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Circ Res. 2000 Nov 10;87(10):865-72.

The role of homeobox genes in vascular remodeling and angiogenesis.

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  • 1Division of Surgical Oncology, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, New Brunswick, USA.


Homeodomain-containing transcription factors are critical in the regulation of cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration, and they play an important role in organogenesis and pattern formation during embryogenesis. There is evidence that some of them are oncogenes or tumor suppressors. The cardiovascular system undergoes extensive remodeling during embryogenesis and disease states such as atherosclerosis and tumor-induced angiogenesis, and homeobox genes may play an important role in regulating these processes. Recently, homeobox genes have been detected in both vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells, and they are implicated in pathological processes such as arterial restenosis after balloon angioplasty and tumor-induced angiogenesis. The cellular function of some of these genes is beginning to be elucidated. Therefore, we briefly review what is currently known about the involvement of homeobox transcription factors in both physiological and pathological vascular remodeling and angiogenesis.

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