Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) was first identified as a molecule secreted by tumor cells that promoted breakdown of endothelial barrier and induced vascular permeability (Senger et al. 1983). Subsequent purification of the protein and amino acid sequence revealed that this molecule was identical to a cDNA that coded for a protein with mitogenic properties when applied to endothelial cells (Leung et al. 1989; Senger et al. 1990). It became clear that both molecules were identical with functional attributes that included induction of proliferation, migration, and disruption of barrier function on endothelial cells (Connolly et al. 1989; Dvorak 2006). It was quickly determined that VEGF exerted its effects through binding to two cell-surface receptor tyrosine kinases expressed by endothelial cells. Therefore,...
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