Effects of Apolipoprotein(a) on Vascular Endothelial Cell Function: Insights Into Possible Physiological and/or Pathological Roles for Lipoprotein(a)
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Numerous studies have identified that elevated plasma concentrations of lipoprotein(a) [Lp(a)] are an emerging risk factor for a variety of atherothrombotic disorders. Apolipoprotein(a) [apo(a)], the unique glycoprotein component of Lp(a), consists of tandem repeats of a plasminogen kringle (K) IV-like domain, followed by sequences homologous to the plasminogen KV and protease domains. Apo(a)/Lp(a) has been consistently shown to regulate endothelial function and inhibit plasminogen activation. In the present study, we have demonstrated that apo(a), signaling via integrin alphaVbeta3, is the functional unit in Lp(a) to stimulate in vitro endothelial cell (EC) proliferation and migration, and activate focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) in cultured ECs. Both apo(a) and Lp(a) have also been shown to reduce the levels of active and total transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta in cultured EC medium in an integrin alphaVbeta3–dependent manner. Despite the stimulatory effects of apo(a) on EC proliferation and migration, we have further confirmed an inhibitory effect of apo(a) on EC in vitro angiogenesis using a fibrin gel tube formation assay. We have provided evidence proving apo(a) inhibits angiogenesis through inhibition of plasminogen activation, and this inhibitory effect is dependent on the presence of apo(a) KV domain. Lastly, apo(a) is shown to reduce the protein levels of annexin A2 and S100A10 in ECs, which implies another potential mechanism by which apo(a)/Lp(a) could impair plasminogen activation on cell surface. In summary, we have discovered the first complete outside-in signaling pathway elicited by apo(a)/Lp(a) in ECs and have built up a connection between the ability of apo(a) to inhibit plasminogen activation and its inhibition of angiogenesis.