The peptides N-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-Phe-Leu-Phe-Leu-Phe (BOC2) and BOC-Met-Leu-Phe (BOC1) are widely used antagonists of formyl peptide receptors (FPRs), BOC2 acting as an FPR1/FPR2 antagonist whereas BOC1 inhibits FPR1 only. Extensive investigations have been performed by using these FPR antagonists as a tool to assess the role of FPRs in physiological and pathological conditions. Based on previous observations from our laboratory, we assessed the possibility that BOC2 may exert also a direct inhibitory effect on the angiogenic activity of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). Our data demonstrate that BOC2, but not BOC1, inhibits the angiogenic activity of heparin-binding VEGF-A165 with no effect on the activity of the non-heparin-binding VEGF-A121 isoform. Endothelial cell-based bioassays, surface plasmon resonance analysis, and computer modeling indicate that BOC2 may interact with the heparin-binding domain of VEGF-A165, thus competing for heparin interaction and preventing the binding of VEGF-A165 to tyrosine kinase receptor VEGFR2, its phosphorylation and downstream signaling. In addition, BOC2 inhibits the interaction of a variety of heparin-binding angiogenic growth factors with heparin, including fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) whose angiogenic activity is blocked by the compound. Accordingly, BOC2 suppresses the angiogenic potential of human tumor cell lines that co-express VEGF-A and FGF2. Thus, BOC2 appears to act as a novel multi-heparin-binding growth factor antagonist. These findings caution about the interpretation of FPR-focusing experimental data obtained with this compound and set the basis for the design of novel BOC2-derived, FPR independent multi-target angiogenesis inhibitors.
N-tert-butyloxycarbonyl-Phe-Leu-Phe-Leu-Phe (BOC2) inhibits the angiogenic activity of heparin-binding growth factors. / Nawaz, Im; Chiodelli, P; Rezzola, S; Paganini, G; Corsini, M; Lodola, A; Di Ianni, A; Mor, M; Presta, M.. - In: ANGIOGENESIS. - ISSN 0969-6970. - 21:1(2018), pp. 47-59.
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