Sprouty1 (Spry1) is a conserved antagonist of FGF signaling. The goal of this study was to further explore the downstream mechanisms governing Spry1 inhibition of endothelial cell proliferation. Up-regulation of Spry1 in HUVECs inhibited tube formation on Matrigel (n = 6, P < 0.001). This was associated with decreased proliferation as measured by BrdU incorporation (n = 6, P < 0.001) and increased protein expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A), p21 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1B (CDKN1B), p27. A transcriptional analysis using a targeted human angiogenesis array following up-regulation of Spry1 demonstrated a >2-fold increase in an anti-angiogenic factor, serpin peptidase inhibitor, clad F (Serpinf1), and a >2-fold decrease in pro-angiogenic factors fms-related tyrosine kinase 1 (FLT1), angiopoietin2 (Ang-2), and placental growth factor (PGF) (n = 2). To define upstream mechanisms that may regulate endogenous Spry1, we performed a search for responsive elements upstream of the promoter region. This search resulted in the identification of multiple degenerate hypoxia responsive elements. Exposure to hypoxia resulted in a significant increase in Spry1 expression (n = 8, P < 0.01). These findings shed new light on downstream signaling pathways associated with Spry1 anti-proliferative responses, and provide new evidence that hypoxia stimulates Spry1 expression.
- Endothelial cell