Molecular Controls of Arterial Morphogenesis
Formation of arterial vasculature, here termed arteriogenesis, is a central process in embryonic vascular development as well as in adult tissues. Although the process of capillary formation, angiogenesis, is relatively well understood, much remains to be learned about arteriogenesis. Recent discoveries point to the key role played by vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 in control of this process and to newly identified control circuits that dramatically influence its activity. The latter can present particularly attractive targets for a new class of therapeutic agents capable of activation of this signaling cascade in a ligand-independent manner, thereby promoting arteriogenesis in diseased tissues.
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