VEGF signaling pathway
There is now much evidence that VEGFR-2 is the major mediator of VEGF-driven responses in endothelial cells and it is considered to be a crucial signal transducer in both physiologic and pathologic angiogenesis. The binding of VEGF to VEGFR-2 leads to a cascade of different signaling pathways, resulting in the up-regulation of genes involved in mediating the proliferation and migration of endothelial cells and promoting their survival and vascular permeability. For example, the binding of VEGF to VEGFR-2 leads to dimerization of the receptor, followed by intracellular activation of the PLCgamma;PKC-Raf kinase-MEK-mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway and subsequent initiation of DNA synthesis and cell growth, whereas activation of the phosphatidylinositol 3' -kinase (PI3K)-Akt pathway leads to increased endothelial-cell survival. Activation of PI3K, FAK, and p38 MAPK is implicated in cell migration signaling.