ABSTRACT: Tumor growth and progression depend on angiogenesis, a process of new blood vessels formation from a preexisting vascular endothelium. Tumors promote angiogenesis by secreting or activating angiogenic factors that stimulate endothelial proliferation and migration and capillary morphogenesis. The newly formed blood vessels provide nutrients and oxygen to the tumor, increasing its growth. Thus, angiogenesis plays a key role in cancer progression and development of metastases. An important growth factor that promotes angiogenesis and participates in a variety of physiological and pathological processes is the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-A or VEGF). Overexpression of VEGF results in increased angiogenesis in normal and pathological conditions. The existence of an alternative site of splicing at the 3' untranslated region of the mRNA results in the expression of isoforms with a C-terminal region which are downregulated in tumors and may have differential inhibitory effects. This suggests that control of splicing can be an important regulatory mechanism of angiogenesis in cancer.
Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 11/2011; 138(3):363-70. · 2.56 Impact Factor