Redox signaling in angiogenesis: role of NADPH oxidase

Cardiovasc Res. 2006 Jul 15;71(2):226-35. doi: 10.1016/j.cardiores.2006.04.015. Epub 2006 May 9.


Angiogenesis, a process of new blood vessel formation, is a key process involved in normal development and wound repair as well as in the various pathophysiologies such as ischemic heart and limb diseases and atherosclerosis. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as superoxide and H(2)O(2) function as signaling molecules in many aspects of growth factor-mediated responses including angiogenesis. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key angiogenic growth factor and stimulates proliferation, migration, and tube formation of endothelial cells (ECs) primarily through the VEGF receptor type2 (VEGR2, KDR/Flk1). VEGF binding initiates autophosphorylation of VEGFR2, which results in activation of downstream signaling enzymes including ERK1/2, Akt, and eNOS in ECs, thereby stimulating angiogenesis. The major source of ROS in EC is a NADPH oxidase which consists of Nox1, Nox2 (gp91phox), Nox4, p22phox, p47phox, p67phox and the small G protein Rac1. The endothelial NADPH oxidase is activated by angiogenic factors including VEGF and angiopoietin-1. ROS derived from this enzyme stimulate diverse redox signaling pathways leading to angiogenesis-related gene induction as well as EC migration and proliferation, which may contribute to postnatal angiogenesis in vivo. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the recent progress on the emerging area of the role of ROS derived from NADPH oxidase and redox signaling in angiogenesis. Understanding these mechanisms may provide insight into the NADPH oxidase and redox signaling components as potential therapeutic targets for treatment of angiogenesis-dependent cardiovascular diseases and for promoting angiogenesis in ischemic limb and heart diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Atherosclerosis / metabolism
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism*
  • Endothelial Growth Factors / metabolism
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • NADPH Oxidases / physiology*
  • Neovascularization, Pathologic
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Endothelial Growth Factors
  • Angiotensin II
  • NADPH Oxidases