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Circulating vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) ligands and receptors are central regulators of vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, and lymphangiogenesis. In response to VEGF ligand binding, VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases initiate the chain of events that transduce extracellular signals into endothelial cell responses such as survival, proliferation, and migration. These events are controlled by intricate cellular processes that include the regulation of gene expression at multiple levels, interactions of numerous proteins, and intracellular trafficking of receptor-ligand complexes. Endocytic uptake and transport of macromolecular complexes through the endosome-lysosome system helps fine-tune endothelial cell responses to VEGF signals. Clathrin-dependent endocytosis remains the best understood means of macromolecular entry into cells, although the importance of non-clathrin-dependent pathways is increasingly recognized. Many of these endocytic events rely on adaptor proteins that coordinate internalization of activated cell-surface receptors. In the endothelium of both blood and lymphatic vessels, epsins 1 and 2 are functionally redundant adaptors involved in receptor endocytosis and intracellular sorting. These proteins are capable of binding both lipids and proteins and are important for promoting curvature of the plasma membrane as well as binding ubiquitinated cargo. Here, we discuss the role of epsin proteins and other endocytic adaptors in governing VEGF signaling in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis and discuss their therapeutic potential as molecular targets.Copyright © 2023 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.


Douglas B Cowan, Hao Wu, Hong Chen. Epsin Endocytic Adaptor Proteins in Angiogenic and Lymphangiogenic Signaling. Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine. 2023 May 22

PMID: 37217282

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