Publications by authors named "Emilia A Korhonen"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Lysophosphatidylcholine in phospholipase A-modified LDL triggers secretion of angiopoietin 2.

Atherosclerosis 2021 06 2;327:87-99. Epub 2021 May 2.

Wihuri Research Institute, Biomedicum Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 8, Helsinki, Finland. Electronic address:

Background And Aims: Secretory phospholipase A (PLA) hydrolyzes LDL phospholipids generating modified LDL particles (PLA-LDL) with increased atherogenic properties. Exocytosis of Weibel-Palade bodies (WPB) releases angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) and externalizes P-selectin, which both play important roles in vascular inflammation. Here, we investigated the effects of PLA-LDL on exocytosis of WPBs.

Methods: Human coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs) were stimulated with PLA- LDL, and its uptake and effect on Ang2 release, leukocyte adhesion, and intracellular calcium levels were measured. The effects of PLA-LDL on Ang2 release and WPB exocytosis were measured in and ex vivo in mice.

Results: Exposure of HCAECs to PLA-LDL triggered Ang2 secretion and promoted leukocyte-HCAEC interaction. Lysophosphatidylcholine was identified as a critical component of PLA-LDL regulating the WPB exocytosis, which was mediated by cell-surface proteoglycans, phospholipase C, intracellular calcium, and cytoskeletal remodeling. PLA-LDL also induced murine endothelial WPB exocytosis in blood vessels in and ex vivo, as evidenced by secretion of Ang2 in vivo, P-selectin translocation to plasma membrane in intact endothelial cells in thoracic artery and tracheal vessels, and reduced Ang2 staining in tracheal endothelial cells. Finally, in contrast to normal human coronary arteries, in which Ang2 was present only in the endothelial layer, at sites of advanced atherosclerotic lesions, Ang2 was detected also in the intima, media, and adventitia.

Conclusions: Our studies reveal PLA-LDL as a potent agonist of endothelial WPB exocytosis, resulting in increased secretion of Ang2 and translocation of P-selectin. The results provide mechanistic insight into PLA-LDL-dependent promotion of vascular inflammation and atherosclerosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2021.04.007DOI Listing
June 2021

Characterization of mutations associated with primary lymphedema.

Sci Transl Med 2020 09;12(560)

Wihuri Research Institute, Biomedicum Helsinki, Haartmaninkatu 8, 00290 Helsinki, Finland.

Primary lymphedema is caused by developmental and functional defects of the lymphatic vascular system that result in accumulation of protein-rich fluid in tissues, resulting in edema. The 28 currently known genes causing primary lymphedema can explain <30% of cases. Angiopoietin 1 (ANGPT1) and ANGPT2 function via the TIE1-TIE2 (tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin-like and epidermal growth factor-like domains 1 and 2) receptor complex and α5β1 integrin to form an endothelial cell signaling pathway that is critical for blood and lymphatic vessel formation and remodeling during embryonic development, as well as for homeostasis of the mature vasculature. By screening a cohort of 543 individuals affected by primary lymphedema, we identified one heterozygous de novo whole-gene deletion and four heterozygous missense mutations. Functional analyses revealed three missense mutations that resulted in decreased ANGPT2 secretion and inhibited the secretion of wild-type (WT)-ANGPT2, suggesting that they have a dominant-negative effect on ANGPT2 signaling. WT-ANGPT2 and soluble mutants T299M and N304K activated TIE1 and TIE2 in an autocrine assay in human lymphatic endothelial cells. Molecular modeling and biophysical studies showed that amino-terminally truncated ANGPT subunits formed asymmetrical homodimers that bound TIE2 in a 2:1 ratio. The T299M mutant, located in the dimerization interphase, showed reduced integrin α5 binding, and its expression in mouse skin promoted hyperplasia and dilation of cutaneous lymphatic vessels. These results demonstrate that primary lymphedema can be associated with mutations and provide insights into TIE1 and TIE2 activation mechanisms.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aax8013DOI Listing
September 2020

Blocking Angiopoietin-2 Promotes Vascular Damage and Growth Inhibition in Mouse Tumors Treated with Small Doses of Radiation.

Cancer Res 2020 06 20;80(12):2639-2650. Epub 2020 Apr 20.

Translational Cancer Medicine Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Abnormal vasculature in tumors leads to poor tissue perfusion and cytostatic drug delivery. Although drugs inducing vascular normalization, for example, angiopoietin-2 (Ang2)-blocking antibodies, have shown promising results in preclinical tumor models, clinical studies have so far shown only little efficacy. Because Ang2 is known to play a protective role in stressed endothelial cells, we tested here whether Ang2 blocking could enhance radiation-induced tumor vascular damage. Tumor-bearing mice were treated with anti-Ang2 antibodies every 3 or 4 days starting 3 days before 3 × 2 Gy or 4 × 0.5 Gy whole-body or tumor-focused radiation. Combination treatment with anti-Ang2 and radiation improved tumor growth inhibition and extended the survival of mice with melanoma or colorectal tumors. Single-cell RNA-sequencing revealed that Ang2 blocking rescued radiation-induced decreases in T cells and cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. In addition, anti-Ang2 enhanced radiation-induced apoptosis in cultured endothelial cells. , combination treatment decreased tumor vasculature and increased tumor necrosis in comparison with tumors treated with monotherapies. These results suggest that a combination of Ang2-blocking antibodies with radiation increases tumor growth inhibition and extends the survival of tumor-bearing mice. SIGNIFICANCE: These findings offer a preclinical rationale for further testing of the use of radiation in combination with Ang2-blocking antibodies to improve the overall outcome of cancer treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-20-0497DOI Listing
June 2020

Angiopoietin-2 blockade ameliorates autoimmune neuroinflammation by inhibiting leukocyte recruitment into the CNS.

J Clin Invest 2020 04;130(4):1977-1990

Wihuri Research Institute and Translational Cancer Medicine Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Angiopoietin-2 (Ang2), a ligand of the endothelial Tie2 tyrosine kinase, is involved in vascular inflammation and leakage in critically ill patients. However, the role of Ang2 in demyelinating central nervous system (CNS) autoimmune diseases is unknown. Here, we report that Ang2 is critically involved in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a rodent model of multiple sclerosis. Ang2 expression was induced in CNS autoimmunity, and transgenic mice overexpressing Ang2 specifically in endothelial cells (ECs) developed a significantly more severe EAE. In contrast, treatment with Ang2-blocking Abs ameliorated neuroinflammation and decreased spinal cord demyelination and leukocyte infiltration into the CNS. Similarly, Ang2-binding and Tie2-activating Ab attenuated the development of CNS autoimmune disease. Ang2 blockade inhibited expression of EC adhesion molecules, improved blood-brain barrier integrity, and decreased expression of genes involved in antigen presentation and proinflammatory responses of microglia and macrophages, which was accompanied by inhibition of α5β1 integrin activation in microglia. Taken together, our data suggest that Ang2 provides a target for increasing Tie2 activation in ECs and inhibiting proinflammatory polarization of CNS myeloid cells via α5β1 integrin in neuroinflammation. Thus, Ang2 targeting may serve as a therapeutic option for the treatment of CNS autoimmune disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI130308DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7108925PMC
April 2020

High baseline Tie1 level predicts poor survival in metastatic breast cancer.

BMC Cancer 2019 Jul 24;19(1):732. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Department of Oncology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Technology, Tampere University and Tays Cancer Centre, P.O. Box 100, FI-33014, Tampere, Finland.

Background: Angiopoietin growth factors (Angs) regulate angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis by binding to the endothelial Tie2 receptor. Ang2 expression is elevated in tissue hypoxia and inflammation, which also induce cleavage of the extracellular domain of the orphan Tie1 receptor. Here we have examined if the concentrations of Ang2 and the soluble extracellular domain of Tie1 in patient plasma are associated with the prognosis of patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Methods: Plasma Tie1 and Ang2 levels were measured in metastatic breast cancer patients treated in a phase II trial with a taxane-bevacizumab combination chemotherapy in the first-line treatment setting. They were analyzed before treatment, after 6 weeks and 6 months of treatment, and at the final study visit. Using the median concentrations as cutoffs, Tie1 and Ang2 data were dichotomized into low and high concentration groups. Additionally, we analyzed Tie1 concentrations in plasma from 10 healthy women participating in a breast cancer primary prevention study.

Results: Plasma samples were available from 58 (89%) of the 65 patients treated in the trial. The baseline Tie1 levels of the healthy controls were significantly lower than those of the metastatic patients (p < 0.001). The overall survival of the patients with a high baseline Tie1 level was significantly shorter (multivariate HR 3.07, 95% CI 1.39-6.79, p = 0.005). Additionally, the progression-free survival was shorter for patients with a high baseline Tie1 level (multivariate HR 3.78, 95% CI 1.57-9.09, p = 0.003). In contrast, the baseline Ang2 levels had no prognostic impact in a multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression analysis. The combined analysis of baseline Tie1 and Ang2 levels revealed that patients with both high Tie1 and high Ang2 baseline levels had a significantly shorter overall survival than the patients with low baseline levels of both markers (multivariate HR for overall survival 4.32, 95% CI 1.44-12.94, p = 0.009).

Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate the prognostic value of baseline Tie1 plasma concentration in patients with metastatic breast cancer. Combined with the results of the Ang2 analyses, the patients with both high Tie1 and Ang2 levels before treatment had the poorest survival.

Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT00979641, registration date 19-DEC-2008. The regional Ethics Committee: R08142M, registration date 18-NOV-2008.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12885-019-5959-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6657075PMC
July 2019

Tie1 controls angiopoietin function in vascular remodeling and inflammation.

J Clin Invest 2016 09 22;126(9):3495-510. Epub 2016 Aug 22.

The angiopoietin/Tie (ANG/Tie) receptor system controls developmental and tumor angiogenesis, inflammatory vascular remodeling, and vessel leakage. ANG1 is a Tie2 agonist that promotes vascular stabilization in inflammation and sepsis, whereas ANG2 is a context-dependent Tie2 agonist or antagonist. A limited understanding of ANG signaling mechanisms and the orphan receptor Tie1 has hindered development of ANG/Tie-targeted therapeutics. Here, we determined that both ANG1 and ANG2 binding to Tie2 increases Tie1-Tie2 interactions in a β1 integrin-dependent manner and that Tie1 regulates ANG-induced Tie2 trafficking in endothelial cells. Endothelial Tie1 was essential for the agonist activity of ANG1 and autocrine ANG2. Deletion of endothelial Tie1 in mice reduced Tie2 phosphorylation and downstream Akt activation, increased FOXO1 nuclear localization and transcriptional activation, and prevented ANG1- and ANG2-induced capillary-to-venous remodeling. However, in acute endotoxemia, the Tie1 ectodomain that is responsible for interaction with Tie2 was rapidly cleaved, ANG1 agonist activity was decreased, and autocrine ANG2 agonist activity was lost, which led to suppression of Tie2 signaling. Tie1 cleavage also occurred in patients with hantavirus infection. These results support a model in which Tie1 directly interacts with Tie2 to promote ANG-induced vascular responses under noninflammatory conditions, whereas in inflammation, Tie1 cleavage contributes to loss of ANG2 agonist activity and vascular stability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI84923DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5004934PMC
September 2016

Opposing actions of angiopoietin-2 on Tie2 signaling and FOXO1 activation.

J Clin Invest 2016 09 22;126(9):3511-25. Epub 2016 Aug 22.

Angiopoietin-2 (ANG2) regulates blood vessel remodeling in many pathological conditions through differential effects on Tie2 signaling. While ANG2 competes with ANG1 to inhibit Tie2, it can paradoxically also promote Tie2 phosphorylation (p-Tie2). A related paradox is that both inactivation and overactivation of Tie2 can result in vascular remodeling. Here, we reconciled these opposing actions of ANG2 by manipulating conditions that govern its actions in the vasculature. ANG2 drove vascular remodeling during Mycoplasma pulmonis infection by acting as a Tie2 antagonist, which led to p-Tie2 suppression, forkhead box O1 (FOXO1) activation, increased ANG2 expression, and vessel leakiness. These changes were exaggerated by anti-Tie2 antibody, inhibition of PI3K signaling, or ANG2 overexpression and were reduced by anti-ANG2 antibody or exogenous ANG1. In contrast, under pathogen-free conditions, ANG2 drove vascular remodeling by acting as an agonist, promoting high p-Tie2, low FOXO1 activation, and no leakage. Tie1 activation was strong under pathogen-free conditions, but infection or TNF-α led to Tie1 inactivation by ectodomain cleavage and promoted the Tie2 antagonist action of ANG2. Together, these data indicate that ANG2 activation of Tie2 supports stable enlargement of normal nonleaky vessels, but reduction of Tie1 in inflammation leads to ANG2 antagonism of Tie2 and initiates a positive feedback loop wherein FOXO1-driven ANG2 expression promotes vascular remodeling and leakage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI84871DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5004955PMC
September 2016

Angiopoietin 2 regulates the transformation and integrity of lymphatic endothelial cell junctions.

Genes Dev 2014 Jul;28(14):1592-603

Wihuri Research Institute, Translational Cancer Biology Program, University of Helsinki, Helsinki 00014, Finland;

Primitive lymphatic vessels are remodeled into functionally specialized initial and collecting lymphatics during development. Lymphatic endothelial cell (LEC) junctions in initial lymphatics transform from a zipper-like to a button-like pattern during collecting vessel development, but what regulates this process is largely unknown. Angiopoietin 2 (Ang2) deficiency leads to abnormal lymphatic vessels. Here we found that an ANG2-blocking antibody inhibited embryonic lymphangiogenesis, whereas endothelium-specific ANG2 overexpression induced lymphatic hyperplasia. ANG2 inhibition blocked VE-cadherin phosphorylation at tyrosine residue 685 and the concomitant formation of button-like junctions in initial lymphatics. The defective junctions were associated with impaired lymph uptake. In collecting lymphatics, adherens junctions were disrupted, and the vessels leaked upon ANG2 blockade or gene deletion. ANG2 inhibition also suppressed the onset of lymphatic valve formation and subsequent valve maturation. These data identify ANG2 as the first essential regulator of the functionally important interendothelial cell-cell junctions that form during lymphatic development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gad.237677.114DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4102766PMC
July 2014

Tie1 deletion inhibits tumor growth and improves angiopoietin antagonist therapy.

J Clin Invest 2014 Feb 16;124(2):824-34. Epub 2014 Jan 16.

The endothelial Tie1 receptor is ligand-less, but interacts with the Tie2 receptor for angiopoietins (Angpt). Angpt2 is expressed in tumor blood vessels, and its blockade inhibits tumor angiogenesis. Here we found that Tie1 deletion from the endothelium of adult mice inhibits tumor angiogenesis and growth by decreasing endothelial cell survival in tumor vessels, without affecting normal vasculature. Treatment with VEGF or VEGFR-2 blocking antibodies similarly reduced tumor angiogenesis and growth; however, no additive inhibition was obtained by targeting both Tie1 and VEGF/VEGFR-2. In contrast, treatment of Tie1-deficient mice with a soluble form of the extracellular domain of Tie2, which blocks Angpt activity, resulted in additive inhibition of tumor growth. Notably, Tie1 deletion decreased sprouting angiogenesis and increased Notch pathway activity in the postnatal retinal vasculature, while pharmacological Notch suppression in the absence of Tie1 promoted retinal hypervasularization. Moreover, substantial additive inhibition of the retinal vascular front migration was observed when Angpt2 blocking antibodies were administered to Tie1-deficient pups. Thus, Tie1 regulates tumor angiogenesis, postnatal sprouting angiogenesis, and endothelial cell survival, which are controlled by VEGF, Angpt, and Notch signals. Our results suggest that targeting Tie1 in combination with Angpt/Tie2 has the potential to improve antiangiogenic therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI68897DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904604PMC
February 2014
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