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Mech Dev. 2001 Aug;106(1-2):97-106.

Tissue specific regulation of VEGF expression during bone development requires Cbfa1/Runx2.

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Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a critical regulator of angiogenesis during development, but little is known about the factors that control its expression. We provide the first example of tissue specific loss of VEGF expression as a result of targeting a single gene, Cbfa1/Runx2. During endochondral bone formation, invasion of blood vessels into cartilage is associated with upregulation of VEGF in hypertrophic chondrocytes and increased expression of VEGF receptors in the perichondrium. This upregulation is lacking in Cbfa1 deficient mice, and cartilage angiogenesis does not occur. Finally, over-expression of Cbfa1 in fibroblasts induces an increase in their VEGF mRNA level and protein production by stimulating VEGF transcription. The results demonstrate that Cbfa1 is a necessary component of a tissue specific genetic program that regulates VEGF during endochondral bone formation.

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