Vascular permeability factor (VPF) is a 40-kilodalton disulfide-linked dimeric glycoprotein that is active in increasing blood vessel permeability, endothelial cell growth, and angiogenesis. These properties suggest that the expression of VPF by tumor cells could contribute to the increased neovascularization and vessel permeability that are associated with tumor vasculature. The cDNA sequence of VPF from human U937 cells was shown to code for a 189-amino acid polypeptide that is similar in structure to the B chain of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF-B) and other PDGF-B-related proteins. The overall identity with PDGF-B is 18%. However, all eight of the cysteines in PDGF-B were found to be conserved in human VPF, an indication that the folding of the two proteins is probably similar. Clusters of basic amino acids in the COOH-terminal halves of human VPF and PDGF-B are also prevalent. Thus, VPF appears to be related to the PDGF/v-sis family of proteins.

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