Regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor function in angiogenesis by numb and numb-like

Max Van Lessen, Masanori Nakayama, Katsuhiro Kato, Jung Mo Kim, Kozo Kaibuchi, Ralf H. Adams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective - Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling is a major regulator of physiological and pathological angiogenesis. VEGF receptor activity is strongly controlled by endocytosis, which can terminate or enhance signal transduction in the angiogenic endothelium, but the exact molecular regulation of these processes remains incompletely understood. We have therefore examined the function of Numb family clathrin-associated sorting proteins in angiogenesis. Approach and Results - We show that Numb proteins are expressed by endothelial cells during retinal angiogenesis in mice. Inducible inactivation of the Numb/Numbl genes in the postnatal endothelium led to impaired vessel growth, reduced endothelial proliferation and sprouting, and decreased VEGF receptor activation. Biochemistry and cell biology experiments established that Numb can interact with VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 and controls VEGF receptor activation in response to ligand stimulation. Experiments in cultured endothelial cells showed that Numb proteins counteract VEGF receptor degradation and promote VEGFR2 recycling back to the plasma membrane. Conclusions - Numb proteins control VEGF receptor endocytosis, signaling, and recycling in endothelial cells, which promotes the angiogenic growth of blood vessels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1815-1825
Number of pages11
JournalArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 25 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • VEGF signaling
  • VEGFR2
  • angiogenesis
  • endocytosis
  • endothelial cell
  • endothelial cell sprouting and proliferation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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