VEGF Signals through ATF6 and PERK to Promote Endothelial Cell Survival and Angiogenesis in the Absence of ER Stress

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • E. Karali
  • S. Bellou
  • D. Stellas
  • A. Klinakis
  • T. Fotsis

Colleges, School and Institutes


Accumulation of unfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) initiates IRE1alpha, ATF6, and PERK cascades, leading to a transcriptional/translational response known as unfolded protein response (UPR). Here we show that VEGF activates UPR mediators through a PLCgamma-mediated crosstalk with the mTORC1 complex without accumulation of unfolded proteins in the ER. Activation of ATF6 and PERK contributes to the survival effect of VEGF on endothelial cells (ECs) by positively regulating mTORC2-mediated phosphorylation of AKT on Ser473, which is required for full activity of AKT. Low levels of CHOP allow ECs to evade the proapoptotic effect of this UPR product. Depletion of PLCgamma, ATF6, or eIF2alpha dramatically inhibited VEGF-induced vascularization in mouse Matrigel plugs, suggesting that the ER and the UPR machinery constitute components of the VEGF signaling circuit that regulates EC survival and angiogenesis, extending their role beyond adaptation to ER stress.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)559-572
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Cell
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2014