Metabolic stress induces the lysosomal degradation of neuropilin-1 but not neuropilin-2

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cancer Biology and Cancer Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The neuropilins-1 and -2 (NRP1 and NRP2) function as receptors for both the semaphorins and vascular endothelial growth factor. In addition to their contribution to the development of the nervous system, NRP1 and NRP2 have been implicated in angiogenesis and tumor progression. Given their importance to cancer and endothelial biology and their potential as therapeutic targets, an important issue that has not been addressed is the impact of metabolic stress conditions characteristic of the tumor microenvironment on their expression and function. Here, we demonstrate that hypoxia and nutrient deprivation stimulate the rapid loss of NRP1 expression in both endothelial and carcinoma cells. NRP2 expression, in contrast, is maintained under these conditions. The lysosomal inhibitors chloroquine and bafilomycin A1 prevented the loss of NRP1 expression, but proteasomal inhibitors had no effect. The hypothesis that NRP1 is degraded by autophagy is supported by the findings that its expression is lost rapidly in response to metabolic stress, prevented with 3-methyladenine and induced by rapamycin. Targeted depletion of NRP2 using small hairpin RNA revealed that NRP2 can function in the absence of NRP1 to mediate endothelial tube formation in hypoxia. Studies aimed at assessing NRP function and targeted therapy in cancer and angiogenesis should consider the impact of metabolic stress.

DOI of Published Version



J Biol Chem. 2008 Oct 17;283(42):28074-80. Epub 2008 Aug 14. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

The Journal of biological chemistry

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID