Publications by authors named "Luisa M Botella"

36 Publications

Differential Expression of Circulating Plasma miRNA-370 and miRNA-10a from Patients with Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia.

J Clin Med 2020 Sep 3;9(9). Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas Margarita Salas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant, vascular disorder that presents with telangiectases and arteriovenous malformations. HHT is a genetically heterogeneous disorder, involving mutations in endoglin (; HHT1) and activin receptor-like kinase 1 (/; HHT2) genes that account for over 85% of all HHT patients. The current diagnosis of HHT patients remains at the clinical level, but many suspected patients do not have a clear HHT diagnosis or do not show pathogenic mutations in HHT genes. This situation has prompted the search for biomarkers to help in the early diagnosis of the disease. We have analyzed the plasma levels in HHT patients of selected micro-RNAs (miRNAs), small single-stranded RNAs that regulate gene expression at the transcriptional level by interacting with specific RNA targets. A total of 16 HHT1 and 17 HHT2 plasma samples from clinically confirmed patients and 16 controls were analyzed in this study. Total RNA was purified from plasma, and three selected miRNAs (miRNA-10a, miRNA-214, and miRNA-370), related to the pathobiology of cardiovascular diseases and potentially targeting or , were measured by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Compared with controls, levels of miRNA-370, whose putative target is , were significantly downregulated in HHT1, but not in HHT2, whereas the levels of miRNA-10a, whose putative target is , were significantly upregulated in HHT2, but not in HHT1. In addition, the levels of miRNA-214, potentially targeting and did not change in either HHT1 or HHT2 patients versus control samples. While further studies are warranted, these results suggest that dysregulated plasma levels of miRNA-370 or miRNA-10a could help to identify undiagnosed HHT1 or HHT2 patients, respectively.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9092855DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7565099PMC
September 2020

Endoglin (CD105) and VEGF as potential angiogenic and dissemination markers for colorectal cancer.

World J Surg Oncol 2020 May 20;18(1):99. Epub 2020 May 20.

Department of General Surgery, Hospital Universitario La Paz, 28046, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is an important current problem concerning public health due to its high incidence and mortality. Advances in molecular and cellular knowledge and the detection of new disease biomarkers are very important to improve prognosis, prediction, and early diagnosis. In this study, we aimed to analyze the gene and protein expression levels of two angiogenic markers, VEGF and soluble Endoglin, during different tumor stages as well as at different stages of cancer treatment, to predict the diagnosis and evolution of colon and rectal cancer.

Material And Methods: This study includes 133 CRC patients (93 with colon cancer and 40 with rectal cancer) on which the gene and protein expression of Endoglin (membrane and soluble form) and VEGF were analyzed by molecular and immunohistochemical techniques on different tumor stage samples and plasma obtained preoperatively as well as 3, 6, and 9 months after resection of the tumor.

Results: VEGF and Endoglin gene expressions were higher in tumor tissue than in surrounding non-tumoral tissue for both types of cancer. The VEGF levels in plasma were found to decrease in less aggressive tumors, whereas soluble Endoglin was increased in preoperative samples of patients with metastasis. Membrane Endoglin expression was higher on the vascular endothelium of more aggressive tumors. In contrast, Endoglin expression was mainly in the colon epithelium in less aggressive stage tumors.

Conclusion: Endoglin and VEGF are proteins with a major role in the tumor angiogenesis process. This study performed with a wide cohort of human samples shows that both proteins seem to be valuable biomarkers in the diagnosis and prognosis of CRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12957-020-01871-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7240983PMC
May 2020

Evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of oral propranolol in patients with von Hippel-Lindau disease and retinal hemangioblastomas: phase III clinical trial.

BMJ Open Ophthalmol 2019 28;4(1):e000203. Epub 2019 May 28.

Ophthalmology, Retina Service, Complejo Hospitalario de Toledo, Servicio de Salud de Castilla-La Mancha, Toledo, Spain.

Background: von Hippel-Lindau disease (VHL) is a multisystem cancer syndrome caused by mutations in the gene. Retinal hemangioblastoma is one of the most common tumours, and when it appears near the optic nerve, its treatment is challenging and risky. To date, no treatment has proven effective in changing the course of the disease. This study was designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of propranolol in controlling these tumours.

Methods: Seven patients were included. All patients took a daily dose of 120 mg of propranolol for 1 year. Clinical variables were assessed at baseline, and at 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. The primary endpoint of the study was the number and size of retinal hemangioblastomas. On every visit, retinal outcomes and blood biomarkers (such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and miR210) were analysed.

Results: Number and size of retinal hemangioblastomas remained stable in all patients. All of them had initially increased levels of VEGF and miR210. There was a gradual reabsorption of retinal exudation in two patients, correlating with a progressive decrease of both biomarkers. The only adverse effect reported was hypotension in one patient.

Conclusions: Propranolol could be used to treat retinal hemangioblastomas in VHL patients, although more studies are needed to determine the ideal dose and long-term effect. VEGF and miR210 should be explored as biomarkers of disease activity. As far as we know, these are the first biomarkers proposed to monitor the VHL disease activity.

Trial Registration Number: 2014-003671-30.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000203DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6557078PMC
May 2019

MMP-12, Secreted by Pro-Inflammatory Macrophages, Targets Endoglin in Human Macrophages and Endothelial Cells.

Int J Mol Sci 2019 Jun 25;20(12). Epub 2019 Jun 25.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Upon inflammation, monocyte-derived macrophages (MΦ) infiltrate blood vessels to regulate several processes involved in vascular pathophysiology. However, little is known about the mediators involved. Macrophage polarization is crucial for a fast and efficient initial response (GM-MΦ) and a good resolution (M-MΦ) of the inflammatory process. The functional activity of polarized MΦ is exerted mainly through their secretome, which can target other cell types, including endothelial cells. Endoglin (CD105) is a cell surface receptor expressed by endothelial cells and MΦ that is markedly upregulated in inflammation and critically involved in angiogenesis. In addition, a soluble form of endoglin with anti-angiogenic activity has been described in inflammation-associated pathologies. The aim of this work was to identify components of the MΦ secretome involved in the shedding of soluble endoglin. We find that the GM-MΦ secretome contains metalloprotease 12 (MMP-12), a GM-MΦ specific marker that may account for the anti-angiogenic activity of the GM-MΦ secretome. Cell surface endoglin is present in both GM-MΦ and M-MΦ, but soluble endoglin is only detected in GM-MΦ culture supernatants. Moreover, MMP-12 is responsible for the shedding of soluble endoglin in vitro and in vivo by targeting membrane-bound endoglin in both MΦ and endothelial cells. These data demonstrate a direct correlation between GM-MΦ polarization, MMP-12, and soluble endoglin expression and function. By targeting endothelial cells, MMP-12 may represent a novel mediator involved in vascular homeostasis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijms20123107DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6627183PMC
June 2019

Soluble endoglin regulates expression of angiogenesis-related proteins and induction of arteriovenous malformations in a mouse model of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Dis Model Mech 2018 09 21;11(9). Epub 2018 Sep 21.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), 28040 Madrid, Spain

Endoglin is a transmembrane glycoprotein expressed in vascular endothelium that plays a key role in angiogenesis. Mutations in the endoglin gene () cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1 (HHT1), characterized by arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) in different organs. These vascular lesions derive from abnormal processes of angiogenesis, whereby aberrant vascular remodeling leads to focal loss of capillaries. Current treatments for HHT1 include antiangiogenic therapies. Interestingly, a circulating form of endoglin (also known as soluble endoglin, sEng), proteolytically released from the membrane-bound protein and displaying antiangiogenic activity, has been described in several endothelial-related pathological conditions. Using human and mouse endothelial cells, we find that sEng downregulates several pro-angiogenic and pro-migratory proteins involved in angiogenesis. However, this effect is much reduced in endothelial cells that lack endogenous transmembrane endoglin, suggesting that the antiangiogenic activity of sEng is dependent on the presence of endogenous transmembrane endoglin protein. In fact, sEng partially restores the phenotype of endoglin-silenced endothelial cells to that of normal endothelial cells. Moreover, using an established neonatal retinal model of HHT1 with depleted endoglin in the vascular endothelium, sEng treatment decreases the number of AVMs and has a normalizing effect on the vascular phenotype with respect to vessel branching, vascular density and migration of the vascular plexus towards the retinal periphery. Taken together, these data show that circulating sEng can influence vascular development and AVMs by modulating angiogenesis, and that its effect on endothelial cells depends on the expression of endogenous endoglin.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/dmm.034397DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6176985PMC
September 2018

ALK1 Loss Results in Vascular Hyperplasia in Mice and Humans Through PI3K Activation.

Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol 2018 05 15;38(5):1216-1229. Epub 2018 Feb 15.

From the Program Against Cancer Therapeutic Resistance, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Hospital Duran i Reynals (E.A.-S., Y.G.-I., A.M.F., C.R.-D., A.F., O.C., M.A.P., M.G., F.V.)

Objective: ALK1 (activin-receptor like kinase 1) is an endothelial cell-restricted receptor with high affinity for BMP (bone morphogenetic protein) 9 TGF-β (transforming growth factor-β) family member. Loss-of-function mutations in ALK1 cause a subtype of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia-a rare disease characterized by vasculature malformations. Therapeutic strategies are aimed at reducing potential complications because of vascular malformations, but currently, there is no curative treatment for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Approach And Results: In this work, we report that a reduction in ALK1 gene dosage (heterozygous ALK1 mice) results in enhanced retinal endothelial cell proliferation and vascular hyperplasia at the sprouting front. We found that BMP9/ALK1 represses VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor)-mediated PI3K (phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase) by promoting the activity of the PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog). Consequently, loss of ALK1 function in endothelial cells results in increased activity of the PI3K pathway. These results were confirmed in cutaneous telangiectasia biopsies of patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia 2, in which we also detected an increase in endothelial cell proliferation linked to an increase on the PI3K pathway. In mice, genetic and pharmacological inhibition of PI3K is sufficient to abolish the vascular hyperplasia of ALK1 retinas and in turn normalize the vasculature.

Conclusions: Overall, our results indicate that the BMP9/ALK1 hub critically mediates vascular quiescence by limiting PI3K signaling and suggest that PI3K inhibitors could be used as novel therapeutic agents to treat hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.118.310760DOI Listing
May 2018

Executive summary of the 12th HHT international scientific conference.

Angiogenesis 2018 02;21(1):169-181

Department of Pulmonology, St. Antonius Hospital, Koekoekslaan 1, 3435 CM, Nieuwegein, The Netherlands.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia is an autosomal dominant trait affecting approximately 1 in 5000 people. A pathogenic DNA sequence variant in the ENG, ACVRL1 or SMAD4 genes, can be found in the majority of patients. The 12th International Scientific HHT Conference was held on June 8-11, 2017 in Dubrovnik, Croatia to present and discuss the latest scientific achievements, and was attended by over 200 scientific and clinical researchers. In total 174 abstracts were accepted of which 58 were selected for oral presentations. This article covers the basic science and clinical talks, and discussions from three theme-based workshops. We focus on significant emergent themes and unanswered questions. Understanding these topics and answering these questions will help to define the future of HHT research and therapeutics, and ultimately bring us closer to a cure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10456-017-9585-2DOI Listing
February 2018

Endoglin and alk1 as therapeutic targets for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Expert Opin Ther Targets 2017 10 20;21(10):933-947. Epub 2017 Aug 20.

a Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER) , Madrid , Spain.

Introduction: Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is as an autosomal dominant trait characterized by frequent nose bleeds, mucocutaneous telangiectases, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) of the lung, liver and brain, and gastrointestinal bleedings due to telangiectases. HHT is originated by mutations in genes whose encoded proteins are involved in the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) family signalling of vascular endothelial cells. In spite of the great advances in the diagnosis as well as in the molecular, cellular and animal models of HHT, the current treatments remain just at the palliative level. Areas covered: Pathogenic mutations in genes coding for the TGF-β receptors endoglin (ENG) (HHT1) or the activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ACVRL1 or ALK1) (HHT2), are responsible for more than 80% of patients with HHT. Therefore, ENG and ALK1 are the main potential therapeutic targets for HHT and the focus of this review. The current status of the preclinical and clinical studies, including the anti-angiogenic strategy, have been addressed. Expert opinion: Endoglin and ALK1 are attractive therapeutic targets in HHT. Because haploinsufficiency is the pathogenic mechanism in HHT, several therapeutic approaches able to enhance protein expression and/or function of endoglin and ALK1 are keys to find novel and efficient treatments for the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14728222.2017.1365839DOI Listing
October 2017

Mutation affecting the proximal promoter of Endoglin as the origin of hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1.

BMC Med Genet 2017 Feb 23;18(1):20. Epub 2017 Feb 23.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Ramiro de Maeztu 9, Madrid, 28040, Spain.

Background: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a vascular multi-organ system disorder. Its diagnostic criteria include epistaxis, telangiectases in mucocutaneous sites, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), and familial inheritance. HHT is transmitted as an autosomal dominant condition, caused in 85% of cases by mutations in either Endoglin (ENG) or Activin receptor-like kinase (ACVRL1/ACVRL1/ALK1) genes. Pathogenic mutations have been described in exons, splice junctions and, in a few cases with ENG mutations, in the proximal promoter, which creates a new ATG start site. However, no mutations affecting transcription regulation have been described to date in HHT, and this type of mutation is rarely identified in the literature on rare diseases.

Methods: Sequencing data from a family with HHT lead to single nucleotide change, c.-58G > A. The functionality and pathogenicity of this change was analyzed by in vitro mutagenesis, quantitative PCR and Gel shift assay. Student t test was used for statistical significance.

Results: A single nucleotide change, c.-58G > A, in the proximal ENG promoter co-segregated with HHT clinical features in an HHT family. This mutation was present in the proband and in 2 other symptomatic members, whereas 2 asymptomatic relatives did not harbor the mutation. Analysis of RNA from activated monocytes from the probands and the healthy brother revealed reduced ENG mRNA expression in the HHT patient (p = 0.005). Site-directed mutagenesis of the ENG promoter resulted in a three-fold decrease in luciferase activity of the mutant c.-58A allele compared to wild type (p = 0.005). Finally, gel shift assay identified a DNA-protein specific complex.

Conclusions: The novel ENG c.-58G > A substitution in the ENG promoter co-segregates with HHT symptoms in a family and appears to affect the transcriptional regulation of the gene, resulting in reduced ENG expression. ENG c.-58G > A may therefore be a pathogenic HHT mutation leading to haploinsufficiency of Endoglin and HHT symptoms. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of a pathogenic mutation in HHT involving the binding site for a transcription factor in the promoter of ENG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12881-017-0380-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5324315PMC
February 2017

Mice Lacking Endoglin in Macrophages Show an Impaired Immune Response.

PLoS Genet 2016 Mar 24;12(3):e1005935. Epub 2016 Mar 24.

Centro de Investigación en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Valencia, Spain.

Endoglin is an auxiliary receptor for members of the TGF-β superfamily and plays an important role in the homeostasis of the vessel wall. Mutations in endoglin gene (ENG) or in the closely related TGF-β receptor type I ACVRL1/ALK1 are responsible for a rare dominant vascular dysplasia, the Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT), or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome. Endoglin is also expressed in human macrophages, but its role in macrophage function remains unknown. In this work, we show that endoglin expression is triggered during the monocyte-macrophage differentiation process, both in vitro and during the in vivo differentiation of blood monocytes recruited to foci of inflammation in wild-type C57BL/6 mice. To analyze the role of endoglin in macrophages in vivo, an endoglin myeloid lineage specific knock-out mouse line (Eng(fl/fl)LysMCre) was generated. These mice show a predisposition to develop spontaneous infections by opportunistic bacteria. Eng(fl/fl)LysMCre mice also display increased survival following LPS-induced peritonitis, suggesting a delayed immune response. Phagocytic activity is impaired in peritoneal macrophages, altering one of the main functions of macrophages which contributes to the initiation of the immune response. We also observed altered expression of TGF-β1 target genes in endoglin deficient peritoneal macrophages. Overall, the altered immune activity of endoglin deficient macrophages could help to explain the higher rate of infectious diseases seen in HHT1 patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005935DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4806930PMC
March 2016

Transcription factor KLF6 upregulates expression of metalloprotease MMP14 and subsequent release of soluble endoglin during vascular injury.

Angiogenesis 2016 Apr 5;19(2):155-71. Epub 2016 Feb 5.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, c/Ramiro de Maeztu 9, Madrid, 28040, Spain.

After endothelial injury, the transcription factor Krüppel-like factor 6 (KLF6) translocates into the cell nucleus to regulate a variety of target genes involved in angiogenesis, vascular repair and remodeling, including components of the membrane transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) receptor complex such as endoglin and activin receptor-like kinase 1. The membrane metalloproteinase 14 (MMP14 or MT1-MMP) targets endoglin to release soluble endoglin and is involved in vascular inflammation and endothelial tubulogenesis. However, little is known about the regulation of MMP14 expression during vascular wounding. In vitro denudation of monolayers of human endothelial cell monolayers leads to an increase in the KLF6 gene transcriptional rate, followed by an upregulation of MMP14 and release of soluble endoglin. Concomitant with this process, MMP14 co-localizes with endoglin in the sprouting endothelial cells surrounding the wound border. MMP14 expression at mRNA and protein levels is increased by ectopic KLF6 and downregulated by KLF6 suppression in cultured endothelial cells. Moreover, after wire-induced endothelial denudation, Klf6 (+/-) mice show lower levels of MMP14 in their vasculature compared with their wild-type siblings. Ectopic cellular expression of KLF6 results in an increased transcription rate of MMP14, and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that KLF6 interacts with MMP14 promoter in ECs, this interaction being enhanced during wound healing. Furthermore, KLF6 markedly increases the transcriptional activity of different reporter constructs of MMP14 gene promoter. These results suggest that KLF6 regulates MMP14 transcription and is a critical player of the gene expression network triggered during endothelial repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10456-016-9495-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4819519PMC
April 2016

Bazedoxifene, a new orphan drug for the treatment of bleeding in hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Thromb Haemost 2016 06 28;115(6):1167-77. Epub 2016 Jan 28.

Luisa M. Botella, Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu, 9, Madrid, 28040 Spain, E-mail:

Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome, is a dominant genetic vascular disorder. In HHT, blood vessels are weak and prone to bleeding, leading to epistaxis and anaemia, severely affecting patients' quality of life. Development of vascular malformations in HHT patients is originated mainly by mutations in ACVRL1/ALK1 (activin receptor-like kinase type I) or Endoglin (ENG) genes. These genes encode proteins of the TGF-β signalling pathway in endothelial cells, controlling angiogenesis. Haploinsufficiency of these proteins is the basis of HHT pathogenicity. It was our objective to study the efficiency of Bazedoxifene, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) in HHT, looking for a decrease in epistaxis, and understanding the underlying molecular mechanism. Plasma samples of five HHT patients were collected before, and after 1 and 3 months of Bazedoxifene treatment. ENG and ALK1 expression in activated mononuclear cells derived from blood, as well as VEGF plasma levels, were measured. Quantification of Endoglin and ALK1 mRNA was done in endothelial cells derived from HHT and healthy donors, after in vitro treatment with Bazedoxifene. Angiogenesis was also measured by tubulogenesis and wound healing assays. Upon Bazedoxifene treatment, haemoglobin levels of HHT patients increased and the quantity and frequency of epistaxis decreased. Bazedoxifene increased Endoglin and ALK1 mRNA levels, in cells derived from blood samples and in cultured endothelial cells, promoting tube formation. In conclusion, Bazedoxifene seems to decrease bleeding in HHT by partial compensation of haploinsufficiency. The results shown here are the basis of a new orphan drug designation for HHT by the European Medicine Agency (EMA).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH15-03-0239DOI Listing
June 2016

Endoglin regulates mural cell adhesion in the circulatory system.

Cell Mol Life Sci 2016 Apr 8;73(8):1715-39. Epub 2015 Dec 8.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), c/Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040, Madrid, Spain.

The circulatory system is walled off by different cell types, including vascular mural cells and podocytes. The interaction and interplay between endothelial cells (ECs) and mural cells, such as vascular smooth muscle cells or pericytes, play a pivotal role in vascular biology. Endoglin is an RGD-containing counter-receptor for β1 integrins and is highly expressed by ECs during angiogenesis. We find that the adhesion between vascular ECs and mural cells is enhanced by integrin activators and inhibited upon suppression of membrane endoglin or β1-integrin, as well as by addition of soluble endoglin (SolEng), anti-integrin α5β1 antibody or an RGD peptide. Analysis of different endoglin mutants, allowed the mapping of the endoglin RGD motif as involved in the adhesion process. In Eng (+/-) mice, a model for hereditary hemorrhagic telangectasia type 1, endoglin haploinsufficiency induces a pericyte-dependent increase in vascular permeability. Also, transgenic mice overexpressing SolEng, an animal model for preeclampsia, show podocyturia, suggesting that SolEng is responsible for podocytes detachment from glomerular capillaries. These results suggest a critical role for endoglin in integrin-mediated adhesion of mural cells and provide a better understanding on the mechanisms of vessel maturation in normal physiology as well as in pathologies such as preeclampsia or hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-015-2099-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4805714PMC
April 2016

Genome-wide transcriptional and functional analysis of endoglin isoforms in the human promonocytic cell line U937.

J Cell Physiol 2015 Apr;230(4):947-58

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC) and Centro de Investigacion Biomedica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain.

Endoglin is an auxiliary cell surface receptor for TGF-β family members. Two different alternatively spliced isoforms, long (L)-endoglin and short (S)-endoglin, have been reported. S-endoglin and L-endoglin proteins vary from each other in their cytoplasmic tails that contain 14 and 47 amino acids, respectively. A critical role for endoglin in vascular development has primarily been studied in endothelial cells. In addition, endoglin expression is upregulated during monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation; however, little is known about its role in this myeloid context. To investigate the function of endoglin in monocytes, stable transfectants expressing the two endoglin isoforms in the promonocytic human cell line U937 were generated. The differential gene expression fingerprinting of these endoglin transfectants using DNA microarrays and further bioinformatics analysis showed a clear alteration in essential biological functions, mainly those related to "Cellular Movement", including cell adhesion and transmigration. Interestingly, these cellular functions are highly dependent on adhesion molecules, including integrins α1 (CD49a, ITGA1 gene), αL (CD11a, ITGAL gene), αM (CD11b, ITGAM gene) and β2 (CD18, ITGB2 gene) and the chemokine receptor CCR2 (CD192, CCR2 gene), which are downregulated in endoglin transfectants. Moreover, activin A (INHBA gene), a TGF-β superfamily member involved in macrophage polarization, was distinctly affected in each endoglin transfectant, and may contribute to the regulated expression of integrins. These data were confirmed by quantitative PCR, flow cytometry and functional tests. Taken together, these results provide new insight into endoglin function in monocytes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.24827DOI Listing
April 2015

Expression of endoglin isoforms in the myeloid lineage and their role during aging and macrophage polarization.

J Cell Sci 2014 Jun 28;127(Pt 12):2723-35. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), 28040 Madrid, Spain Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), 28040 Madrid, Spain

Endoglin plays a crucial role in pathophysiological processes such as hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), preeclampsia and cancer. Endoglin expression is upregulated during the monocyte-to-macrophage transition, but little is known about its regulation and function in these immune cells. Two different alternatively spliced isoforms of endoglin have been reported, L-endoglin and S-endoglin. Although L-endoglin is the predominant variant, here, we found that there was an increased expression of the S-endoglin isoform during senescence of the myeloid lineage in human and murine models. We performed a stable isotope labelling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) analysis of both L-endoglin and S-endoglin transfectants in the human promonocytic cell line U937. Analysis of differentially expressed protein clusters allowed the identification of cellular activities affected during aging. S-endoglin expression led to decreased cellular proliferation and a decreased survival response to granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF)-induced apoptosis, as well as increased oxidative stress. Gene expression and functional studies suggested that there was a non-redundant role for each endoglin isoform in monocyte biology. In addition, we found that S-endoglin impairs the monocytic differentiation into the pro-inflammatory M1 phenotype and contributes to the compromised status of macrophage functions during aging.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jcs.143644DOI Listing
June 2014

Copy number variations in endoglin locus: mapping of large deletions in Spanish families with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia type 1.

BMC Med Genet 2013 Nov 25;14:121. Epub 2013 Nov 25.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain.

Background: The hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia syndrome (HHT), also known as the Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome is a multiorganic vascular disorder inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Diagnostic clinical criteria include: epistaxis, telangiectases in mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal sites, arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) most commonly found in pulmonary, hepatic and cerebral circulations, and familial inheritance. HHT is transmitted in 90% of the cases as an autosomal dominant condition due to mutations in either endoglin (ENG), or activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ACVRL1/ALK1) genes (HHT type 1 and 2, respectively).

Methods: We have carried out a genetic analysis of four independent Spanish families with HHT clinical criteria, which has permitted the identification of new large deletions in ENG. These mutations were first detected using the MLPA technique and subsequently, the deletion breakpoints were mapped using a customized copy number variation (CNV) microarray. The array was designed to cover the ENG gene and surrounding areas.

Results: All tested families carried large deletions ranging from 3-kb to 100-kb, involving the ENG gene promoter, several ENG exons, and the two downstream genes FGSH and CDK9. Interestingly, common breakpoints coincident with Alu repetitive sequences were found among these families.

Conclusions: The systematic hybridization of DNA from HHT families, with deletions or duplications, to custom designed microarrays, could allow the mapping of breakpoints, coincident with repetitive Alu sequences that might act as "hot spots" in the development of chromosomal anomalies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2350-14-121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4222255PMC
November 2013

BMP9 mutations cause a vascular-anomaly syndrome with phenotypic overlap with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Am J Hum Genet 2013 Sep 22;93(3):530-7. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Associated Regional and University Pathologists Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), the most common inherited vascular disorder, is caused by mutations in genes involved in the transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) signaling pathway (ENG, ACVRL1, and SMAD4). Yet, approximately 15% of individuals with clinical features of HHT do not have mutations in these genes, suggesting that there are undiscovered mutations in other genes for HHT and possibly vascular disorders with overlapping phenotypes. The genetic etiology for 191 unrelated individuals clinically suspected to have HHT was investigated with the use of exome and Sanger sequencing; these individuals had no mutations in ENG, ACVRL1, and SMAD4. Mutations in BMP9 (also known as GDF2) were identified in three unrelated probands. These three individuals had epistaxis and dermal lesions that were described as telangiectases but whose location and appearance resembled lesions described in some individuals with RASA1-related disorders (capillary malformation-arteriovenous malformation syndrome). Analyses of the variant proteins suggested that mutations negatively affect protein processing and/or function, and a bmp9-deficient zebrafish model demonstrated that BMP9 is involved in angiogenesis. These data confirm a genetic cause of a vascular-anomaly syndrome that has phenotypic overlap with HHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2013.07.004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3769931PMC
September 2013

Endothelial endoglin is involved in inflammation: role in leukocyte adhesion and transmigration.

Blood 2013 Jan 16;121(2):403-15. Epub 2012 Oct 16.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain.

Human endoglin is an RGD-containing transmembrane glycoprotein identified in vascular endothelial cells. Although endoglin is essential for angiogenesis and its expression is up-regulated in inflammation and at sites of leukocyte extravasation, its role in leukocyte trafficking is unknown. This function was tested in endoglin heterozygous mice (Eng(+/-)) and their wild-type siblings Eng(+/+) treated with carrageenan or LPS as inflammatory agents. Both stimuli showed that inflammation-induced leukocyte transendothelial migration to peritoneum or lungs was significantly lower in Eng(+/-) than in Eng(+/+) mice. Leukocyte transmigration through cell monolayers of endoglin transfectants was clearly enhanced in the presence of endoglin. Coating transwells with the RGD-containing extracellular domain of endoglin, enhanced leukocyte transmigration, and this increased motility was inhibited by soluble endoglin. Leukocytes stimulated with CXCL12, a chemokine involved in inflammation, strongly adhered to endoglin-coated plates and to endoglin-expressing endothelial cells. This endoglin-dependent adhesion was abolished by soluble endoglin, RGD peptides, the anti-integrin α5β1 inhibitory antibody LIA1/2 and the chemokine receptor inhibitor AMD3100. These results demonstrate for the first time that endothelial endoglin interacts with leukocyte integrin α5β1 via its RGD motif, and this adhesion process is stimulated by the inflammatory chemokine CXCL12, suggesting a regulatory role for endoglin in transendothelial leukocyte trafficking.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/blood-2012-06-435347DOI Listing
January 2013

Vascular injury triggers Krüppel-like factor 6 mobilization and cooperation with specificity protein 1 to promote endothelial activation through upregulation of the activin receptor-like kinase 1 gene.

Circ Res 2013 Jan 9;112(1):113-27. Epub 2012 Oct 9.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológica, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040, Madrid, Spain.

Rationale: Activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK1) is an endothelial transforming growth factor β receptor involved in angiogenesis. ALK1 expression is high in the embryo vasculature, becoming less detectable in the quiescent endothelium of adult stages. However, ALK1 expression becomes rapidly increased after angiogenic stimuli such as vascular injury.

Objective: To characterize the molecular mechanisms underlying the regulation of ALK1 on vascular injury.

Methods And Results: Alk1 becomes strongly upregulated in endothelial (EC) and vascular smooth muscle cells of mouse femoral arteries after wire-induced endothelial denudation. In vitro denudation of monolayers of human umbilical vein ECs also leads to an increase in ALK1. Interestingly, a key factor in tissue remodeling, Krüppel-like factor 6 (KLF6) translocates to the cell nucleus during wound healing, concomitantly with an increase in the ALK1 gene transcriptional rate. KLF6 knock down in human umbilical vein ECs promotes ALK1 mRNA downregulation. Moreover, Klf6(+/-) mice have lower levels of Alk1 in their vasculature compared with their wild-type siblings. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays show that KLF6 interacts with ALK1 promoter in ECs, and this interaction is enhanced during wound healing. We demonstrate that KLF6 is transactivating ALK1 gene, and this transactivation occurs by a synergistic cooperative mechanism with specificity protein 1. Finally, Alk1 levels in vascular smooth muscle cells are not directly upregulated in response to damage, but in response to soluble factors, such as interleukin 6, released from ECs after injury.

Conclusions: ALK1 is upregulated in ECs during vascular injury by a synergistic cooperative mechanism between KLF6 and specificity protein 1, and in vascular smooth muscle cells by an EC-vascular smooth muscle cell paracrine communication during vascular remodeling.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.112.275586DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3537907PMC
January 2013

Local sclerotherapy with polydocanol (Aethoxysklerol®) for the treatment of Epistaxis in Rendu-Osler-Weber or Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT): 15 years of experience.

Rhinology 2012 Mar;50(1):80-6

Service of Otorhinolarngology, Valladolid University Hospital, Valladolid, Spain.

Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome is a rare autosomal dominant vascular disease characterized by mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal telangiectases and localized arteriovenous malformations in lung, brain and liver. Epistaxis, due to rupture of telangiectases of the nasal mucosa, is the most frequent clinical manifestation, leading in many cases to severe impairment of the quality of life in the patients. Though several treatments have been used to reduce epistaxis, none have been completely effective, with the exception of polydocanol (Aethoxysklerol®) in submucosal or subpericondrial injections, which was first presented in 2000 with very good results. After fifteen years using polydocanol in submucosal injections on 45 patients and with nearly 300 injections, we have observed that in 95% of all cases, their nose bleeds improved with respect to frequency and quantity without any important side effects. There was just one case of septal perforation, another with increased septal perforation, and one patient who suffered from dizziness and blurred vision for a few minutes. In this paper the results obtained using this technique over a fifteen-year period will be presented and evaluated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4193/Rhino11.211DOI Listing
March 2012

5'UTR mutations of ENG cause hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Orphanet J Rare Dis 2011 Dec 22;6:85. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Background: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is a vascular disorder characterized by epistaxis, arteriovenous malformations, and telangiectases. The majority of the patients have a mutation in the coding region of the activin A receptor type II-like 1 (ACVRL1) or Endoglin (ENG) gene. However, in approximately 15% of cases, sequencing analysis and deletion/duplication testing fail to identify mutations in the coding regions of these genes. Knowing its vital role in transcription and translation control, we were prompted to investigate the 5'untranslated region (UTR) of ENG.

Methods And Results: We sequenced the 5'UTR of ENG for 154 HHT patients without mutations in ENG or ACVRL1 coding regions. We found a mutation (c.-127C > T), which is predicted to affect translation initiation and alter the reading frame of endoglin. This mutation was found in a family with linkage to the ENG, as well as in three other patients, one of which had an affected sibling with the same mutation. In vitro expression studies showed that a construct with the c.-127C > T mutation alters the translation and decreases the level of the endoglin protein. In addition, a c.-9G > A mutation was found in three patients, one of whom was homozygous for this mutation. Expression studies showed decreased protein levels suggesting that the c.-9G > A is a hypomorphic mutation.

Conclusions: Our results emphasize the need for the inclusion of the 5'UTR region of ENG in clinical testing for HHT.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1750-1172-6-85DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3277489PMC
December 2011

Characterization of chicken endoglin, a member of the zona pellucida family of proteins, and its tissue expression.

Gene 2012 Jan 21;491(1):31-9. Epub 2011 Sep 21.

Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras, c/Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Endoglin is a TGF-β co-receptor expressed in endothelial cells, where it plays a crucial role in angiogenesis, cardiovascular development and vascular remodeling. In humans, mutations in the endoglin gene give rise to Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia type 1 (HHT1), an autosomal dominant disorder associated with vascular lesions in skin, mucosa and internal organs. So far, endoglin cDNA has been sequenced in several species from mammals, amphibians and birds. While in mammals the characterization of endoglin protein expression and function is well documented, little is known about the protein homologue in birds. In silico analysis by multiple sequences alignment showed a low homology score of 30-33 between the full length chicken endoglin protein and several mammalian homologues. However, a high homology score (80-85) was observed with the cytoplasmic and transmembrane regions and the overall structure of the zona pellucida (ZP) and orphan domains of the extracellular region appear to be conserved. Transient expression of chicken endoglin allowed the identification of a 180-kDa disulfide linked homodimer similar to the mammalian homologues. To further characterize its tissue expression, the novel specific monoclonal antibody (mAb) 7H5A8 was generated against chicken endoglin transfectant cells. The mAb 7H5A8 specifically recognized chicken endoglin by western blot, immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence flow cytometry as well as immunofluorescence microscopy assays and displayed a positive staining of the endothelium in veins and arteries from frozen tissue sections of lung and bursa of Fabricius. These results may help to further understand the endoglin expression in vertebrates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gene.2011.09.010DOI Listing
January 2012

Immunosuppressor FK506 increases endoglin and activin receptor-like kinase 1 expression and modulates transforming growth factor-β1 signaling in endothelial cells.

Mol Pharmacol 2011 May 10;79(5):833-43. Epub 2011 Feb 10.

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome, is an autosomal-dominant vascular disease. The clinical manifestations are epistaxis, mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal telangiectases, and arteriovenous malformations in internal organs. Patients show severe epistaxis, and/or gastrointestinal bleeding, both of which notably interfere with their quality of life. There are two predominant types of HHT caused by mutations in endoglin (ENG) and ACVRL1/activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) genes, named HHT1 and HHT2, respectively. ENG and ALK1 code for proteins involved in the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 signaling pathway, and it is widely accepted that HHT pathogenicity results from haploinsufficiency. No cure for HHT has been found, so identification of drugs able to increase the expression of these genes is essential when proposing new therapies. We report the efficacy of tacrolimus (FK506) in increasing ENG and ALK1 expression. The rationale comes from a case report of a patient with HHT who received a liver transplantation after hepatic failure due to a liver arteriovenous malformation. The liver was transplanted, and the immunosuppressor FK506 was used to prevent the rejection. After the first month of FK506 treatment, the internal and external telangiectases, epistaxes, and anemia disappeared. Here, we find that the immunosuppressor FK506 increases the protein and mRNA expression of ENG and ALK1 in cultured endothelial cells and enhances the TGF-β1/ALK1 signaling pathway and endothelial cell functions like tubulogenesis and migration. These results suggest that the mechanism of action of FK506 involves a partial correction of endoglin and ALK1 haploinsufficiency and may therefore be an interesting drug for use in patients with HHT who undergo transplantation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1124/mol.110.067447DOI Listing
May 2011

Characterization of the human Activin-A receptor type II-like kinase 1 (ACVRL1) promoter and its regulation by Sp1.

BMC Mol Biol 2010 Jun 29;11:51. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas and Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, 28040 Madrid, Spain.

Background: Activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) is a Transforming Growth Factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptor type I, mainly expressed in endothelial cells that plays a pivotal role in vascular remodelling and angiogenesis. Mutations in the ALK1 gene (ACVRL1) give rise to Hereditary Haemorrhagic Telangiectasia, a dominant autosomal vascular dysplasia caused by a haploinsufficiency mechanism. In spite of its patho-physiological relevance, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of ACVRL1. Here, we have studied the different origins of ACVRL1 transcription, we have analyzed in silico its 5'-proximal promoter sequence and we have characterized the role of Sp1 in the transcriptional regulation of ACVRL1.

Results: We have performed a 5'Rapid Amplification of cDNA Ends (5'RACE) of ACVRL1 transcripts, finding two new transcriptional origins, upstream of the one previously described, that give rise to a new exon undiscovered to date. The 5'-proximal promoter region of ACVRL1 (-1,035/+210) was analyzed in silico, finding that it lacks TATA/CAAT boxes, but contains a remarkably high number of GC-rich Sp1 consensus sites. In cells lacking Sp1, ACVRL1 promoter reporters did not present any significant transcriptional activity, whereas increasing concentrations of Sp1 triggered a dose-dependent stimulation of its transcription. Moreover, silencing Sp1 in HEK293T cells resulted in a marked decrease of ACVRL1 transcriptional activity. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated multiple Sp1 binding sites along the proximal promoter region of ACVRL1 in endothelial cells. Furthermore, demethylation of CpG islands, led to an increase in ACVRL1 transcription, whereas in vitro hypermethylation resulted in the abolishment of Sp1-dependent transcriptional activation of ACVRL1.

Conclusions: Our results describe two new transcriptional start sites in ACVRL1 gene, and indicate that Sp1 is a key regulator of ACVRL1 transcription, providing new insights into the molecular mechanisms that contribute to the expression of ACVRL1 gene. Moreover, our data show that the methylation status of CpG islands markedly modulates the Sp1 regulation of ACVRL1 gene transcriptional activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2199-11-51DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2906440PMC
June 2010

Estrogen therapy for hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT): Effects of raloxifene, on Endoglin and ALK1 expression in endothelial cells.

Thromb Haemost 2010 Mar 2;103(3):525-34. Epub 2010 Feb 2.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Spanish Research Council (CSIC), Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT), or Rendu-Osler-Weber syndrome, is an autosomal dominant vascular disease. The clinical manifestations are epistaxis, mucocutaneous and gastrointestinal telangiectases, and arteriovenous malformations. There are two predominant types of HHT caused by mutations in Endoglin (ENG) and activin receptor-like kinase 1 (ALK1) (ACVRL1) genes, HHT1 and HHT2, respectively. No cure for HHT has been found and there is a current need to find new effective drug treatments for the disease. Some patients show severe epistaxis which interferes with their quality of life. We report preliminary results obtained with Raloxifene to treat epistaxis in postmenopausal HHT women diagnosed with osteoporosis. We tried to unravel the molecular mechanisms involved in the therapeutic effects of raloxifene. ENG and ACVRL1 genes code for proteins involved in the transforming growth factor beta pathway and it is widely accepted that haploinsufficiency is the origin for the pathogenicity of HHT. Therefore, identification of drugs able to increase the expression of those genes is essential to propose new therapies for HHT. In vitro results show that raloxifene increases the protein and mRNA expression of ENG and ALK1 in cultured endothelial cells. Raloxifene also stimulates the promoter activity of these genes, suggesting a transcriptional regulation of ENG and ALK1. Furthermore, Raloxifene improved endothelial cell functions like tubulogenesis and migration in agreement with the reported functional roles of Endoglin and ALK1. Our pilot study provides a further hint that oral administration of raloxifene may be beneficial for epistaxis treatment in HHT menopausal women. The molecular mechanisms of raloxifene involve counteracting the haploinsufficiency of ENG and ALK1.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH09-07-0425DOI Listing
March 2010

Reduced plasma levels of Ang-2 and sEng as novel biomarkers in hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT).

Clin Chim Acta 2010 Apr 11;411(7-8):494-9. Epub 2010 Jan 11.

Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Raras, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT; OMIM 187300) is an autosomal dominant vascular disorder characterized by telangiectases and internal arteriovenous malformations caused by mutations in certain elements of the TGF-beta receptor complex. In the case of HHT1 mutations in the endoglin gene are responsible, whereas mutations in the ALK1 gene (an activin receptor-like kinase 1), lead to HHT2. Another two loci found at chromosome 5 and chromosome 7, whose target genes remain unidentified, lead to types 3 and 4 of the disease, respectively. Mutations in the MADH4/SMAD4 gene, another member of the TGF-beta signalling pathway, lead to a combined syndrome of familial juvenile polyposis associated with HHT.

Methods: In an attempt to identify some soluble components differentially expressed in the plasma of HHT patients, angiopoietin-2 and soluble endoglin concentrations were analyzed with standard quantitative sandwich ELISA.

Results: Angiopoietin-2 and soluble endoglin levels are reduced in plasma of HHT patients compared to control individuals, and a diagnostic algorithm for HHT based on these protein levels is proposed.

Conclusions: Down-regulated protein levels of angiopoietin-2 and soluble endoglin in plasma represent novel HHT biomarkers that could be useful in the biochemical diagnosis of HHT facilitating the rapid identification of potential HHT patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cca.2009.12.023DOI Listing
April 2010

TGF-beta regulates the expression of transcription factor KLF6 and its splice variants and promotes co-operative transactivation of common target genes through a Smad3-Sp1-KLF6 interaction.

Biochem J 2009 Apr;419(2):485-95

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas), 28040 Madrid, Spain.

KLF6 (Krüppel-like factor 6) is a transcription factor and tumour suppressor with a growing range of biological activities and transcriptional targets. Among these, KLF6 suppresses growth through transactivation of TGF-beta1 (transforming growth factor-beta1). KLF6 can be alternatively spliced, generating lower-molecular-mass isoforms that antagonize the full-length WT (wild-type) protein and promote growth. A key target gene of full-length KLF6 is endoglin, which is induced in vascular injury. Endoglin, a homodimeric cell membrane glycoprotein and TGF-beta auxiliary receptor, has a pro-angiogenic role in endothelial cells and is also involved in malignant progression. The aim of the present work was to explore the effect of TGF-beta on KLF6 expression and splicing, and to define the contribution of TGF-beta on promoters regulated by co-operation between KLF6 and Sp1 (specificity protein 1). Using co-transfection, co-immunoprecipitation and fluorescence resonance energy transfer, our data demonstrate that KLF6 co-operates with Sp1 in transcriptionally regulating KLF6-responsive genes and that this co-operation is further enhanced by TGF-beta1 through at least two mechanisms. First, in specific cell types, TGF-beta1 may decrease KLF6 alternative splicing, resulting in a net increase in full-length, growth-suppressive KLF6 activity. Secondly, KLF6-Sp1 co-operation is further enhanced by the TGF-beta-Smad (similar to mothers against decapentaplegic) pathway via the likely formation of a tripartite KLF6-Sp1-Smad3 complex in which KLF6 interacts indirectly with Smad3 through Sp1, which may serve as a bridging molecule to co-ordinate this interaction. These findings unveil a finely tuned network of interactions between KLF6, Sp1 and TGF-beta to regulate target genes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/BJ20081434DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2882110PMC
April 2009

Mutation study of Spanish patients with hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

BMC Med Genet 2008 Aug 1;9:75. Epub 2008 Aug 1.

Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas, CSIC, Ramiro de Maeztu, 9, Madrid 28040, Spain.

Background: Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia (HHT) is an autosomal dominant and age-dependent vascular disorder characterised mainly by mutations in the Endoglin (ENG) or activin receptor-like kinase-1 (ALK1, ACVRL1) genes.

Methods: Here, we have identified 22 ALK1 mutations and 15 ENG mutations, many of which had not previously been reported, in independent Spanish families afflicted with HHT.

Results: We identified mutations in thirty-seven unrelated families. A detailed analysis of clinical symptoms was recorded for each patient analyzed, with a higher significant presence of pulmonary arteriovenous malformations (PAVM) in HHT1 patients over HHT2. Twenty-two mutations in ALK1 and fifteen in ENG genes were identified. Many of them, almost half, represented new mutations in ALK1 and in ENG. Missense mutations in ENG and ALK1 were localized in a tridimensional protein structure model.

Conclusion: Overall, ALK1 mutations (HHT2) were predominant over ENG mutations (HHT1) in our Spanish population, in agreement with previous data from our country and other Mediterranean countries (France, Italy), but different to Northern Europe or North America. There was a significant increase of PAVM associated with HHT1 over HHT2 in these families.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2350-9-75DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2518546PMC
August 2008

Gene expression fingerprinting for human hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia.

Hum Mol Genet 2007 Jul 9;16(13):1515-33. Epub 2007 Apr 9.

Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, CSIC, Madrid, Spain, 2 Center for Biomedical Research on Rare Diseases (CIBERER), Madrid, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) or Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome is an autosomal dominant vascular disorder characterized by telangiectases and internal arteriovenous malformations. It is caused by mutations in elements of the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) receptor complex: endoglin, a co-receptor, responsible for HHT1, or ALK1 (activin receptor-like kinase 1), a type I receptor leading to HHT2. Recently, we have established cultures of HHT endothelial cells, primary targets of the disease. These cells showed deficient TGF-beta signaling and angiogenesis, representing a useful human model to study the molecular mechanism of this disease. To understand the pathogenic mechanism underlying HHT, we have used total RNA probes to compare HHT versus non-HHT cells by expression microarrays. This work represents a systematic study to identify target genes affected in HHT cells. Given the similarity of symptoms in HHT1 and HHT2, special interest has been put on the identification of common targets for both HHT types. As a result, 277 downregulated and 63 upregulated genes were identified in HHT versus control cells. These genes are involved in biological processes relevant to the HHT pathology, such as angiogenesis, cytoskeleton, cell migration, proliferation and NO synthesis. The type of misregulated genes found in HHT endothelial cells lead us to propose a model of HHT pathogenesis, opening new perspectives to understand this disorder. Moreover, as the disease is originated by mutations in proteins of the TGF-beta receptor complex, these results may be useful to find out targets of the TGF-beta pathway in endothelium.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddm069DOI Listing
July 2007

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, a vascular dysplasia affecting the TGF-beta signaling pathway.

Clin Med Res 2006 Mar;4(1):66-78

Centro de Investigaciones Biologicas (CSIC), Ramiro de Maeztu, 9, Madrid 28040, Spain.

Hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia (HHT) is caused by mutations in endoglin (ENG; HHT1) or ACVRL1/ALK1 (HHT2) genes and is an autosomal dominant vascular dysplasia. Clinically, HHT is characterized by epistaxis, telangiectases and arteriovenous malformations in some internal organs such as the lung, brain or liver. Endoglin and ALK1 proteins are specific endothelial receptors of the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily that are essential for vascular integrity. Genetic studies in mice and humans have revealed the pivotal role of TGF-beta signaling during angiogenesis. Through binding to the TGF-beta type II receptor, TGF-beta can activate two distinct type I receptors (ALK1 and ALK5) in endothelial cells, each one leading to opposite effects on endothelial cell proliferation and migration. The recent isolation and characterization of circulating endothelial cells from HHT patients has revealed a decreased endoglin expression, impaired ALK1- and ALK5-dependent TGF-beta signaling, disorganized cytoskeleton and the failure to form cord-like structures which may lead to the fragility of small vessels with bleeding characteristic of HHT vascular dysplasia or to disrupted and abnormal angiogenesis after injuries and may explain the clinical symptoms associated with this disease.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1435660PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.3121/cmr.4.1.66DOI Listing
March 2006