PEDF is a noninhibitory serpin with neurotrophic, anti-angiogenic, and anti-tumorigenic properties. PEDF is a 50,000 dalton glycoprotein created and secreted in many tissues all the way through the body. A key component of the anti-angiogenic action of PEDF is the induction of apoptosis in proliferating endothelial cells. Additionally, PEDF is capable to inhibit the activity of angiogenic factors such as VEGF and FGF-2. The neuro-protective effects of PEDF are achieved through suppression of neuronal apoptosis induced by peroxide, glutamate, or other neurotoxins. The recognition of a lipase-linked cell membrane receptor for PEDF (PEDF-R) that binds to PEDF with high affinity should facilitate further elucidation of the underlying mechanisms of this pluripotent serpin. To date, PEDF-R is the only signaling receptor known to be used by a serpin family member. The unique range of PEDF activities associate it as a potential therapeutic agent for the treatment of vasculature related neurodegenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). PEDF in addition has the potential to be functional in the treatment of various angiogenesis-related diseases including a number of cancers.
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