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Nature. 2001 Aug 30;412(6850):877-84.

Identification of an angiogenic mitogen selective for endocrine gland endothelium.

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Department of Molecular Oncology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


The known endothelial mitogens stimulate growth of vascular endothelial cells without regard to their tissue of origin. Here we report a growth factor that is expressed largely in one type of tissue and acts selectively on one type of endothelium. This molecule, called endocrine-gland-derived vascular endothelial growth factor (EG-VEGF), induced proliferation, migration and fenestration (the formation of membrane discontinuities) in capillary endothelial cells derived from endocrine glands. However, EG-VEGF had little or no effect on a variety of other endothelial and non-endothelial cell types tested. Similar to VEGF, EG-VEGF possesses a HIF-1 binding site, and its expression is induced by hypoxia. Both EG-VEGF and VEGF resulted in extensive angiogenesis and cyst formation when delivered in the ovary. However, unlike VEGF, EG-VEGF failed to promote angiogenesis in the cornea or skeletal muscle. Expression of human EG-VEGF messenger RNA is restricted to the steroidogenic glands, ovary, testis, adrenal and placenta and is often complementary to the expression of VEGF, suggesting that these molecules function in a coordinated manner. EG-VEGF is an example of a class of highly specific mitogens that act to regulate proliferation and differentiation of the vascular endothelium in a tissue-specific manner.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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