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Vascular endothelial growth factor-C and its receptor-3 signaling in tumorigenesis

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The cancer-promoting ligand vascular endothelial growth factor-C (VEGF-C) activates VEGF receptor-3 (VEGFR-3). The VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 axis is expressed by a range of human tumor cells in addition to lymphatic endothelial cells. Activating the VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 signaling enhances metastasis by promoting lymphangiogenesis and angiogenesis inside and around tumors. Stimulation of VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 signaling promotes tumor metastasis in tumors, such as ovarian, renal, pancreatic, prostate, lung, skin, gastric, colorectal, cervical, leukemia, mesothelioma, Kaposi sarcoma, and endometrial carcinoma. We discuss and update the role of VEGF-C/VEGFR-3 signaling in tumor development and the research is still needed to completely comprehend this multifunctional receptor.

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This work was supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) - Research Scientist Scheme, Government of India for the research Grant to S. Vimalraj (Grant no. SB/SRS/2022-23/109/LS). The authors acknowledge the Researchers Supporting Project Number (RSPD2023R674), King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for funding this research work.

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SV: conceptualization, methodology, writing—original draft preparation, supervision, and validation. KNGH, MR, PG, KP, SS, and DG: original draft preparation.

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Correspondence to Selvaraj Vimalraj.

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The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.

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Vimalraj, S., Hariprabu, K.N.G., Rahaman, M. et al. Vascular endothelial growth factor-C and its receptor-3 signaling in tumorigenesis. 3 Biotech 13, 326 (2023).

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