Vascular endothelial growth factor up-regulates cyclooxygenase-2 expression in human endothelial cells

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2002 Jul;87(7):3504-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem.87.7.8796.


We investigated the effects of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) on cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) synthesis in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1). Treatment of HMEC-1 with VEGF resulted in a dose- and time-dependent up-regulation of COX-2 mRNA and protein levels. This up-regulation was accompanied by a 1.6-fold increase in PGE(2) synthesis. Pretreatment of HMEC-1 with a selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, abolished VEGF-induced PGE(2) synthesis, suggesting specific up-regulation of COX-2 activity by VEGF in HMEC-1. Transient transfection assays using deletion mutants of the human COX-2 promoter fused to the luciferase reporter gene indicated critical requirement of a regulatory region spanning -828/-123 bp for VEGF induction of COX-2 promoter activity in HMEC-1. Site-directed mutation analysis demonstrated that a GATA cis-acting element at -685/-680 bp was essential for VEGF- induced COX-2 promoter activity in HMEC-1. These observations are of particular importance given the recent demonstrations of critical requirement of COX-2 isoenzyme for tumor growth and angiogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Dinoprostone / biosynthesis
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / pharmacology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / genetics
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism*
  • Lymphokines / pharmacology*
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / drug effects
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / genetics
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics
  • Up-Regulation
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Isoenzymes
  • Lymphokines
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • PTGS2 protein, human
  • Prostaglandin-Endoperoxide Synthases
  • Dinoprostone