Author(s): Wang Y, Su X, Wu Z, Sheibani N. Thrombospondin-1 deficient mice exhibit an altered expression pattern of alternatively spliced PECAM-1 isoforms in retinal vasculature and endothelial cells. J Cell Physiol. 2005 Jul;204(1):352-61. PMID 15672414
We have previously shown that thrombosponsin-1 (TSP1) and PECAM-1 are components of a regulatory switch whose reciprocal regulation in the endothelial cells (EC) promotes an angiogenic or a differentiated, quiescent phenotype. The physiological role TSP1 plays in modulation of PECAM-1 expression and function during vascular development and angiogenesis remains largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that PECAM-1 undergoes alternative splicing in its cytoplasmic domain generating eight isoforms in the retinal vasculature of wild type and TSP1-/- mice. All PECAM-1 isoforms examined contained exon 13. The frequency of PECAM-1 isoform(s) containing exon 14 was significantly higher during early stages of retinal vascularization, which decreased during later stages of retinal vascularization in wild type mice. In contrast, the frequency of exon 14 containing PECAM-1 isoform(s) did not significantly change during retinal vascularization in TSP1-/- mice. They consistently expressed higher number of isoforms with exon 14 during later stages of retinal vascularization. The higher level of PECAM-1 isoforms with exon 14 was also observed in cultured TSP1-/- retinal EC compared to wild type retinal EC. This was consistent with increased amounts of Src and SHP-2 associated with PECAM-1, and enhanced migration and proliferation in TSP1-/- retinal EC. These data suggest PECAM-1 signaling in the endothelium is modulated by its alternative splicing during retinal vascular development and angiogenesis, which may be impacted by TSP1 expression.