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Viruses as key regulators of angiogenesis

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Angiogenesis is an important physiological process that is controlled by a precise balance of growth and inhibitory factors in healthy tissues. However, environmental and genetic factors may disturb this delicate balance, resulting in the development of angiogenic diseases, tumour growth and metastasis. During the past decades, extensive research has led to the identification and characterization of genes, proteins and signalling pathways that are involved in neovascularization. Moreover, increasing evidence indicates that viruses may also regulate angiogenesis either directly, by (i) producing viral chemokines, growth factors and/or receptors or (ii) activating blood vessels as a consequence of endothelial cell tropism, or indirectly, by (iii) modulating the activity of cellular proteins and/or (iv) inducing a local or systemic inflammatory response, thereby creating an angiogenic microenvironment. As such, viruses may modulate several signal transduction pathways involved in angiogenesis leading to changes in endothelial cell proliferation, migration, adhesion, vascular permeability and/or protease production. Here, we will review different mechanisms that may be applied by viruses to deregulate the angiogenic balance in healthy tissues and/or increase the angiogenic potential of tumours. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Journal: Reviews in Medical Virology
ISSN: 1052-9276
Issue: 3
Volume: 21
Pages: 181 - 200
Publication year:2011