VEGF in Development

Part of the series Molecular Biology Intelligence Unit pp 30-39

VEGF Gene Regulation

  • Marcus FruttigerAffiliated withUCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London

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VEGF is best known for its angiogenic properties. Not only does it promote the growth of new blood vessels during embryonic development, it is also important in the adult, where it plays a role in maintaining an adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients to most tissues. VEGF gene regulation is controlled by different signalling pathways depending on the context in which it is expressed. Best understood is the induction of VEGF expression by hypoxia in neonates and adults, which represents an adaptive response to metabolic stress. In contrast, the mechanisms that control VEGF expression during embryonic development are currently less clear.