University of Heidelberg
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Rho guanine exchange factors in blood vessels: fine-tuners of angiogenesis and vascular function

J. Kather and J. Kroll

Exp Cell Res, 319 (9), pp.1289-1297

The angiogenic cascade is a multi-step process essential for embryogenesis and other physiological and pathological processes. Rho family GTPases are binary molecular switches and serve as master regulators of various basic cellular processes. Rho GTPases are known to exert important functions in angiogenesis and vascular physiology. These functions demand a tight and context-specific control of cellular processes requiring superordinate control by a multitude of guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs). GEFs display various features enabling them to fine-tune the actions of Rho GTPases in the vasculature: (1) GEFs regulate specific steps of the angiogenic cascade; (2) GEFs show a spatio-temporally specific expression pattern; (3) GEFs differentially regulate endothelial function depending on their subcellular location; (4) GEFs mediate crosstalk between complex signaling cascades and (5) GEFs themselves are regulated by another layer of interacting proteins. The aim of this review is to provide an overview about the role of GEFs in regulating angiogenesis and vascular function and to point out current limitations as well as clinical perspectives.

Contact: Dr. Frank Zöllner last modified: 30.11.2020
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