, Volume 27, Issue 6, pp 419-439
Date: 10 Apr 2010

Functional genomics of endothelial cells treated with anti-angiogenic or angiopreventive drugs

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Abstract

Angiogenesis is a highly regulated physiological process that has been studied in considerable detail given its importance in several chronic pathologies. Many endogenous factors and hormones intervene in the regulation of angiogensis and classical as well as targeted drugs have been developed for its control. Angiogenesis inhibition has come off the bench and entered into clinical application for cancer therapy, particularly for metastatic disease. While the clinical benefit is currently in terms of months, preclinical data suggest that novel drugs and drug combinations could lead to substantial improvement. The many targets of endogenous angiogenesis inhibitors reflect the complexity of the process; in contrast, current clinical therapies mainly target the vascular endothelial growth factor system. Cancer chemopreventive compounds can retard tumor insurgence and delay or prevent metastasis and many of these molecules hinder angiogenesis, a mechanism that we termed angioprevention. Angiopreventive drugs appear to prevalently act through the inhibition of the pro-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic player NFκB, thus contrasting inflammation dependent angiogenesis. Relatively little is known concerning the effects of these angiogenesis inhibitors on gene expression of endothelial cells, the main target of many of these molecules. Here we provide an exhaustive list of anti-angiogenic molecules, and summarize their effects, where known, on the transcriptome and functional genomics of endothelial cells. The regulation of specific genes can be crucial to preventive or therapeutic intervention. Further, novel targets might help to circumvent resistance to anti-angiogenic therapy. The studies we review are relevant not only to cancer but also to other chronic degenerative diseases involving endothelial cells, such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and retinopaties, as well as vessel aging.