Fernandez-Alonso R, Martin-Lopez M, Gonzalez-Cano L, Garcia S, Castrillo F, Diez-Prieto I, Fernandez-Corona A, Lorenzo-Marcos ME, Li X, Claesson-Welsh L, Marques MM, Marin MC
Cell Death Differ. 22 (8) 1287-1299 [2015-08-00; online 2015-01-09]
Vasculogenesis, the establishment of the vascular plexus and angiogenesis, branching of new vessels from the preexisting vasculature, involves coordinated endothelial differentiation, proliferation and migration. Disturbances in these coordinated processes may accompany diseases such as cancer. We hypothesized that the p53 family member p73, which regulates cell differentiation in several contexts, may be important in vascular development. We demonstrate that p73 deficiency perturbed vascular development in the mouse retina, decreasing vascular branching, density and stability. Furthermore, p73 deficiency could affect non endothelial cells (ECs) resulting in reduced in vivo proangiogenic milieu. Moreover, p73 functional inhibition, as well as p73 deficiency, hindered vessel sprouting, tubulogenesis and the assembly of vascular structures in mouse embryonic stem cell and induced pluripotent stem cell cultures. Therefore, p73 is necessary for EC biology and vasculogenesis and, in particular, that DNp73 regulates EC migration and tube formation capacity by regulation of expression of pro-angiogenic factors such as transforming growth factor-β and vascular endothelial growth factors. DNp73 expression is upregulated in the tumor environment, resulting in enhanced angiogenic potential of B16-F10 melanoma cells. Our results demonstrate, by the first time, that differential p73-isoform regulation is necessary for physiological vasculogenesis and angiogenesis and DNp73 overexpression becomes a positive advantage for tumor progression due to its pro-angiogenic capacity.