Detection of VEGF-A xxx b Isoforms in Human Tissues

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Abstract

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) can be generated as multiple isoforms by alternative splicing. Two families of isoforms have been described in humans, pro-angiogenic isoforms typified by VEGF-A 165 a, and anti-angiogenic isoforms typified by VEGF-A 165 b. The practical determination of expression levels of alternative isoforms of the same gene may be complicated by experimental protocols that favour one isoform over another, and the use of specific positive and negative controls is essential for the interpretation of findings on expression of the isoforms. Here we address some of the difficulties in experimental design when investigating alternative splicing of VEGF isoforms, and discuss the use of appropriate control paradigms. We demonstrate why use of specific control experiments can prevent assumptions that VEGF-A 165 b is not present, when in fact it is. We reiterate, and confirm previously published experimen tal design protocols that demonstrate the importance of using positive controls. These include using known target sequences to show that the experimental conditions are suitable for PCR amplification of VEGF-A 165 b mRNA for both q-PCR and RT-PCR and to ensure that mispriming does not occur. We also provide evidence that demonstrates that detection of VEGF-A 165 b protein in mice needs to be tightly controlled to prevent detection of mouse IgG by a secondary antibody. We also show that human VEGF 165 b protein can be immunoprecipitated from cultured human cells and that immunoprecipitating VEGF-A results in protein that is detected by VEGF-A 165 b antibody. These findings support the conclusion that more information on the biology of VEGF-A 165 b isoforms is required, and confirm the importance of the experimental design in such investigations, including the use of specific positive and negative controls. © 2013 Bates et al.

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Bates, D. O., Mavrou, A., Qiu, Y., Carter, J. G., Hamdollah-Zadeh, M., Barratt, S., … Harper, S. J. (2013). Detection of VEGF-A xxx b Isoforms in Human Tissues. PLoS ONE, 8(7). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0068399

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