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Dev Cell. 2012 Feb 14;22(2):403-17. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.11.018.

Death receptors DR6 and TROY regulate brain vascular development.

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Neurodegeneration Labs, Department of Neuroscience, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


Signaling events that regulate central nervous system (CNS) angiogenesis and blood-brain barrier (BBB) formation are only beginning to be elucidated. By evaluating the gene expression profile of mouse vasculature, we identified DR6/TNFRSF21 and TROY/TNFRSF19 as regulators of CNS-specific angiogenesis in both zebrafish and mice. Furthermore, these two death receptors interact both genetically and physically and are required for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)-mediated JNK activation and subsequent human brain endothelial sprouting in vitro. Increasing beta-catenin levels in brain endothelium upregulate DR6 and TROY, indicating that these death receptors are downstream target genes of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, which has been shown to be required for BBB development. These findings define a role for death receptors DR6 and TROY in CNS-specific vascular development.

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