Jaud M, Philippe C, Van Den Berghe L, Ségura C, Mazzolini L, Pyronnet S, Laurell H, Touriol C. (2019 Jan 25)
Delta-like 4 (DLL4) is a pivotal endothelium specific Notch ligand that has been shown to function as a regulating factor during physiological and pathological angiogenesis. DLL4 functions as a negative regulator of angiogenic branching and sprouting. Interestingly, Dll4 is with Vegf-a one of the few examples of haplo-insufficiency, resulting in obvious vascular abnormalities and in embryonic lethality. These striking phenotypes are a proof of concept of the crucial role played by the bioavailability of VEGF and DLL4 during vessel patterning and that there must be a very fine-tuning of DLL4 expression level. However, to date the expression regulation of this factor was poorly studied. In this study, we showed that the DLL4 5′-UTR harbors an Internal Ribosomal Entry Site (IRES) that, in contrast to cap-dependent translation, was efficiently utilized in cells subjected to several stresses including hypoxia and endoplasmic reticulum stress (ER stress). We identified PERK, a kinase activated by ER stress, as the driver of DLL4 IRES-mediated translation, and hnRNP-A1 as an IRES-Trans-Acting Factor (ITAF) participating in the IRES-dependent translation of DLL4 during endoplasmic reticulum stress. The presence of a stress responsive internal ribosome entry site in the DLL4 msRNA suggests that the process of alternative translation initiation, by controlling the expression of this factor, could have a crucial role in the control of endothelial tip cell function.