Molecular Medicine

, Volume 17, Issue 9–10, pp 1095–1106 | Cite as

Angiopoietin-1 Protects Heart against Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury through VE-Cadherin Dephosphorylation and Myocardiac Integrin-β1/ERK/Caspase-9 Phosphorylation Cascade

  • Sae-Won Lee
  • Joo-Yun Won
  • Hae-Young Lee
  • Ho-Jae Lee
  • Seock-Won Youn
  • Ji-Young Lee
  • Chung-Hyun Cho
  • Hyun-Jai Cho
  • Seil Oh
  • In-Ho Chae
  • Hyo-Soo Kim
Research Article


Early reperfusion after myocardial ischemia that is essential for tissue salvage also causes myocardial and vascular injury. Cardioprotection during reperfusion therapy is an essential aspect of treating myocardial infarction. Angiopoietin-1 is an endothelialspecific angiogenic factor. The potential effects of angiopoietin-1 on cardiomyocytes and vascular cells undergoing reperfusion have not been investigated. We propose a protective mechanism whereby angiopoietin-1 increases the integrity of the endothelial lining and exerts a direct survival effect on cardiomyocytes under myocardial ischemia followed by reperfusion. First, we found that angiopoietin-1 prevents vascular leakage through regulating vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin phosphorylation. The membrane expression of VE-cadherin was markedly decreased on hypoxia/reoxygenation but was restored by angiopoietin-1 treatment. Interestingly, these effects were mediated by the facilitated binding between SH2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase (SHP2) or receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase μ (PTPμ) and VE-cadherin, leading to dephosphorylation of VE-cadherin. siRNA against SHP2 or PTPμ abolished the effect of angiopoietin-1 on VE-cadherin dephosphorylation and thereby decreased levels of membrane-localized VE-cadherin. Second, we found that angiopoietin-1 prevented cardiomyocyte death, although cardiomyocytes lack the angiopoietin-1 receptor Tie2. Angiopoietin-1 increased cardiomyocyte survival through integrin-β1-mediated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation, which inhibited caspase-9 through phosphorylation at Thr125 and subsequently reduced active caspase-3. Neutralizing antibody against integrin-β1 blocked these protective effects. In a mouse myocardial ischemia/reperfusion model, angiopoietin-1 enhanced cardiac function and reduction in left ventricular-end systolic dimension (LV-ESD) and left ventricular-end diastolic dimension (LV-EDD) with an increase in ejection fraction (EF) and fractional shortening (FS). Our findings suggest the novel cardioprotective mechanisms of angiopoietin-1 that are achieved by reducing both vascular leakage and cardiomyocyte death after ischemia/reperfusion injury.



This study was supported by a grant for the Innovative Research Institute for Cell Therapy (A062260) and a National Research Foundation grant funded by the Korea government (Ministry of Education, Science and Technology [MEST]) (2010-0020257). H-S Kim is a professor of Molecular Medicine and Biopharmaceuticals Sciences, Seoul National University, and is sponsored by the World Class University program from the Ministry of Education and Science, Korea.

S-W Lee performed project planning, experimental design and data interpretation and prepared the manuscript. J-Y Won, H-Y Lee, J-Y Lee and S-W Youn performed cell culture and experiments and analyzed data. H-J Lee, C-H Cho, H-J Cho, S Oh and I-H Chae provided the mouse myocardial ischemia (MI) model and data analysis. H-S Kim provided project planning, data interpretation and funding and prepared the manuscript.

Supplementary material

10020_2011_1791095_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (988 kb)
Angiopoietin-1 Protects Heart against Ischemia/Reperfusion Injury through VE-Cadherin Dephosphorylation and Myocardiac Integrin-β1/ERK/Caspase-9 Phosphorylation Cascade


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Copyright information

© The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sae-Won Lee
    • 1
  • Joo-Yun Won
    • 1
  • Hae-Young Lee
    • 1
  • Ho-Jae Lee
    • 1
  • Seock-Won Youn
    • 1
  • Ji-Young Lee
    • 1
  • Chung-Hyun Cho
    • 2
  • Hyun-Jai Cho
    • 1
  • Seil Oh
    • 1
  • In-Ho Chae
    • 1
  • Hyo-Soo Kim
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Internal Medicine, and Innovative Research Institute for Cell TherapySeoul National University HospitalSeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of PhysiologyChoong-nam National UniversityDaejeonKorea
  3. 3.World Class University Program, Department of Molecular Medicine and Biopharmaceutical SciencesSeoul National UniversitySeoulKorea

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