Pathological significance of vascular endothelial growth factor A isoform expression in human cancer

Pathol Int. May-Jun 2002;52(5-6):331-9. doi: 10.1046/j.1440-1827.2002.01367.x.


Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a highly specific factor for vascular endothelial cells. Five VEGF-A isoforms (splice variants 121, 145, 165, 189 and 206) are generated as a result of alternative splicing from a single VEGF-A gene. These differ in their molecular weights and in biological properties such as their ability to bind to cell-surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans. Deregulated VEGF-A expression contributes to the development of solid tumors by promoting tumor angiogenesis. More specifically, VEGF-A189 expression is related to angiogenesis and prognosis in certain human solid tumors. VEGF-A189 expression is also related to the xenotransplantability of human cancers into immunodeficient mice in vivo. Consequently, inhibition of VEGF-A or VEGF-A189 signaling regulates the development and metastasis of a variety of tumors. This review focuses on recent studies of the mechanisms by which VEGF-A regulates angiogenesis in the cancer stroma and on our recent findings concerning the potential mechanisms of VEGF-A189 expression on tumor growth and metastasis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic / pathology*
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / physiology
  • Transplantation, Heterologous
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases