We recently reported that the two-chain form of human high molecular weight kininogen (HKa) inhibits angiogenesis by inducing endothelial cell apoptosis (Zhang et al. 2000). This property appears to be primarily conferred by HKa domain 5 (HKa D5). In this manuscript, we further characterize the activity of these polypeptides toward proliferating endothelial cells, as well as their in vivo anti-angiogenic activity in the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM). We also demonstrate that short peptides derived from endothelial cell binding regions in HKa domains 3 and 5 inhibit endothelial cell proliferation and induce endothelial cell apoptosis. Like HKa and HKa D5, peptides derived from the latter domain induce endothelial cell apoptosis in a Zn(2+)-dependent manner, while those derived from domain 3 function independently of Zn2+. The implications of these findings to the regulation of angiogenesis and development of anti-angiogenic therapeutics are discussed.