Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF), also known as vasculotropin, is an angiogenic growth factor, which is heat and acid stable. VEGFs stimulate endothelial cell growth, angiogenisis, and capillary permeability. VEGF is a secreted homodimeric, heparin-binding glycoprotein,1 which has an isoelectric point of 8.5. VEGF promotes the growth of endothelial cells isolated from bovine adrenal cortex, cerebral cortex, fetal and adult aorta, and human umbilical vein. The target cell specificity of VEGF is restricted to vascular endothelial cells. VEGF has no mitogenic effect on cultured corneal endothelial cells, vascular smooth muscle cells, BHK-12 fibroblasts, keratinocytes, human sarcoma cells, or lens epithelial cells. A variety of human tumor cell lines including sarcoma and carcinoma cells show a 3.7 kb RNA transcript that hybridizes with the VEGF probe in a Northern blot. Mouse sarcoma 180 cells express the VEGF mRNA and secrete a VEGF-like mitogen.
VEGF recombinant protein might have potential as a therapeutic agent in treatment-resistant disorders, where it can facilitate endothelial cell growth and vessel formation.