So, J.H., Hong, S.K., Kim, H.T., Jung, S.H., Lee, M.S., Choi, J.H., Bae, Y.K., Kudoh, T., Kim, J.H., and Kim, C.H. (2010) Gicerin/Cd146 is involved in zebrafish cardiovascular development and tumor angiogenesis. Genes to cells : devoted to molecular & cellular mechanisms. 15(11):1099-1110.
Angiogenesis plays an important role in vertebrate development and tumor growth. In this process, gicerin, which is known as a kind of cell adhesion molecule, has recently been reported to play an important role but its in vivo function is still unclear in developing vasculature. To address this issue, we used gain-of-function and loss-of-function analyses of gicerin in zebrafish. In the gain of function experiments using enforced expression of various domains of gicerin constructs, extracellular domain induced angiogenic sprouting defects, most notably in the intersegmental vessels, whereas the cytoplasmic domain of gicerin did not affect angiogenic sprouting. Moreover, morpholino-mediated knockdown of gicerin in embryos resulted in angiogenic sprouting defects in intersegmental vessels. Mechanistically, the angiogenic function of gicerin was found to be genetically linked to VEGF signaling in the knock-down experiments using vegf-a mRNA, VEGFR inhibitor and gicerin morpholino. In addition to the physiological angiogenesis during development, gicerin morphants efficiently blocked the tumor angiogenesis in zebrafish. Thus, knock-down of gicerin might have an important implication in controlling tumor angiogenesis.