Research ArticleVASCULAR BIOLOGY

Genome-wide functional analysis reveals central signaling regulators of lymphatic endothelial cell migration and remodeling

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Sci. Signal.  03 Oct 2017:
Vol. 10, Issue 499, eaal2987
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aal2987

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Moving lymphatic endothelial cells about

Lymphatic vessels return fluid and immune cells from peripheral tissues back to the circulation. The growth of new lymphatic vessels and their remodeling are critical for clearing infection and for metastasis of many cancer subtypes. Williams et al. compared the results of their functional siRNA screens with previously published mRNA data sets to identify genes that regulated lymphatic endothelial cell migration, a process critical for lymphatic vessel growth and remodeling, and genes that functioned in both lymphatic and blood endothelial cell migration. One of the top candidates to emerge from these analyses, the glycan-binding protein Galectin-1 not only promoted lymphatic vessel growth but also was important for maintaining lymphatic endothelial cell identity. Further analyses of the authors’ results may reveal lymphatic vessel–associated proteins that could be targeted to prevent edema, improve infection outcomes, or limit metastasis.