Microcirculation (New York, N.Y. : 1994)

Connective tissue growth factor (CTGF/CCN2) mediates angiogenic effect of S1P in human dermal microvascular endothelial cells.

PMID 21166920


The primary objective of this study was to examine the potential interaction between S1P, a pleiotropic lipid mediator, and CTGF/CCN2, a secreted multimodular protein, in the process of endothelial cell migration. The secondary objective was to determine whether C- and N-terminal domains of CTGF/CCN2 have a specific function in cell migration. Migration of HDMECs was examined in monolayer wound healing "scratch" assay, whereas capillary-like tube formation was examined in three-dimensional collagen co-culture assays. We observed that S1P stimulates migration of HDMECs concomitant with upregulation of CTGF/CCN2 expression. Furthermore, the blockade of endogenous CTGF/CCN2 via siRNA abrogated S1P-induced HDMEC migration and capillary-like tube formation. Full-length CTGF induced cell migration and capillary-like tube formation with a potency similar to that of S1P, while C-terminal domain of CTGF was slightly less effective. However, N-terminal domain had only a residual activity in inducing capillary-like tube formation. This study revealed that CTGF/CCN2 is required for the S1P-induced endothelial cell migration, which suggests that CTGF/CCN2 may be an important mediator of S1P-induced physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Moreover, this study shows that the pro-migratory activity of CTGF/CCN2 is located in the C-terminal domain.