Preclinical studies of AdVEGF-DΔNΔC

For the last ten years, in the Finnish research laboratories of A.I.Virtanen Institute, Professor Seppo Ylä-Herttuala's group has evaluated the angiogenic effects of all the members of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) family in various animal models.

VEGF-DΔNΔC is a proteolytically modified short form of VEGF-D which binds to both VEGF receptor 2 and VEGF receptor 3. VEGF-D is constitutively expressed in many human tissues, including the blood vessel wall. Hypoxia does not regulate VEGF-D expression and proteolytic activation is a key step in forming the maximally active short form of VEGF-DΔNΔC which is relatively soluble in the tissue environment. VEGF-DΔNΔC binds to VEGF receptor 2 and induces signalling through this receptor pathway in a less aggressive but more sustained fashion. Thus, its effects should theoretically be less aggressive as compared to classical VEGF-A, but last longer in tissues. In addition, VEGF-D stimulates stem/progenitor cells in the ischemic tissues which could be a very useful property in ischemic muscles. Thus, VEGF-DΔNΔC seems to be a potentially very useful candidate to induce therapeutic angiogenesis in ischemic tissues.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation progamme under grant agreement No 731532.

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