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Transcription factors play a crucial role in regulating the dynamic and precise patterns of gene expression required for the initial specification of endothelial cells (ECs), and during endothelial growth and differentiation. Whilst sharing many core features, ECs can be highly heterogeneous. Differential gene expression between ECs is essential to pattern the hierarchical vascular network into arteries, veins, and capillaries, to drive angiogenic growth of new vessels and to direct specialization in response to local signals. Unlike many other cell types, ECs have no single master regulator, instead relying on differing combinations of a necessarily limited repertoire of transcription factors in order to achieve tight spatial and temporal activation and repression of gene expression. Here, we will discuss the cohort of transcription factors known to be involved in directing gene expression during different stages of mammalian vasculogenesis and angiogenesis with a primary focus on development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Dev Dyn

Publication Date



ETS, Endothelial cell, angioblast, endothelium, transcriptional regulation, vasculature