Kubota, Y., Oike, Y., Satoh, S., Tabata, Y., Niikura, Y., Morisada, T., Akao, M., Urano, T., Ito, Y., Miyamoto, T., Nagai, N., Koh, G.Y., Watanabe, S., and Suda, T. (2005) Cooperative interaction of Angiopoietin-like proteins 1 and 2 in zebrafish vascular development. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 102(38):13502-13507.
Angiopoietin-like protein (Angptl) 1 and Angptl2, which are considered orphan ligands, are highly homologous, particularly in the fibrinogen-like domain containing the putative receptor binding site. This similarity suggests potentially cooperative functions between the two proteins. In this report, the function of Angptl1 and Angptl2 is analyzed by using morpholino antisense technology in zebrafish. Knockdown of both Angptl1 and Angptl2 produced severe vascular defects due to increased apoptosis of endothelial cells at the sprouting stage. In vitro studies showed that Angptl1 and Angptl2 have antiapoptotic activities through the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathway, and coinjection of constitutively active Akt/protein kinase B mRNA rescued impaired vascular development seen in double knockdown embryos. These results provide a physiological demonstration of the cooperative interaction of Angptl1 and Angptl2 in endothelial cells through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt mediated antiapoptotic activities.