Vascular endothelial growth factors and receptors: anti-angiogenic therapy in the treatment of cancer.
Vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) are critical regulators of vascular and lymphatic function during development, in health and in disease. There are five mammalian VEGF ligands and three VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases. In addition, several VEGF co-receptors that lack intrinsic catalytic activity, but that indirectly modulate the responsiveness to VEGF contribute to the final biological effect. This review describes the molecular features of VEGFs, VEGFRs and co-receptors with focus on their role in the treatment of cancer.