Hypoxia-inducible vascular endothelial growth factor gene therapy using the oxygen-dependent degradation domain in myocardial ischemia

Hyun Ah Kim, Soyeon Lim, Hyung Ho Moon, Sung Wan Kim, Ki Chul Hwang, Minhyung Lee, Sun Hwa Kim, Donghoon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: A hypoxia-inducible VEGF expression system with the oxygen-dependent degradation (ODD) domain was constructed and tested to be used in gene therapy for ischemic myocardial disease. Methods: Luciferase and VEGF expression vector systems were constructed with or without the ODD domain: pEpo-SV-Luc (or pEpo-SV-VEGF) and pEpo-SV-Luc-ODD (or pEpo-SV-VEGF-ODD). In vitro gene expression efficiency of each vector type was evaluated in HEK 293 cells under both hypoxic and normoxic conditions. The amount of VEGF protein was estimated by ELISA. The VEGF expression vectors with or without the ODD domain were injected into ischemic rat myocardium. Fibrosis, neovascularization, and cardiomyocyte apoptosis were assessed using Masson's trichrome staining, α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA) immunostaining, and the TUNEL assay, respectively. Results: The plasmid vectors containing ODD significantly improved the expression level of VEGF protein in hypoxic conditions. The enhancement of VEGF protein production was attributed to increased protein stability due to oxygen deficiency. In a rat model of myocardial ischemia, the pEpo-SV-VEGF-ODD group exhibited less myocardial fibrosis, higher microvessel density, and less cardiomyocyte apoptosis compared to the control groups (saline and pEpo-SV-VEGF treatments). Conclusion: An ODD-mediated VEGF expression system that facilitates VEGF-production under hypoxia may be useful in the treatment of ischemic heart disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2075-2084
Number of pages10
JournalPharmaceutical Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by grants from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project, Ministry for Health, Welfare & Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (A085136); a faculty research grant of Yonsei University College of Medicine for 2009 (8-2009-0187); and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (20090065404 and 20090081874).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Hypoxia-inducible vascular endothelial growth factor gene therapy using the oxygen-dependent degradation domain in myocardial ischemia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this