Transcriptional regulation of endothelial cell behavior during sprouting angiogenesis

Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 28;8(1):726. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00738-7.


Mediating the expansion of vascular beds in many physiological and pathological settings, angiogenesis requires dynamic changes in endothelial cell behavior. However, the molecular mechanisms governing endothelial cell activity during different phases of vascular growth, remodeling, maturation, and quiescence remain elusive. Here, we characterize dynamic gene expression changes during postnatal development and identify critical angiogenic factors in mouse retinal endothelial cells. Using actively translating transcriptome analysis and in silico computational analyses, we determine candidate regulators controlling endothelial cell behavior at different developmental stages. We further show that one of the identified candidates, the transcription factor MafB, controls endothelial sprouting in vitro and in vivo, and perform an integrative analysis of RNA-Seq and ChIP-Seq data to define putative direct MafB targets, which are activated or repressed by the transcriptional regulator. Together, our results identify novel cell-autonomous regulatory mechanisms controlling sprouting angiogenesis.Angiogenesis is a complex process that requires coordinated changes in endothelial cell behavior. Here the authors use Ribo-tag and RNA-Seq to determine temporal profiles of transcriptional activity during postnatal retinal angiogenesis, identifying transcriptional regulators of the process.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endothelial Cells*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • MafB Transcription Factor / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / genetics*
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Retinal Vessels / growth & development*


  • MafB Transcription Factor
  • Mafb protein, mouse