Secretogranin III (Scg3) is a member of the granin protein family that regulates the biogenesis of secretory granules. Scg3 was recently discovered as an angiogenic factor, expanding its functional role to extrinsic regulation. Unlike many other known angiogenic factors, the pro-angiogenic actions of Scg3 are restricted to pathological conditions. Among thousands of quantified endothelial ligands, Scg3 has the highest binding activity ratio to diabetic vs. healthy mouse retinas and lowest background binding to normal vessels. In contrast, vascular endothelial growth factor binds to and stimulates angiogenesis of both diabetic and control vasculature. Consistent with its role in pathological angiogenesis, Scg3-neutralizing antibodies alleviate retinal vascular leakage in mouse models of diabetic retinopathy and retinal neovascularization in oxygen-induced retinopathy mice. This review summarizes our current knowledge of Scg3 as a regulatory protein of secretory granules, highlights its new role as a highly disease-selective angiogenic factor, and envisions Scg3 inhibitors as "selective angiogenesis blockers" for targeted therapy.
Keywords: Anti-angiogenesis therapy; Comparative ligandomics; Diabetic macular edema; Ligandomics; Proliferative diabetic retinopathy; Retinopathy of prematurity.