Angiogenesis is a complex process that is regulated by a variety of angiogenic activators and inhibitors. Disruption of the balanced angiogenesis leads to the progress of diseases such as tumor growth, rheumatoid arthritis, and various blood vessel-related disorders. Even though a number of proteins involved in angiogenesis have been identified so far, more protein factors remain to be identified due to complexity of the process. Here we report that annexin A3 (ANXA3) induces migration and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells. High level of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a prominent angiogenic factor, is also detected in conditioned medium obtained from cells transfected with ANXA3 expression plasmid. Reporter assays show that ANXA3 enhances hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) transactivation activity. Taken together, our results suggest that ANXA3 is a novel angiogenic factor that induces VEGF production through the HIF-1 pathway.
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