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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2009 Mar;41(3):521-30. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2008.05.030. Epub 2008 Aug 12.

The role of cell adhesion pathways in angiogenesis.

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  • 1The Adhesion and Angiogenesis Laboratory, Department of Tumour Biology, Queen Mary's School of Medicine & Dentistry, London EC1M 6BQ, United Kingdom. antoine.ramjaun@cancer.org.uk


Angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels from pre-existing vasculature, is prevalent both during normal mammalian development and in certain pathological conditions such as tumor growth. It is stimulated and controlled by a complex network of intracellular signaling mechanisms, many of which are initiated by trans-membrane receptors transducing signals received from other cells and from the extracellular environment. Of these, cytokine signaling is recognized as one of the primary drivers of angiogenesis, but it has become increasingly evident that signaling mechanisms generated as a result of cell adhesion interactions are also crucially important. In addition, cell adhesion pathways are also intimately tied to cytokine signaling often making it difficult to dissect out the relative contribution of each to a particular angiogenic step. Many of these same signaling mechanisms are often manipulated by tumors to stimulate aberrant angiogenesis and enhance their blood supply. As a consequence, there is a great deal of interest in trying to understand the full complement of intracellular signaling pathways in angiogenesis as well as their interplay and timing during the process. Ultimately, understanding the complex network of signaling pathways that function during angiogenesis will provide important avenues for future therapeutic development.

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