Fractalkine stimulates angiogenesis by activating the Raf-1/MEK/ERK- and PI3K/Akt/eNOS-dependent signal pathways

Seon Jin Lee, Seung Namkoong, Young Mi Kim, Chun Ki Kim, Hansoo Lee, Kwon Soo Ha, Hun Taeg Chung, Young Guen Kwon, Young Myeong Kim

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167 Citations (Scopus)


Fractalkine (FKN) has been implicated in modulation of angiogenesis and vascular inflammation, but the underlying mechanism has not been elucidated. We have investigated the molecular mechanism by which FKN regulates angiogenesis. We found that recombinant FKN increases in vitro proliferation, migration, and tube formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells and stimulates in vivo angiogenesis. FKN-induced angiogenesis was accompanied by phosphorylation of ERK, Akt, and endothelial nitric oxide (NO) synthase (eNOS), as well as an increase in NO production. These biochemical events and angiogenesis were completely inhibited by the G protein-coupled receptor inhibitor pertussis toxin. Inhibitors of Raf-1, MEK, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K), and eNOS or transfection with dominant-negative forms of ERK and Akt significantly suppressed the angiogenic activity of FKN. However, inhibitors of Raf-1 and MEK or a dominant-negative ERK mutant blocked FKN-induced ERK, but not Akt and eNOS, phosphorylation. The PI3K inhibitor and a dominant-negative mutant of Akt suppressed Akt and eNOS phosphorylation and NO production. Our results demonstrated that FKN stimulated angiogenesis by activating the Raf-1/MEK/ERK and PI3K/Akt/eNOS/NO signal pathways via the G protein-coupled receptor CX3CR1, indicating that two pathways are required for full angiogenic activity of FKN. This study suggests that FKN may play an important role in the pathophysiological process of inflammatory angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)H2836-H2846
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Heart and Circulatory Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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