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Blood. 2005 Feb 1;105(3):1094-101. Epub 2004 Sep 30.

Regulator of G-protein signaling-5 induction in pericytes coincides with active vessel remodeling during neovascularization.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Immunology, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany.


We identified regulator of G-protein signaling-5 (RGS-5) as an angiogenic pericyte marker at sites of physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis. In a mouse model of pancreatic islet cell carcinogenesis, RGS-5 is specifically induced in the vasculature of premalignant lesions during the "angiogenic switch" and further elevated in tumor vessels. Similarly, RGS-5 is overexpressed in highly angiogenic astrocytomas but not in hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha (HIF-1alpha)-deficient tumors, which grow along preexisting brain capillaries without inducing neovessels. Elevated levels of RGS-5 in pericytes are also observed during wound healing and ovulation indicating a strong correlation between RGS-5 expression and active vessel remodeling beyond tumor angiogenesis. Moreover, antitumor therapy, which reverses tumor vasculature to an almost normal morphology, results in down-regulation of RGS-5 transcription. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time a factor that is specific for "activated" pericytes. This further supports the notion that pericytes, like endothelial cells, undergo molecular changes during neovascularization that makes them a novel target for antiangiogenic therapy.

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