VEGF binding to cell-displayed KDR. In vitro, this effect led to the inhibition of the VEGF-mediated proliferation of human vascular endothelial cells, in a dose-dependent and endothelial cell type-specific manner. Moreover, in vivo, ATWLPPR totally abolished VEGF-induced angiogenesis in a rabbit corneal model. Taken together, these data demonstrate that ATWLPPR is an effective antagonist of VEGF binding, and suggest that this peptide may be a potent inhibitor of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antibodies / metabolism
  • CHO Cells
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cornea / blood supply
  • Cornea / drug effects
  • Cricetinae
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / genetics
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lymphokines / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Lymphokines / genetics
  • Lymphokines / physiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / drug effects*
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism
  • Oligopeptides / pharmacology*
  • Peptide Library
  • Protein Binding
  • Rabbits
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism
  • Receptors, Growth Factor / metabolism
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Antibodies
  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Lymphokines
  • Oligopeptides
  • Peptide Library
  • Receptors, Growth Factor
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptors, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor