Potential role of the Slit/Robo signal pathway in angiogenesis

Vascular Medicine
Masakazu FujiwaraOichi Kawanami


Intensive investigations on angiogenesis and vasculogenesis have increased our understanding of molecular mechanisms of blood vessel formation during pathologic and developmental conditions. However, endothelial cells (ECs), the main component of vasculature, are heterogeneous, as revealed by our phenotypic and molecular biological studies in the laboratory, and it is still hard to adequately understand the molecular mechanisms of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis. Indeed, there are several major ligand/receptor signal pathways: VEGF/VEGFR, Jagged-1/Notch, Wnt ligand/frizzled receptor, and ephrin/Eph; each of which having distinct and independent roles during vascular formation. In this review, we focus on the angiogenic effect of the Slit and Robo signal pathway that was formally known as neuronal axon guidance. Among the existing vascular signals, this pathway is the most recently found ligand/receptor vascular signal, and may play important physiological roles as other major receptor/ligand signals do. Here, we briefly address: (1) the background of Slit and Robo families; (2) expression patterns of Slit and Robo; (3) functional roles of the Slit/Robo pathway in vascular formation; and (4) confronting tasks of this novel vascu...Continue Reading


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