Deciphering the signaling events that promote melanoma tumor cell vasculogenic mimicry and their link to embryonic vasculogenesis: Role of the Eph receptors

Angela R. Hess*, Naira V. Margaryan, Elisabeth A. Seftor, Mary J.C. Hendrix

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations

Abstract

During embryogenesis, the primordial microcirculation is formed through a process known as vasculogenesis. The term "vasculogenic mimicry" has been used to describe the manner in which highly aggressive, but not poorly aggressive melanoma tumor cells express endothelial and epithelial markers and form vasculogenic-like networks similar to embryonic vasculogenesis. Vasculogenic mimicry is one example of the remarkable plasticity demonstrated by aggressive melanoma cells and suggests that these cells have acquired an embryonic-like phenotype. Since the initial discovery of tumor cell vasculogenic mimicry by our laboratory, we have been focusing on understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate this process. This review will highlight recent findings identifying key signal transduction events that regulate melanoma vasculogenic mimicry and their similarity to the signal transduction events responsible for promoting embryonic vasculogenesis and angiogenesis. Specifically, this review will focus on the role of the Eph receptors and ligands in embryonic vasculogenesis, angiogenesis, and vasculogenic mimicry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3283-3296
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Volume236
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2007

Keywords

  • EphA2
  • Melanoma
  • Metastasis
  • VE-cadherin
  • Vasculogenic mimicry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology

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