Capillary morphogenesis gene 2 (CMG2) mediates growth factor-induced angiogenesis by regulating endothelial cell chemotaxis

Lorna M. Cryan, Tsz Ming Tsang, Jessica Stiles, Lauren Bazinet, Sai Lun Lee, Samuel Garrard, Erika Madrian, Cody Roberts, Jessie Payne, Andrew Jensen, Arthur E. Frankel, P. Christine Ackroyd, Kenneth A. Christensen, Michael S. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Anthrax protective antigen (PA) is a potent inhibitor of pathological angiogenesis with an unknown mechanism. In anthrax intoxication, PA interacts with capillary morphogenesis gene 2 (CMG2) and tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8). Here, we show that CMG2 mediates the antiangiogenic effects of PA and is required for growth-factor-induced chemotaxis. Using specific inhibitors of CMG2 and TEM8 interaction with natural ligand, as well as mice with the CMG2 or TEM8 transmembrane and intracellular domains disrupted, we demonstrate that inhibiting CMG2, but not TEM8 reduces growth-factor-induced angiogenesis in the cornea. Furthermore, the antiangiogenic effect of PA was abolished when the CMG2, but not the TEM8, gene was disrupted. Binding experiments demonstrated a broad ligand specificity for CMG2 among extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Ex vivo experiments demonstrated that CMG2 (but not TEM8) is required for PA activity in human dermal microvascular endothelial cell (HMVEC-d) network formation assays. Remarkably, blocking CMG2-ligand binding with PA or CRISPR knockout abolishes endothelial cell chemotaxis but not chemokinesis in microfluidic migration assays. These effects are phenocopied by Rho inhibition. Because CMG2 mediates the chemotactic response of endothelial cells to peptide growth factors in an ECM-dependent fashion, CMG2 is well-placed to integrate growth factor and ECM signals. Thus, CMG2 targeting is a novel way to inhibit angiogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Anthrax toxin
  • Anthrax toxin receptor 1 (ANTXR1)
  • Anthrax toxin receptor 2 (ANTXR2)
  • Chemokinesis
  • Chemotaxis
  • Epithelial cell migration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Capillary morphogenesis gene 2 (CMG2) mediates growth factor-induced angiogenesis by regulating endothelial cell chemotaxis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this