The process of angiogenesis involves the generation of blood vessels from pre-existing vessels. Abnormal angiogenesis occurs when the balance between pro- and anti-angiogenic signals is perturbed and is a hallmark of pathological conditions such as cancer, ischemic and inflammatory diseases. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are short non-coding RNAs, whose main function is to negatively regulate gene expression. MiRNA-mediated regulation is essential for many biological processes including development and disease. Here, we review findings in which these small RNA molecules have been increasingly recognized as key regulators of the angiogenic response, as well as potential therapeutic targets in pro and anti-angiogenic medicine.
Keywords: Angiogenesis, dicer, endothelial cells, gene expression, MicroRNA, vascular development, VEGF.