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Dev Cell. 2013 May 28;25(4):427-34. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2013.04.008. Epub 2013 May 9.

G13 controls angiogenesis through regulation of VEGFR-2 expression.

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Department of Pharmacology, Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, 61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.


At sites of angiogenesis, the expression of the key angiogenesis regulator vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its main receptor, VEGF receptor 2 (VEGFR-2), are strongly upregulated. Whereas the processes controlling VEGF expression are well described, the mechanisms underlying VEGFR-2 upregulation have remained unclear. We found that endothelial VEGFR-2 expression is strongly reduced in the absence of the G protein G13, resulting in an impaired responsiveness to VEGF-A, a phenotype that can be rescued by normalization of VEGFR-2 levels. G13-mediated VEGFR-2 expression involved activation of the small GTPase RhoA and transcription factor NF-κB, the latter acting via a specific binding site at position -84 of the VEGFR-2 promoter. Mice with endothelial cell-specific loss of G13 showed reduced VEGFR-2 expression at sites of angiogenesis and attenuated VEGF effects, resulting in impaired retinal angiogenesis and tumor vascularization. Taken together, we identified G-protein-mediated signaling via G13 as a critical regulator of VEGFR-2 expression during angiogenesis.

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