Novel molecular mechanism underlying vascular stabilization in new blood vessel formation
Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from existing vessels. Angiogenesis important for extending vascular networks. But angiogenic vessels should be stabilized to allow for proper functional blood perfusion. The biochemical Notch signaling pathway stabilizes blood vessels by preventing excessive angiogenesis. Research from a KAIST team found that the Notch pathway reduced the expression of a proangiogenic regulator known as Sox17, thereby leading to vascular stabilization.
In the circulatory system, while larger features of the vasculature such as arteries and veins appear to be statically positioned for years of use, finer features in the human body and in biology relates to a continuous branching out of a circulatory network that is required for tissue growth. This process is related to biochemical pathways and is vital to be understood so that issues in health and disease can be better addressed. Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels from existing vessels. A functional vascular network is established by balanced angiogenesis processes. While the activation of angiogenesis extends vascular networks crucial for tissue growth, angiogenic vessels should be stabilized to undertake necessary vascular functions. The Notch pathway is fundamental for allowing for vascular stabilization. It acts by preventing excessive angiogenesis. However, how this signaling pathway that is conserved in various biological processes can induce changes that are endothelial-specific in vascular stabilization has yet to be elucidated.
The Vascular Research Group at KAIST recently unveiled that the transcription factor Sox17 is expressed in angiogenic vessels and promotes angiogenesis by increasing vascular “sprouting.” They also found that the Notch pathway suppresses Sox17 expression at the vascular frontline or root-tip areas of the circulatory system. Collectively, the Notch pathway prevents excessive angiogenesis by targeting Sox17 expression. This interplay between the (i) Notch pathway and (ii) Sox17 is an interesting one for further research and may explain how the conserved Notch signaling system is responsible for balanced angiogenesis specialized in vascular morphogenesis.
Lee SH et al. Circulation Research 2014 115: 215-26
selected as an Editor’s pick in Circulation Research 2014 115: 204
highlighted in Circulation Research 2014 115: 205-7
By Injune Kim, Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering,
May 01 2014(www.vbsckim.com)