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Trends Cardiovasc Med. 2006 Feb;16(2):55-9.

Angiogenesis: the VE-cadherin switch.

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  • 1Laboratoire de Développement et Vieillissement de l'Endothélium, Université Joseph Fourier, Grenoble, France.


Because angiogenesis is a key step in a number of pathologic processes, including tumor growth and atherosclerosis, many research studies have investigated the regulatory signals active at various stages of vascular invasion. The differential activities of the endothelial junction protein vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin reflect the versatile behavior of endothelial cells between vascular quiescence and angiogenesis. VE-cadherin function and signaling are deeply modified in proliferating cells, and this conversion is accompanied by phosphorylation of the protein on tyrosine residues and enhanced transcription of its gene. Recent advances in the complex interplay between protein tyrosine kinases and phosphatases regulating VE-cadherin phosphorylation and function are discussed in this review.

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