Theranostics 2023; 13(7):2319-2336. doi:10.7150/thno.80749 This issue Cite
1. Clinical Research Center of Neurological Disease, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University and North District, The Municipal Hospital of Suzhou, Gusu School, Nanjing Medical University, Suzhou, China.
2. Department of Endocrinology, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University, Suzhou, China.
3. The Affiliated Eye Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
4. Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Kunshan First People's Hospital Affiliated to Jiangsu University, Kunshan, China.
Netrin-1 binds to the high-affinity receptor CD146 to activate downstream signaling and angiogenesis. Here, we examine the role and underlying mechanisms of G protein subunit alpha i1 (Gαi1) and Gαi3 in Netrin-1-induced signaling and pro-angiogenic activity. In mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and endothelial cells, Netrin-1-induced Akt-mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin) and Erk activation was largely inhibited by silencing or knockout of Gαi1/3, whereas signaling was augmented following Gαi1/3 overexpression. Netrin-1 induced Gαi1/3 association with CD146, required for CD146 internalization, Gab1 (Grb2 associated binding protein 1) recruitment and downstream Akt-mTOR and Erk activation. Netrin-1-induced signaling was inhibited by CD146 silencing, Gab1 knockout, or Gαi1/3 dominant negative mutants. Netrin-1-induced human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) proliferation, migration and tube formation were inhibited by Gαi1/3 short hairpin RNA (shRNA), but were potentiated by ectopic Gαi1/3 overexpression. In vivo, intravitreous injection of Netrin-1 shRNA adeno-associated virus (AAV) significantly inhibited Akt-mTOR and Erk activation in murine retinal tissues and reduced retinal angiogenesis. Endothelial knockdown of Gαi1/3 significantly inhibited Netrin1-induced signaling and retinal angiogenesis in mice. Netrin-1 mRNA and protein expression were significantly elevated in retinal tissues of diabetic retinopathy (DR) mice. Importantly, silence of Netrin-1, by intravitreous Netrin-1 shRNA AAV injection, inhibited Akt-Erk activation, pathological retinal angiogenesis and retinal ganglion cells degeneration in DR mice. Lastly, Netrin-1 and CD146 expression is significantly increased in the proliferative retinal tissues of human proliferative diabetic retinopathy patients. Together, Netrin-1 induces CD146-Gαi1/3-Gab1 complex formation to mediate downstream Akt-mTOR and Erk activation, important for angiogenesis in vitro and in vivo.
Keywords: Netrin-1, Angiogenesis, Gαi1 and Gαi3, CD146, Diabetic Retinopathy