Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1 (MIC-1) is highly associated with malignant human cancers and has been suggested to be involved in tumor angiogenesis. In the present study, we examined the effect of MIC-1 on endothelial cell proliferation to confirm the angiogenesis-promoting role of MIC-1. MIC-1 treatment accelerated progression of the G1 stage in the cell cycle of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), leading to an increased cell proliferation rate. MIC-1 augmented the levels of cyclins D1 and E without altering the levels of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors, thereby increasing protein kinase activity of CDKs and subsequent phosphorylation of the Rb protein followed by nuclear translocation of E2F. MIC-1-induced expression of cyclins D1 and E was mediated by AP-1 and E2F-1 transcription factors, and among the AP-1 members, c-Jun and JunD appeared to participate in MIC-1-dependent transcription of the cyclin D1 gene. Additionally, the PI3K/Akt, JNK, and ERK pathways were found to mediate MIC-1-induced cyclin D1 expression in HUVECs. Importantly, lung endothelial cells isolated from MIC-1 transgenic mouse displayed a higher proliferation rate and cyclin D1 and E levels relative to their wild-type counterparts. These results suggest that MIC-1 secreted from cancer cells stimulates endothelial cell proliferation by enhancing AP-1- and E2F-dependent expression of G1 cyclins via PI3K/Akt, JNK, and ERK signaling pathways, potentially leading to enhanced tumor angiogenesis.
- Cell cycle
- Cell proliferation
- Endothelial cell
- Macrophage inhibitory cytokine-1