Tissue distribution and developmental expression of the messenger RNA encoding angiogenin

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Science  17 Jul 1987:
Vol. 237, Issue 4812, pp. 280-282
DOI: 10.1126/science.2440105


New blood vessel growth occurs during normal fetal development and in diseases such as cancer and diabetes. The polypeptide angiogenin induces new blood vessel growth in two biological assays and may play a role in the vascular development of the fetus and in the neovascularization that accompanies diseases and wound healing. A complementary DNA probe for human angiogenin was used to examine the tissue distribution of angiogenin messenger RNA (mRNA) in the developing rat and in selected transformed cell lines. Angiogenin mRNA was detected predominantly in adult liver but was also detectable at low levels in other tissues. The expression of the angiogenin gene in rat liver was found to be developmentally regulated; mRNA levels were low in the developing fetus, increased in the neonate, and maximal in the adult. The amount of angiogenin mRNA in human HT-29 colon carcinoma and SK-HEP hepatoma cells was not greater than that in normal rat liver. These results demonstrate that angiogenin is predominantly expressed in adult liver, that the pattern of angiogenin gene expression is not temporally related to vascular development in the rat, and that the transformed cells studied do not contain more angiogenin mRNA than does normal liver. If angiogenin activity is controlled at the transcriptional level, the results of this study suggest that the primary function of angiogenin in vivo may be in processes other than the regulation of vascular growth.