Growth factor active in angiogenesis, lymphangiogenesis and endothelial cell growth, stimulating their proliferation and migration and also has effects on the permeability of blood vessels. May function in the formation of the venous and lymphatic vascular systems during embryogenesis, and also in the maintenance of differentiated lymphatic endothelium in adults. Binds and activates VEGFR-2 (KDR/FLK1) and VEGFR-3 (FLT4) receptors.
Highly expressed in lung, heart, small intestine and fetal lung, and at lower levels in skeletal muscle, colon, and pancreas.
Belongs to the PDGF/VEGF growth factor family.
Undergoes a complex proteolytic maturation which generates a variety of processed secreted forms with increased activity toward VEGFR-3 and VEGFR-2. VEGF-D first form an antiparallel homodimer linked by disulfide bonds before secretion. The fully processed VEGF-D is composed mostly of two VEGF homology domains (VHDs) bound by non-covalent interactions.
Moussai D et al. The human cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma microenvironment is characterized by increased lymphatic density and enhanced expression of macrophage-derived VEGF-C. J Invest Dermatol131:229-36 (2011).
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