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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2012 Apr;24(2):188-93. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2012 Feb 25.

VEGF signaling inside vascular endothelial cells and beyond.

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Yale Cardiovascular Research Center, Section of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, United States.


Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) has long been recognized as the key regulator of vascular development and function in health and disease. VEGF is a secreted polypeptide that binds to transmembrane tyrosine kinase VEGF receptors on the plasma membrane, inducing their dimerization, activation and assembly of a membrane-proximal signaling complex. Recent studies have revealed that many key events of VEGFR signaling occur inside the endothelial cell and are regulated by endosomal receptor trafficking. Plasma membrane VEGFR interacting molecules, including vascular guidance receptors Neuropilins and Ephrins also regulate VEGFR endocytosis and trafficking. VEGF signaling is increasingly recognized for its roles outside of the vascular system, notably during neural development, and blood vessels regulate epithelial branching morphogenesis. We review here recent advances in our understanding of VEGF signaling and its biological roles.

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