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Journal of Oncology
Volume 2012, Article ID 204593, 7 pages
Review Article

The Role of FoxC2 Transcription Factor in Tumor Angiogenesis

Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, 303E Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

Received 27 May 2011; Revised 17 August 2011; Accepted 29 August 2011

Academic Editor: Debabrata Mukhopadhyay

Copyright © 2012 Tsutomu Kume. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Much has been learned about the mechanisms underlying tumor angiogenesis, and therapies that target vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to limit tumor angiogenesis and subsequent disease progression have recently been approved. However, the transcriptional mechanisms that regulate pathological angiogenesis remain largely unknown. FoxC2, a member of the Forkhead box (Fox) transcription factor family, is critical for vascular formation during development, and recent studies have shown that FoxC2 is expressed in the endothelium of tumors in both humans and mice. In a B16 mouse melanoma model, Foxc2 deficiency reduced tumor growth and neovascularization and was associated with impairments in mural-cell coverage and increases in endothelial-cell apoptosis in tumor blood vessels. FoxC2 is also expressed by tumor cells in human breast, colonic, and esophageal cancer and participates in the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), a key process that leads to the invasion and metastasis of aggressive tumors. Collectively, these observations suggest that FoxC2 is essential for tumor angiogenesis and disease progression and that FoxC2 may be a viable target for cancer therapy.