Biomedicine and diseases: the Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome, vascular anomalies and vascular morphogenesis
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- Timur, A.A., Driscoll, D.J. & Wang, Q. CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2005) 62: 1434. doi:10.1007/s00018-005-4523-7
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Vascular morphogenesis is a vital process for embryonic development, normal physiologic conditions (e.g. wound healing) and pathological processes (e.g. atherosclerosis, cancer). Genetic studies of vascular anomalies have led to identification of critical genes involved in vascular morphogenesis. A susceptibility gene, VG5Q (formally named AGGF1), was cloned for Klippel-Trenaunay syndrome (KTS). AGGF1 encodes a potent angiogenic factor, and KTS-associated mutations enhance angiogenic activity of AGGF1, defining ‘increased angiogenesis’ as one molecular mechanism for the pathogenesis of KTS. Similar studies have identified other genes involved in vascular anomalies as important genes for vascular morphogenesis, including TIE2, VEGFR-3, RASA1, KRIT1, MGC4607, PDCD10, glomulin, FOXC2, NEMO, SOX18, ENG, ACVRLK1, MADH4, NDP, TIMP3, Notch3, COL3A1 and PTEN. Future studies of vascular anomaly genes will provide insights into the molecular mechanisms for vascular morphogenesis, and may lead to the development of therapeutic strategies for treating these and other angiogenesis-related diseases, including coronary artery disease and cancer.