Vascular stem/progenitor cells: functions and signaling pathways
Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play a key role in restoring endothelial function and enhancing angiogenesis. Platelet-derived growth factor C (PDGF-C) is a newly discovered member of the PDGF family that binds to the PDGFR-α homodimer and the PDGFR-α/β heterodimer. Currently, the biological effects of PDGF-C on EPCs proliferation, migration and adhesion are not well understood. In this study, the full-length coding sequence (CDS) region for the PDGF-C gene was obtained by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The amplified PDGF-C product was digested and inserted into the pMD 19-T simple vector and then subcloned into a pIRES2-EGFP plasmid to construct the pIRES2-EGFP-PDGF-C eukaryotic expression vector. After it was transfected to EPCs, the expression of PDGF-C protein in EPCs was verified by Western blotting analysis. Finally, we investigated the effects of PDGF-C protein overexpression on EPCs proliferation, migration and adhesion. In conclusion, we constructed a recombinant eukaryotic expression vector containing the complete CDS region of PDGF-C and expressed the full-length and functional PDGF-C protein successfully. Furthermore, PDGF-C promoted EPCs proliferation, migration and adhesion. This offers promise for the development of new therapeutic strategies for improving neovascularization and repair of blood vessel endothelium in patients with ischemic heart disease or peripheral arterial occlusive disease.