ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160826-7
Regulation of Vegf signaling by natural and synthetic ligands
Rossi, A., Gauvrit, S., Marass, M., Pan, L., Moens, C.B., Stainier, D.Y.
The mechanisms that allow cells to bypass anti-VEGFA therapy remain poorly understood. Here we use zebrafish to investigate this question and first show that vegfaa mutants display a severe vascular phenotype that can surprisingly be rescued to viability by vegfaa mRNA injections at the one-cell stage. Using vegfaa mutants as an in vivo test tube, we found that zebrafish Vegfbb, Vegfd and Pgfb can also rescue these animals to viability. Taking advantage of a new vegfr1 tyrosine kinase deficient mutant, we determined that Pgfb rescues vegfaa mutants via Vegfr1. Altogether, these data reveal potential resistance routes against current anti-VEGFA therapies. In order to circumvent this resistance, we engineered and validated new dominant negative Vegfa molecules that by trapping Vegf family members can block vascular development. Thus, our results show that Vegfbb, Vegfd and Pgfb can sustain vascular development in the absence of VegfA, and our newly engineered Vegf molecules expand the toolbox for basic research and anti-angiogenic therapy.