Angiogenesis is regulated by a local balance between the levels of endogenous stimulators and inhibitors of angiogenesis. Understanding of the mechanism of angiogenesis has advanced significantly since the discovery of two members of the family of angiogenesis stimulators-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family proteins and angiopoietins. These factors act on endothelial cells to stimulate angiogenesis. In contrast, few genes encoding molecules that selectively inhibit angiogenesis have been discovered. We recently isolated a novel angiogenesis inhibitor, whose expression was augmented in endothelial cells by stimulation with VEGF. We named it vasohibin. Vasohibin is thought to be the first negative feedback regulator of angiogenesis, which is selectively expressed in endothelial cells.
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