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Lymphat Res Biol. 2005;3(4):240-52.

A role for Hox A5 in regulating angiogenesis and vascular patterning.

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  • 1Surgical Research Laboratory, Dept of Surgery, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.



Homeobox (Hox) genes are transcriptional regulators which modulate embryonic morphogenesis and pathological tissue remodeling in adults via regulation of genes associated with cell-cell or cell extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions. We previously showed that while Hox 3 genes promote angiogenesis, Hox D10 inhibits this process.


Here we show that another Hox family gene, Hox A5, also blocks angiogenesis but accomplishes this by targeting different downstream genes than Hox D10. Sustained expression of Hox A5 leads to down regulation of many pro-angiogenic genes including VEGFR2, ephrin A1, Hif1alpha and COX-2. In addition, Hox A5 also upregulates expression of anti-angiogenic genes including Thrombospondin-2. Furthermore, we show that while Hox A5 mRNA is expressed in quiescent endothelial cells (EC), its expression is diminished or absent in active angiogenic EC found in association with breast tumors or in proliferating infantile hemangiomas.


Together our results suggest that restoring Hox A5 expression may provide a novel means to limit breast tumor growth or expansion of hemangiomas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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