Background and objectives: The non-allelic variant of CXCL4/PF4, CXCL4L1/PF4alt, differs from CXCL4 in three amino acids of the C-terminal α-helix and has been characterized as a potent anti-angiogenic regulator. Although CXCL4 structurally belongs to the chemokine family, it does not behave like a 'classical' chemokine, lacking significant chemotactic properties. Specific hallmarks are its angiostatic, anti-proliferative activities, and proinflammatory functions, which can be conferred by heteromer-formation with CCL5/RANTES enhancing monocyte recruitment.
Methods and results: Here we show that tube formation of endothelial cells was inhibited by CXCL4L1 and CXCL4, while only CXCL4L1 triggered chemokinesis of endothelial cells. The chemotactic response towards VEGF and bFGF was attenuated by both variants and CXCL4L1-induced chemokinesis was blocked by bFGF or VEGF. Endothelial cell proliferation was inhibited by CXCL4 (IC(50) 6.9 μg mL(-1)) but not by CXCL4L1, while both chemokines bound directly to VEGF and bFGF. Moreover, CXCL4 enhanced CCL5-induced monocyte arrest in flow adhesion experiments and monocyte recruitment into the mouse peritoneal cavity in vivo, whereas CXCL4L1 had no effect. CXCL4L1 revealed lower affinity to CCL5 than CXCL4, as quantified by isothermal fluorescence titration. As evidenced by the reduction of the activated partial thromboplastin time, CXCL4L1 showed a tendency towards less heparin-neutralizing activity than CXCL4 (IC(50) 2.45 vs 0.98 μg mL(-1)).
Conclusions: CXCL4L1 may act angiostatically by causing random endothelial cell locomotion, disturbing directed migration towards angiogenic chemokines, serving as a homeostatic chemokine with a moderate structural distinction yet different functional profile from CXCL4.
© 2010 International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis.