Review

Molecular Diversity

, 10:515

First online:

Molecular and functional diversity of vascular endothelial growth factors

  • Yasuo YamazakiAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University
  • , Takashi MoritaAffiliated withDepartment of Biochemistry, Meiji Pharmaceutical University Email author 

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Summary

Members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family are crucial regulators of neovascularization and are classified as cystine knot growth factors that specifically bind cellular receptor tyrosine kinases VEGFR-1, VEGFR-2, and VEGFR-3 with high but variable affinity and selectivity. The VEGF family has recently been expanded and currently comprises seven members: VEGF-A, VEGF-B, placenta growth factor (PlGF), VEGF-C, VEGF-D, viral VEGF (also known as VEGF-E), and snake venom VEGF (also known as VEGF-F). Although all members are structurally homologous, there is molecular diversity among the subtypes, and several isoforms, such as VEGF-A, VEGF-B, and PlGF, are generated by alternative exon splicing. These splicing isoforms exhibit differing properties, particularly in binding to co-receptor neuropilins and heparin. VEGF family proteins play multiple physiological roles, such as angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis, while exogenous members (viral and snake venom VEGFs) display activities that are unique in physiology and function. This review will highlight the molecular and functional diversity of VEGF family proteins.

Keywords

angiogenesis biological property endothelial cell proliferation lymphangiogenesis molecular diversity receptor selectivity receptor binding affinity vascular endothelial growth factor vascular permeability