Heparin affin regulatory peptide (HARP) is an heparin-binding molecule involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation. Here, we report that HARP inhibited the biological activity induced by the 165-amino-acid form of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) on human umbilical vein endothelial cells. Endothelial-cell proliferation induced by VEGF165 showed about 50% inhibition in the presence of HARP in a concentration of 3 nM. In similar range of concentrations, HARP blocked tube formation induced by VEGF165 in three-dimensional angiogenesis assay. In vivo studies showed that HARP inhibited the VEGF165-induced Matrigel trade mark infiltration of endothelial cells. We then investigated the mechanisms of this inhibition and shown that HARP inhibited the binding of 125I-VEGF165 to the VEGF receptors of endothelial cells. Additional studies using VEGF soluble receptors indicated that binding of 125I-VEGF165 to kinase insert domain-containing receptor and neuropilin receptor was inhibited by HARP, but conversely the binding of 125I-VEGF165 to fms-like tyrosine kinase I receptor was unaffected. A competitive affinity-binding assay demonstrated that HARP interacted directly with VEGF165 with a dissociation coefficient of 1.38 nM. Binding assay using deletion mutants of HARP revealed that the thrombospondin type-1 repeats domains were involved in this interaction. These data demonstrate for the first time that the angiogenic factor HARP can also negatively regulates the angiogenic activity of VEGF165.