Infantile hemangioma-derived stem cells and endothelial cells are inhibited by class 3 semaphorins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Class 3 semaphorins were discovered as a family of axon guidance molecules, but are now known to be involved in diverse biologic processes. In this study, we investigated the anti-angiogenic potential of SEMA3E and SEMA3F (SEMA3E&F) in infantile hemangioma (IH). IH is a common vascular tumor that involves both vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Our lab has identified and isolated hemangioma stem cells (HemSC), glucose transporter 1 positive (GLUT1(+)) endothelial cells (designated as GLUT1(sel) cells) based on anti-GLUT1 magnetic beads selection and GLUT1-negative endothelial cells (named HemEC). We have shown that these types of cells play important roles in hemangiogenesis. We report here that SEMA3E inhibited HemEC migration and proliferation while SEMA3F was able to suppress the migration and proliferation in all three types of cells. Confocal microscopy showed that stress fibers in HemEC were reduced by SEMA3E&F and that stress fibers in HemSC were decreased by SEMA3F, which led to cytoskeletal collapse and loss of cell motility in both cell types. Additionally, SEMA3E&F were able to inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-induced sprouts in all three types of cells. Further, SEMA3E&F reduced the level of p-VEGFR2 and its downstream p-ERK in HemEC. These results demonstrate that SEMA3E&F inhibit IH cell proliferation and suppress the angiogenic activities of migration and sprout formation. SEMA3E&F may have therapeutic potential to treat or prevent growth of highly proliferative IH.


  • Hironao Nakayama
  • Huey-Lan Huang
  • Ryan P Kelly
  • Clara R L Oudenaarden
  • Adelle Dagher
  • Nicole A Hofmann
  • Marsha A Moses
  • Joyce Bischoff
  • Michael Klagsbrun
External organisations
  • Harvard Medical School
Research areas and keywords


  • Cell Movement, Cell Proliferation, Endothelial Cells, Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases, Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic, Hemangioma, Humans, Infant, Membrane Proteins, Neoplasms, Vascular Tissue, Neoplastic Stem Cells, Neovascularization, Pathologic, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Recombinant Proteins, Semaphorins, Signal Transduction, Tumor Cells, Cultured, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A, Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2, Journal Article, Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)126-32
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Aug 14
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes