Lactoferrin (LF) is a multifunctional iron-binding glycoprotein, which plays a variety of biological processes including immunity. In this study, we demonstrate that human LF upregulates KDR/Flk-1 mRNA and protein levels in HUVECs at an optimal concentration of 5 μg/ml, which subsequently promotes the VEGF-induced proliferation and migration of the endothelial cells. Exposure of HUVECs to LF significantly increased VEGF-induced ERK MAP kinase phosphorylation. The maximal stimulation of KDR/Flk-1 expression by LF was correlated with LF-induced increase in cell proliferation and migration. These findings suggest that LF may stimulate in vivo angiogenesis via upregulation of KDR/Flk-1 expression in endothelial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology