Adenovirus-mediated transfer of a minigene expressing multiple isoforms of VEGF is more effective at inducing angiogenesis than comparable vectors expressing individual VEGF cDNAs.
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factors
To assess the hypothesis that angiogenic gene therapy with the genomic form of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expressing the three major isoforms could be more potent than a vector expressing a single isoform, we designed an adenovirus vector (AdVEGF-All) expressing a VEGF cDNA/genomic hybrid gene. AdVEGF-All expressed all three major isoforms (121, 165, 189) in a 2:2:1 ratio. AdVEGF-All was 100-fold more potent than cDNA vectors expressing VEGF 121, 165, or 189 in restoring blood flow to the ischemic mouse hind limb. Interestingly, a mixture of Ad vectors individually expressing the VEGF 121, 165, and 189 cDNAs was equipotent to an equivalent dose of AdVEGF-All. Thus, a mixture of VEGF isoforms provides a more potent angiogenic response than a single isoform, suggesting that the individual isoforms function synergistically, an observation with important implications for gene and recombinant protein therapy.