CD40-induced transcriptional activation of vascular endothelial growth factor involves a 68-bp region of the promoter containing a CpG island

Peter H. Lapchak, Michael Melter, Soumitro Pal, Jesse A. Flaxenburg, Christopher Geehan, Markus H. Frank, Debabrata Mukhopadhyay, David M. Briscoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is produced by several cell types in the kidney, and its expression is tightly regulated for the maintenance of normal renal physiology. Increases or decreases in its expression are associated with proteinuria and renal disease. Recently, we found that the expression of VEGF is markedly induced following interactions between CD40 ligand (CD40L) and CD40. Here, endothelial cells (EC) or Jurkat T cell lines were transiently transfected with luciferase reporter constructs under the control of the human VEGF promoter and were treated with human soluble CD40L (sCD40L). We identified a CD40-responsive 68-bp region (bp -50 to +18) of the promoter and 43 bp within this region (bp -25 to +18) that have 97% homology to a sequence of CpG dinucleotides. A computerized search revealed that the CpG region has putative binding domains for the transcriptional repressor protein methyl CpG binding protein-2 (MeCP2). In EMSA, we found that the 43-bp methylated sequence formed four complex(es) with nuclear extracts from untreated EC and reduced binding of at least one complex when nuclear lysates from sCD40L-activated EC (30 min) were used. Supershift analysis using anti-MeCP2 demonstrated that most of the complex(es) in both untreated and sCD40L-activated EC involved interactions between the 43-bp DNA and MeCP2. In addition, we found that other CpG binding proteins may also interact with this region of the promoter. Taken together, this is the first demonstration that CpG binding transcriptional repressor proteins including MeCP2 may be of importance in VEGF biology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F512-F520
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Renal Physiology
Issue number3 56-3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2004



  • Angiogenesis
  • Angiogenesis factors
  • Base pair
  • Transactivation
  • Vascular endothelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Urology

Cite this