Endothelial cell surface vimentin binding peptide induces angiogenesis under hypoxic/ischemic conditions

Leticia Glaser-Gabay, Annat Raiter, Alexander Battler, Britta Hardy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


We have previously identified several angiogenic peptides that bind cell surface proteins by screening a phage display peptide library on human umbilical endothelial cells exposed to hypoxic conditions. In this study we describe one of the selected peptides, SP. We found by protein precipitation of endothelial cell lysates that the 12 amino acid SP peptide binds cell surface vimentin. Surprisingly, vimentin was detected on the cell surface of about 30% of intact endothelial cells under both normoxic and hypoxic conditions, as was demonstrated by fluorocytometric analysis on viable cells. The assessment of SP in the induction of angiogenesis was established by a significant increase in endothelial cell proliferation and tube formation under hypoxic conditions and not under normoxic conditions. Cell proliferation and tube length increased two-fold in endothelial cells in the presence of 10. ng/ml SP peptide when compared to controls. The specificity of SP binding to vimentin was demonstrated by SP inhibition of anti-vimentin binding and by the inhibition of tube formation in cells transfected with siRNA against vimentin. Local intramuscular administrations of the peptide SP to ischemic hind limbs using the mouse hind limb ischemia model, demonstrated that SP inoculated at 1 and 10 μg, improved blood perfusion compared to inoculations with an irrelevant peptide or PBS. The recovery of blood perfusion correlated with the increase in the number of detectable capillaries in the ischemic limb. The development of novel peptides for the induction of pro-angiogenic activity may pave the way for new therapeutic strategies in the treatment of cardiovascular ischemic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-226
Number of pages6
JournalMicrovascular Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


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